Wednesday, 20 August 2008

GTA Retrospective II - Grand Theft Auto 2

  • Game: Grand Theft Auto 2
  • Console: Dreamcast, PlayStation, PC
  • Developer: DMA Design
  • Publisher: Rockstar Games
  • Released: 1999
Released two years after the original GTA, GTA2 continued the top-down perspective introduced in the first game and carried on the game's basic formula, but set the game somewhere in the future, giving the game a sort of neon-punk feel. There was also only one city called 'Anywhere City', its location quite indeterminate. The game still had three levels, but all of them were 'districts' of the same city, rather different cities altogether. Firstly, there was the 'The Downtown Area', then 'The Residential District' and lastly 'The Industrial District'. It makes the game sound like The Crystal Maze, but it isn't, obviously.

Erm… ouch!

As with the original GTA, to get to the next level, you had to amass a certain score. The scoring system gives you points from practically everything you do; smash into a car and you'll get 100 points, blow a car up and you'll get 1000 (or something like that). The main way to get points, though, was to complete the missions that awaited you at phone-boxes. What GTA2 introduced, though, were rival gangs, and a karma-like system based around them. Each of these gangs were given its own meter in the top left-hand corner of the screen. These showed your standing with each of these gangs. If your meter was swaying to the left, they weren't too pleased with you. If it was to the right, they were practically in love with you. To gain respect from each of these gangs, you had to do missions for them. However, each gang was always trying to out-do each other, and doing missions for one gang may see you facing off against another gang you've been trying to get into bed with. This gave the game a bit more strategy; piss one gang off a little too much, and they'll try to kill you as soon as they see you. This means you have to pick your missions more carefully, and try to balance each gang's missions. You can do this or not, but the game would be a lot easier if you did.

Lighting effects FTW

As you can see from the screen above, the graphics were improved for the game, with added lighting effects and higher resolution textures. This gave the game quite a nice-but-gritty night time feel. The cars still looked like toys, but decided less-so thanks to the game's more futuristic theme. The radio stations were all present, but were added upon, with more songs and radio stations than before.

The game also had a short movie made for it, of which an edited version was used for the game's intro sequence. Also, if you want to play this or the original GTA, you can download them, completely free and completely legally, here.

Rather than being the next big step in the GTA series, GTA2 is more of an evolution. It carried on what GTA did very well and improved upon it. The graphics were improved, the depth of the game world, the missions, the cars, everything. However, GTA fans dared to dream of a 3D GTA, and they would get their wish 2 years later.

Coming up: GTA gets a three-dimensional make-over with GTAIII.


Ronan The Librarian said...

Great second piece :)
I look forward to the third...