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Grand Theft Auto III (abbreviated as GTA III) is a sandbox-style action-adventure computer and video game developed by DMA Design (now Rockstar North), and published by Rockstar Games. It is the first 3D title in the Grand Theft Auto series, the third original console release and the fifth original title overall. It was released in October 2001 for the PlayStation 2, May 2002 for Windows, and in November 2003 for the Xbox. The game is preceded by Grand Theft Auto 2 and succeeded by Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.

GTA III is set in modern Liberty City, a fictional metropolitan city based on New York Citymarker. The game follows a nameless criminal who was betrayed by his girlfriend in a bank heist, and is required to work his way up the crime ladder of the city before confronting her. GTA III is composed of elements from driving games and third-person shooters, and like its predecessors, implements sandbox-like gameplay, where the player is given the freedom to explore a large city, complete missions, commit criminal acts, or complete side missions.

The game's concept and gameplay, coupled with the use of a three dimensional game engine for the first time in the series, contributed to Grand Theft Auto III's positive reception upon its release; it became 2001's top selling video game{{cite web | url = | title= NPD Press Release, February 7, 2002 | work = [[NPD Group]] | accessdate = 2007-08-06 |accessyear= 2006}} and is cited as a landmark in video games for its far-reaching influence within the industry.{{cite web|url=|title=Feature: The 52 Most Important Video Games of All Time (page 8 of 8)}} ''GTA III'''s success was a significant factor in the series' subsequent popularity; as of 2008, five ''GTA'' [[prequel]]s set before events in ''GTA III'' have been released. ''GTA III'''s violent and sexual content has also been the source of [[moral panic]] and [[Video game controversy|controversy]]. ==Setting== ''Grand Theft Auto III'' takes place in [[Liberty City (Grand Theft Auto)|Liberty City]], a [[:Category:Fictional cities and towns|fictional city]] on the [[East Coast of the United States|East Coast]], which is loosely based on [[New York City]], but also incorporates elements of other American cities.{{cite web |title=GTA IV: Building a Brave New World | |url= |date=2008-03-28 |accessdate=2008-04-23}} ''GTA III'''s Liberty City is one of three renditions of "Liberty Cities" featured throughout the series, of which the other two are present in ''[[Grand Theft Auto (video game)|Grand Theft Auto]]'' (''GTA1'') and ''[[Grand Theft Auto IV]]'' (''GTA IV''). The timeline of ''GTA III'' is set at around the autumn of 2001, the present time around the first release of ''GTA III'', October 22, 2001; this was indicated by the ''Liberty Tree'' website, which included plot points that connect to events in the beginning of the game, in its last existing monthly entry, dated October 18, 2001.[ ''Liberty Tree'', October 2001]. "Rockstar News." URL accessed on May 28, 2006. Throughout the story, [[Claude (Grand Theft Auto)|the protagonist]] is never named and never utters a single word, though he is often referred to as "Kid" and sometimes "Fido"{{Ref label|Claudes_name|1|a}}. However, his name is confirmed to be "Claude" in the sequel to the game, ''[[Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas]]'' (prequel in terms of time settings), in which he appears as a [[non-player character]]. ===Plot=== The player character has robbed the Liberty City Bank with his girlfriend, [[List of characters in Grand Theft Auto III#Catalina|Catalina]], and a male accomplice. While running from the scene, Catalina turns to him and utters, "Sorry, babe, I'm an ambitious girl and you ... you're just small-time". She shoots him and leaves him to die in an alley; the accomplice is also seen lying nearby. It soon becomes apparent that the player character has survived but has been arrested and subsequently found guilty and sentenced to jail. While he is being transferred, an attack on the police convoy aimed at kidnapping an unrelated prisoner sets him free. With the help of a fellow escaped prisoner, the player character then takes on work as a local thug and rises in power as he works for multiple rival [[Gang|crime gangs]], a corrupt police officer and a media mogul. In the process, [[List of characters in Grand Theft Auto III#Maria|Maria]], the wife of a local Mafia boss, begins to take a liking to him. The Mafia leader, Salvatore, grows suspicious and lures the player to a death trap; but Maria saves him, remaining close to him throughout the storyline. He later goes to work for others, including the Liberty City Yakuza and media mogul Donald Love. Eventually, his exploits attract the attention of Catalina, now affiliated with a Colombian drug cartel, resulting in the kidnapping of Maria. This gives him the opportunity to face Catalina once more, which results in a large firefight and Catalina's death. ===Characters=== {{Main|List of characters in Grand Theft Auto III}} In addition to the exploits of the game's player character, the storyline, while not as integral to the game as its successors, depicts the character development of several non-player individuals and bosses, through [[cut scene]]s before the start of each mission, as the player progresses through the game. Most of the characters encountered revolve around corruption, crime and a fictional [[Narcotic|drug]] called "Spank," which is a growing menace in the city. With the success of ''GTA III'' and its sequels, several of these characters or their relatives reappear in future ''GTA'' titles with major or minor roles, and their personal background expanded, particularly [[List of Gangs in Grand Theft Auto#Leone Family|Leone family]] Don [[List of characters in Grand Theft Auto III#Salvatore Leone|Salvatore Leone]], [[Media proprietor|media mogul]] [[List of characters in Grand Theft Auto III#Donald Love|Donald Love]], [[List of characters in Grand Theft Auto III#Phil Cassidy, the One-Armed Bandit|Phil, the One-Armed Bandit]], [[List of characters in Grand Theft Auto III#8-Ball|8-Ball]], [[List of characters in Grand Theft Auto III#Catalina|Catalina]] and [[Toni Cipriani]]. The voice cast for the game's characters features several established celebrities. Notable voice actors include [[Frank Vincent]], [[Michael Madsen]], [[Michael Rapaport]], [[Joe Pantoliano]], [[Debi Mazar]], [[Kyle MacLachlan]], [[Robert Loggia]], [[Lazlow Jones]] and rapper [[Guru (rapper)|Guru]]. {{Grand Theft Auto chronology}} ==Gameplay== ''Grand Theft Auto III'' inherits and modifies much of the [[gameplay]] mechanics from its predecessors, ''[[Grand Theft Auto (video game)|Grand Theft Auto]]'' and ''[[Grand Theft Auto 2]]'', combining elements of a [[third-person shooter]] and a [[driving game]] in a new 3D game engine. The idea of using a 3D game engine in such a genre however is not new; the first game to combine elements of action, shooting, and multiple-vehicle driving in a 3D package was ''[[Hunter (computer game)|Hunter]]'' (1991). The first developed by DMA Design was ''[[Body Harvest]]'' (1998), for the [[Nintendo 64]]. Publicly debuted in 1995 at [[Nintendo]]'s [[SpaceWorld]] video game trade show, Body Harvest was revolutionary for its time, but despite above average reviews,{{cite web | url = | title= ''Body Harvest'' Reviews | work = Game Rankings | dateformat = mdy | accessdate= October 14, 2006}} the game sold poorly.{{cite web | title = Extreme M&A – Part One | work = (first appeared in Develop) | url = | month = June | year = 2007 | dateformat = mdy | accessdate = September 22, 2007}} ''GTA III'' takes the gameplay elements of ''Body Harvest'' and combines them with the ''GTA'' series' open-ended game design to create a level of freedom and detail that was unprecedented in 2001. On foot, the player's character has the additional ability to sprint (but is incapable of swimming), as well as use weapons and perform basic [[hand to hand combat]]; he is also capable of driving a variety of vehicles, (with the addition of [[watercraft]] and a [[fixed-wing aircraft]]). [[Image:gta3-pc-walking.jpeg|left|thumb|A screenshot of Claude running with a pistol in hand. With a completely redone game engine, the player is now able to see forward and better explore ''GTA III'''s environment.]] Criminal offences, such as [[carjacking]], murder and theft will result in increasing levels of resistance from the authorities. If the player's "wanted" level reaches certain levels, the police, [[Federal Bureau of Investigation|FBI]], and army will respond accordingly. When the player character collapses from his injuries or is arrested, he will re-spawn at a local hospital or police station respectively, at the expense of losing all weapons and armor and an amount of money for medical expenses or bribes. While this is similar to previous ''Grand Theft Auto'' games, the player character is essentially offered unlimited "lives," as opposed to the limited number of lives in ''GTA1'' and ''GTA2''. This allows the player character to "die" as many times as he pleases, and render it impossible to [[Game over|indefinitely lose in the game]]. A major feature in ''GTA III'''s predecessors that allowed the player to obtain cash by committing petty crimes has been downplayed in ''GTA III'', encompassing only car ramming, vehicle destruction and pedestrian killing. The amount of money in the player's possession is no longer a requirement to unlock new areas in ''GTA III''. Instead, the completion of missions and unfolding of the game's storyline are now responsible for this role. Additionally, the player is allowed to return to all unlocked areas of the city. However, as new areas open up, access to other, previously available areas becomes more dangerous or difficult, due to hostilities from enemy gangs. The [[HUD (computer gaming)|interface of the game]] has been significantly overhauled. The player-centered compass is replaced by a separate [[mini-map]] that also displays a map of the city and key locations (safe houses and contact points) or targets. [[Health (game mechanic)|Armour and health levels]] are now indicated in numbers, and a [[24-hour clock]] is added. Gang behavior is no longer dictated by "respect" meters used in ''GTA2''; instead, the player character's progress through the story affects his view in the "eyes" of gang members. As the player completes missions for different gangs, rival gang members will come to recognize the character and subsequently shoot on sight. [[Multiplayer game|Multiplayer]] modes from previous ''GTA'' titles were dropped, favouring single player gameplay only. However, third-party multiplayer modifications developed by members of the community are available.{{Ref|Multiplayer}} ===Missions, non-linearity and narration=== A common trait ''GTA III'' shares with the rest of the ''GTA'' series is the considerably non-linear gameplay. Missions that are offered to the player primarily fall into two categories: storyline-based and side missions. While the game's linear set of storyline-based missions are required to advance the plot and unlock certain areas of the map, the player can choose to complete them at his or her own leisure. Additionally, many of them are not mandatory. Alternatively, it is possible to ignore the main missions and only play side missions. If the player acquires a [[taxi cab]], he can pick up designated [[non-player character]]s as fares and drop them off at different parts of the city for cash; obtaining an [[ambulance]] allows the player to pick up injured non-player characters and drive them to the hospital for cash. Fire fighting and vigilante police missions are also available. However, if the player wishes, he or she may avoid all missions and instead choose to explore the city, stealing cars, running over pedestrians, and avoiding or opposing the police. Whereas its predecessors merely featured a short [[cut scene]] upon completion of missions in each city, ''GTA III'' significantly expanded this feature, triggering cut scenes after the player enters a contact point or during certain missions. The cut scenes serve multiple purposes: as a visual narration of the storyline, as formal directives of a mission, and as a visual assessment of a scene and objective. During gameplay, mission updates and messages are relayed through text-based instructions given in the form of on-screen subtitles, or on a few occasions, the player character's [[pager]], similar to ''GTA1''. ''GTA III'' also includes one-time [[tutorial]] directives to familiarize the player with the game's controls and features. ===Weapons=== [[Image:GTAIII PS2 Beta Drive-by.jpg|thumb|right|A pre-release screenshot depicts the player character aiming for a [[drive-by shooting]]. The action, possible only by attaining a [[Micro Uzi]] and viewing sideways in a car, was a new feature in the series when ''GTA III'' was released.]] The selection of weapons provided in the game consists of [[firearm]]s and [[explosive]]s, with the addition of two forms of [[mêlée]] attacks ([[hand to hand combat]] and [[baseball bat]]). The weapons themselves are largely similar to the selection of weapons from ''GTA1'' and ''GTA2'', such as the [[M1911]], the [[Micro Uzi]], an [[AK-47]] and an [[M16A1]], the [[Shoulder-launched missile weapon]], and the [[flamethrower]], which are based on similar weapons from ''GTA1'', and the [[shotgun]] and thrown weapons ([[Molotov cocktail]]s and [[hand grenade]]s) from ''GTA2''. The porting of ''GTA III'' into a three dimensional environment also allows access to a [[First-person shooter|first-person]] view, making the inclusion of the [[sniper rifle]] and first-person aiming of the M16A1 and rocket launcher possible. In addition, it becomes possible in the game to perform [[drive-by shooting]] using the Micro Uzi, while the inclusion of [[Magazine (firearm)|magazine]]-based weapons introduces the need to reload weapons after a magazine has been depleted. Additionally, wielding certain weapons restricts movement. Weapons may be purchased from local firearms dealers and businesses, retrieved for free from certain dead gang members, mission-specific characters and law enforcers, or picked up in certain spots in the city. All versions of ''GTA III'' allow the player to [[auto-aim]] using a [[gamepad]] with the push of a button, holding human targets at gun point using most firearms, with the exception of first-person aiming for the sniper rifle, M16 and rocket launcher, which are aimed using the [[analog stick]] or [[Mouse (computing)|mouse]] as the player presses the same auto aim button. The Microsoft Windows version includes the additional ability to look around and aim freely with a mouse while on foot; these control differences are seen in the console and Microsoft Windows ports of ''Vice City'' and ''[[Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas]]''. ==Radio stations and other media== {{Main|Grand Theft Auto III soundtrack}} One of the game's subtler inclusions was a variety of radio stations. The stations feature music specially written for the game (as well as many songs originating from the first two ''GTA''s), but also includes licensed music, some of which were excerpts of several actual music albums; this combination differs from those of the game's predecessors, which featured entirely original soundtracks. One of the stations is a full-length talk show, and many of the callers are actually characters from the story missions, often demonstrating the same views and eccentricities that become apparent to the player during the missions. Another station "Flashback FM" features music heard throughout scenes in the film Scarface, which had heavy influence on the game's sequel, Vice City. Additionally, an online format of the fictional ''Liberty Tree'' newspaper, dedicated to events that took place within and outside Liberty City between February 2001 and October 2001, was made available months ahead of ''GTA III'''s release. The website, working in tandem with the official map-based website and sub-pages, also served to provide a [[back-story]] to ''GTA III'', while evoking a sense that the reported events had actually taken place in real time, releasing monthly issues in its nine months of activity. The site also includes articles on criminal activities in the city and city development (i.e. delayed tunnel completion and the growth of Love Media in the city), and various advertising to fictional products. Pre-released screenshots of gameplay, the city's environment and characters were used as photographs for certain news articles. Various commercials are featured on both the radio stations and the ''Liberty Tree'' website. Certain ads often referred to their advertisers' official websites, such as All of these sites actually existed; they were set up to tie in with the game. However, although looking very much like genuine online stores, all links to purchase or order the products actually led to ==Game engine== [[Image:gta3-pc-stealing.jpeg|left|thumb|Stealing a "Stallion" car from a driver. [[Game artificial intelligence|Artificial intelligence]] in ''GTA III'' was significantly complex at the time of the game's release. When stealing a [[non-player character]]'s (NPC) vehicle, the player may encounter different reactions from the NPC, who will either run away screaming or try to regain his/her car. Similar traits are seen when the player attempts to fight with or shoots pedestrians. The pedestrian and others around it will run away screaming, while gang members will retaliate.]] ''Grand Theft Auto III'''s new [[RenderWare]] [[game engine]] was a significant departure from its predecessors, most notably because it uses a forward-viewing perspective as the default view, similar to a majority of [[third-person shooter]]s and [[racing game|driving games]], and has much-improved street-level graphics. The game also offers several additional camera modes, including a cinematic view, and the [[top-down perspective]] prevalent in ''GTA III'''s predecessors (this last was omitted in following titles, making ''GTA III'' the last major console title in the series to include the top-down view). In console versions, the game runs in the [[display resolution]] dictated by the console, while the [[Microsoft Windows]] version permits resolutions of up to 1600 by 1200 pixels.{{cite web | title = Grand Theft Auto III (PC) Review | work = IGN | url = | date = 2002-05-27 | dateformat = mdy | accessdate = September 24, 2007}} The in-game environment is displayed through extensive use of [[Level of detail (programming)|level of detail]] (LOD), allowing areas directly surrounding the player to display objects in higher [[Polygon (computer graphics)|polygon]] counts (including vehicles, buildings and terrain) or minor props (e.g. street furniture), while areas far from the player are displayed with fewer polygons and less detail. As such, LODs aid ''GTA III'' in displaying a large environment with a further [[draw distance]], while ensuring that the game's performance remains optimum. When traveling within the city, the game constantly swaps models of varied detail as the player moves from one area to another. However, when the player travels to another island, the game is required to load detailed models of the entire destination island, while also loading low-detail models for the island the player is leaving, requiring substantially more processing time; in the process, the game displays a "Welcome to..." screen for a short amount of time, before play resumes. Like the environment, vehicles and pedestrians are depicted by full three-dimensional models, compared to flat top-down [[Sprite (computer graphics)|sprites]] used in previous games. Both vehicles and pedestrians are constructed from individual polygons with a central "core" (the wheels, engine, chassis and body of vehicles, and the [[torso]] of pedestrians). The damage system of vehicles represents the minor vehicle parts (doors, frontal [[quarter panel]]s and bumpers) as undamaged, damaged or missing, based on [[Collision detection|collisions detected]] on the vehicle; the core of each vehicle remains visually unchanged despite heavy damage. As pedestrians in ''GTA III'' are made out of separate polygon parts (limbs, a head and a torso), it is possible to detach the [[Limb (anatomy)|limb]]s or head of a pedestrian (by using heavy firearms or explosives). As the game runs a simulated 24-hour cycle, including changing weather, the game engine is also required to simulate day and night periods, as well as weather effects. This is done by adjusting surrounding visual effects and details in accordance to the weather and time of day. Other minor details are also present, like a rainbow and shiny streets after rain, and the sun moving from the northeast in the morning to the southwest in the evening. The game is the first in the series to use [[motion blur]]ring (dubbed "Trails" in the [[Microsoft Windows]], Playstation 2, and Xbox versions of the game), semi-transparently rendering the last in-game [[video frame]] to the current frame; this feature could be toggled off to increase game performance. ==Cuts, changes, and the 9/11 effect== [[Image:GTAIII LCPD copcar change.jpg|thumb|right|A comparison of the same present pre-release screenshot (as of April 2006) from [[GameSpot]] ('''top'''), among several gaming websites, and the official ''GTA III'' website ('''bottom'''). GameSpot's version depicts police cars resembling those of the [[New York City Police Department|NYPD]] pre-2000, while the official, edited version adopts a more generic black-and-white design used by many police departments such as the [[Los Angeles Police Department|LAPD]] and [[San Francisco Police Department|SFPD]].]] Prior to the 2001 release of the final game, several modifications were made on ''Grand Theft Auto III''. The changes were apparent as several promotional materials had previously displayed features that would be absent in the final version of the game. While cuts and changes are frequent during [[game development]], the changes in ''GTA III'' were of note as they were made around the time when the [[September 11, 2001 attacks]] occurred; this led some gamers to speculate that at least some of the changes were motivated by the attacks. Although little was disclosed about the types of changes to be made and when they were conducted, [[Sam Houser]], the president of Rockstar Games (based in [[Manhattan]], New York City), was quoted September 19, 2001 saying that a review would be carried out for ''GTA III'', in addition to confirming the delay of the game's release by three weeks{{cite web | url = | title= Take-Two to revise and delay two PS2 games | work = GameSpot | dateformat = mdy | accessdate= May 13, 2006}}{{cite web | url = | title= Release Delay Confirmed | work = GOURANGA! | dateformat = mdy | accessdate= May 6, 2006}}{{cite web | url =,1367,46971,00.html?tw=wn_story_related: | title= Playing the Sensitivity Game | work = Wired News | dateformat = mdy | accessdate= May 6, 2006}} (the original, rough release date was suggested by Houser to be on October 2, 2001):{{cite web | url = | title= R* Clarifies Release Date Reports | work = GOURANGA! | dateformat = mdy | accessdate= May 6, 2006}} {{cquote|...our biggest games, including ''Grand Theft Auto [III]'', have been delayed slightly. This decision is based on two factors, firstly it has been a little difficult to get work done in downtown Manhattan in the last week since basic communications infrastructure has been intermittent at best, and secondly we felt that a full content review of all our titles was absolutely necessary for us in light of the horrifying event we all witnessed in NYC last week. As for ''Grand Theft Auto [III]'', since the game is so huge the review is no short process. So far we have come across certain small contextual references that we were no longer comfortable with, as well as a couple of very rare game play instances that no longer felt appropriate to us. We apologise to you and all the people waiting for this game to ship for the delays that have now ensued, but I'm sure you can understand our reasoning.}} The only apparent change on the game that has been suggested to have been made shortly after 9/11 was of the [[police car]]s' paint scheme. The old color scheme of blue with white stripes (seen in previews and the manual map) specifically resembled that of the [[New York City Police Department|NYPD]]. The new color scheme of the LCPD is modeled in a generic black-and-white design that is common amongst several police departments in the United States such as the [[Los Angeles Police Department|LAPD]] and [[San Francisco Police Department|SFPD]]. Pre-release screenshots in the game's official website depicting police cars had also undergone modifications, around a week after September 11.{{cite web | url = | title= & ''L-Tree'' Updated! | work = GOURANGA! | dateformat = mdy | accessdate= May 6, 2006}} ''[[Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories]]'' and ''[[Grand Theft Auto IV]]'' saw paint schemes bearing likenesses to those of the NYPD's (past and present) returning, several years after ''GTA III'' was released. Another cut is that of Darkel, an in-game character, for the final version of the game. Mentioned in several early video game publications and websites, Darkel was to be a revolutionary urchin who vowed to bring down the city's economy. One mission involved stealing an ice cream van, using it to attract pedestrians, then blowing it up{{cite web | url = | title= ''Grand Theft Auto'': How Smart is the AI? | work = IGN | dateformat = mdy | accessdate= May 6, 2006}} (this mission would eventually be given by [[List of characters in Grand Theft Auto III#El Burro|El Burro]] instead in the final version of game to kill a group of gang members). Darkel was also originally expected to give out Rampage-like missions,{{cite web | url = | title= ''Grand Theft Auto 3'' Information (based on early pre-release game publications) | work = GOURANGA! | dateformat = mdy |accessdate= May 6, 2006}} and even had his voice recorded for this part.[ Bill Fiore] at [[The Internet Movie Database]]. URL accessed on May 13, 2006. Rockstar later decided that they would like to go back to the original system of giving out rampages as featured in ''Grand Theft Auto'' and ''Grand Theft Auto 2''. Although Darkel and his missions were removed indefinitely, the character remains listed in the manual's credits, as well as having a character texture retained in the game's data files.{{cite web | url = | title= ''Frequently Asked Questions'' for ''GTA III'' | work = | dateformat = mdy | accessdate= July 16, 2006}} Another reminder of Darkel's existence is an abandoned tunnel in the city, associated with the character in the official website, and includes four homeless people in a group wielding [[Molotov cocktails]]. Both the tunnel and the four homeless people are retained in the final version of the game. The Dodo airplane, the only flyable aircraft in the game, was also a point of discussion; the wings of the vehicle were significantly short, while an uncontrollable full-winged version has been seen flying around the city. However, the plane, for months before 9/11, had a short wingspan, as evidenced from a preview in ''[[Game Informer]]'' (Issue #95), which indicated that the plane was to be used in a (now abandoned) mission to [[wikt:loft|loft]] the plane high enough in its brief flight and reach new areas of the city.{{cite web | url = | title= New ''GTA3'' Details In Game Informer | work = GOURANGA! | dateformat = mdy | accessdate= October 25, 2006}} The Dodo is considerably difficult to control, usually resulting in short flights (although it is possible to fly the plane continuously around Liberty City when properly trained). Other changes included stopping the selection of certain character models when using cheat codes, removing the aforementioned ability to blow [[Limb (anatomy)|limb]]s off non-player characters in only the PlayStation 2 version of ''GTA III'', (though this can enabled with a cheat code) elderly pedestrians with [[Walker (tool)|walkers]], school children as pedestrians (from [[GameSpot]] UK's preview {{cite web | url =,2160,2056706-2,00.html | title= Gamespot UK preview | work = Gamespot UK }} and the Gouranga fansite{{Citation needed|date=March 2007}}) and a school bus (seen in eight screenshots{{cite web | url = | title= Features, Vehicles & Weapons | work = GOURANGA! | dateformat = mdy | accessdate= April 4, 2007}}). ==Reception== {{VG Reviews |1UP = A+{{cite web|last=1UP Staff|url=|title=Grand Theft Auto III PS2 Review Index, Grand Theft Auto III Playstation 2 Reviews|publisher=[[|1UP]]|date=2000-01-01|accessdate=2008-07-01}} |Edge =8/10 |GamePro = 5 of 5{{cite web|last="FOUREYEDDRAGON"|url=|title=Review: Grand Theft Auto 3 for PS2 on|publisher=[[GamePro]]|date=2001-10-29|accessdate=2008-06-30}} |GI = 9.5 of 10{{cite web|last=Helgeson|first=Matt|url=|title=Game Informer Online|publisher=[[Game Informer]]|accessdate=2008-06-30}} |GSpot = 9.6 of 10{{cite web|last=Gerstmann|first=Jeff|url=|title=Grand Theft Auto III for PlayStation 2 Review — PlayStation 2 Grand Theft Auto III Review|publisher=[[Gamespot]]|pages=1–3|date=2001-10-24|accessdate=2008-06-30}} |IGN = 9.6 of 10{{cite web|last=Perry|first=Doug|url=|title=IGN: Grand Theft Auto III Review|publisher=[[]]|date=2001-10-22|accessdate=2008-06-30}} |EGM = 9.33 of 10{{Cite book|year=2002|title=Electronic Gaming Monthly January 2002; issue 150|editor=Hsu, Dan "Shoe"|pages=206| publisher=Ziff Davis Media Inc.}} |GSpy = 94 of 100{{cite web|last=Alupului|first=Andre|url=|title=PlanetPS2 - A Member of The GameSpy Network|publisher=[[GameSpy]]|pages=1–3|date=2001-10-31|accessdate=2008-07-01}} | |compilation = yes | |MC = 97 of 100{{cite web|url=|title=Grand Theft Auto III (ps2: 2001): Reviews|publisher=[[Metacritic]]|accessdate=2008-07-01}} |GR = 95%{{cite web|url=|title=Grand Theft Auto III Reviews|publisher=[[Game Rankings]]|accessdate=2008-07-01}} |MG = 95 of 100{{cite web|url=|title=Grand Theft Auto III for PlayStation 2 - MobyGames|publisher=[[MobyGames]]|accessdate=2008-07-01}} }} {| class="wikitable" style="font-size:90%; float: right; clear: both; text-align: center; width:40%; margin: 5px;" |-{{Unicode|}} ! style="background:#ddddee;" colspan="2" | Awards |- |style="width:35%"|[[GameSpot]]'s Best and Worst of 2001 |Most Innovative Game,{{cite web | url = | title = GameSpot's Best and Worst of 2001: Special Achievement Awards — Most Innovative | publisher = [[GameSpot]] | accessdate = 2007-08-15}} Best Action/Adventure Game,{{cite web | url = | title = GameSpot's Best and Worst of 2001: Genre Awards — Best Action/Adventure Game | publisher = [[GameSpot]] | accessdate = 2007-08-15}} Best PlayStation 2 Game,{{cite web | url = | title = GameSpot's Best and Worst of 2001: Platform Awards — Best PlayStation 2 Game | publisher = [[GameSpot]] | accessdate = 2007-08-15}} Game of the Year{{cite web | url = | title = GameSpot's Best and Worst of 2001: Top 10 Video Games of the Year | publisher = [[GameSpot]] | accessdate = 2007-08-15}} |- ||[[IGN]]'s Best of 2001 |Best Action Game for PlayStation 2 (Editor's Choice and Reader's Choice),{{cite web | url = | title = IGN: Best Action Game of 2001 - PlayStation 2 | publisher = [[]] | accessdate = 2007-08-16}} PlayStation 2 Game of the Year{{cite web | url = | title = IGN: PS2 Game of the Year | publisher = [[]] | accessdate = 2007-08-16}} |- ||''[[GamePro]]'' |Editors' Choice |- ||''[[Electronic Gaming Monthly]]'' |Gold Award |} Upon its release, ''Grand Theft Auto III'' received very positive reviews; while minor problems and comments pertaining to graphics, performance and controls were noted, ''GTA III'' was touted as revolutionary by several game review websites and publications. With reviews of 9.6/10 from [[IGN]] and [[GameSpot]], 8/10 from ''[[Edge (magazine)|Edge]]'', 10/10 from ''[[Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine]]'', 94 from [[GameSpy]] and an average score of 95%, according to [[Game Rankings]],{{cite web | url = | title= ''Grand Theft Auto 3'' Awards | work = Take-Two Interactive | dateformat = mdy | accessdate= May 6, 2006}} the game won several awards, such as GameSpot's Console Game of the Year, Game of the Year from GameSpy and Cheat Code Central, and Best Action Game of 2001 by IGN. The game's average review score of 97% on [[Metacritic]] ties it with ''[[Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3]]'' for the highest ranked game in PlayStation 2 history. It was also inducted into GameSpot's Greatest Games of All Time list.{{cite web | url = | title = Greatest Games of All Time: Grand Theft Auto III | work = | dateformat = mdy | accessdate = September 22, 2007}} ''GTA III'' [[sleeper hit|unexpectedly]] emerged as a smash hit at its initial [[United States dollar|US$]]49.95 price and became the #1 selling video game of 2001 in the [[United States]]. Later discounted to $19.95 as part of Sony's "Greatest Hits" program, it continued to sell well and went on to become the second best-selling video game of 2002, behind only its sequel, ''[[Grand Theft Auto: Vice City]]''. ''GTA III'' was bundled with Vice City for the Xbox Double Pack, which enjoyed strong sales in December 2003, even though ''GTA III'' was two years old. The Double Pack's success for Xbox was due to several factors; the critical acclaim and controversial game content for the games, the graphical improvements specifically for the Xbox, and having two games in one, which led to GameSpy giving it their Best Value Award.[ GameSpy: Grand Theft Auto Double Pack Preview ] As of September 26, 2007, ''Grand Theft Auto III '' has sold 12 million units according to [[Take-Two Interactive]].{{cite web |title=Take-Two Interactive Software at Piper Jaffray Second Annual London Consumer Conference |publisher=Thomson Financial |date=2007-09-26 |url= |format=[[Webcast]]: Windows Media Player, Real Player |accessdate=2007-10-29 |quote=Grand Theft Auto III launched in 2001 and sold over 12 million units. We then shipped another sequel in 2002 which sold over 15 million units, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. And then in 2004 we shipped Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, which sold a remarkable 20 million units...}} As of March 26, 2008, ''Grand Theft Auto III'' has sold 14.5 million units according to Take-Two Interactive.{{cite web |url= |title=Recommendation of the Board of Directors to Reject Electronic Arts Inc.'s Tender Offer |accessdate=2008-04-01 |date=2008-03-26 |publisher=[[Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc.]] |pages=12 |format=[[PDF]]}} Although the ''Grand Theft Auto'' series had been an underground hit prior to the release of ''GTA III'', it was this game that first brought the series mainstream success and widespread accolades. The success of ''GTA III'' resulted in two console and [[Microsoft Windows]] sequels (''Vice City'', ''San Andreas''), both of which were able to build upon ''GTA III's'' success, as well as three additional titles for [[Handheld game console|handheld consoles]] (''[[Grand Theft Auto Advance]]'', ''[[Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories]]'' and ''[[Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories]]''). The next generation in the series, ''[[Grand Theft Auto IV]]'', was released on April 29, 2008. [[GamePro]] recently called ''GTA III'' the most important video game of all-time, explaining that the game's open-ended gameplay elements have revolutionized the way all video games are made. Similarly, IGN ranked ''GTA III'' among the Top 10 Most Influential Games.{{cite web | url = | title = IGN's Top 10 Most Influential Games | publisher = [[]] | author = Ryan Geddes and Daemon Hatfield | date = 2007-12-10 | accessdate = 2007-12-10}} Video game critics and players have used the term "[[GTA clone]]" to describe the slew of video games released which attempted to emulate the [[Sandbox (video games)|sandbox]] gameplay of ''GTA III''.{{citation needed|date=December 2009}} In 2009, ''[[Game Informer]]'' put ''GTA III'' 4th on their list of "The Top 200 Games of All Time", saying that it "changed the gaming landscape forever with its immersive ipen world sandbox".{{cite journal|author=The ''Game Informer'' staff|title=The Top 200 Games of All Time|pages=44–79|issue=200|month=December|year=2009|journal=[[Game Informer]]|issn=1067-6392|oclc=27315596}} ==Controversy== [[Image:gta3-pc-police.jpeg|thumb|right|Police trouble. The ability to kill police officers was one of the points of controversy for ''GTA III''.]] ''Grand Theft Auto III'' was and remains very [[video game controversy|controversial]] because of its violent and sexual content, and it generated outrage from many upon its release. Various critics hypothesized that if children were to play the game, they might acquire [[Antisocial personality disorder|sociopathic]] attitudes toward others. For examples of video game violence, many TV news channels often show a play session of ''GTA III'' where the main character is gunning down pedestrians and blowing up police cars. The player is rewarded with cash for various illegal and immoral actions. Frequently cited in the press is the opportunity for players to carjack a vehicle, pick up a [[Prostitution|prostitute]], have (implied) sex with the prostitute, and then kill her and steal her money.{{cite web | url = | title = Comparative Media: Prostitution | work = Brett's Footnotes | dateformat = mdy |accessdate = December 11, 2006}} It was because of ''GTA III'' that the [[Wal-Mart]] chain of retail stores announced that, for games rated "M" by the [[Entertainment Software Rating Board|ESRB]], its stores would begin checking the identification of purchasers who appeared to be under 17.{{Citation needed|date=February 2007}} After its initial release in [[Australia]], the game was banned for a period and a censored version of the game was to be released in its place.{{cite web | url = | title= Australian ''GTAIII'' ban upheld | work = GameSpot | dateformat = mdy |accessdate= May 6, 2006}} A key reason why this course of action was taken was that Rockstar did not submit ''GTA III'' to the [[Office of Film and Literature Classification (Australia)|Office of Film and Literature Classification]] (OFLC), the body that, among other things, rates video games according to their content in Australia. Lacking a suitable R18+ rating (the highest rating being MA15+), the game was "Refused Classification" and banned for sale because they felt that the game was unsuitable for minors. Australia still does not have an R rating for video games like it does for movies. Among other things, the censored version had the gore (except for the “Gore Mode” cheat) and the ability to kill prostitutes immediately removed. While the Australian version of the sequel ''Grand Theft Auto: Vice City'' was censored by Rockstar, the next sequel ''Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas'' was not, despite featuring more "mature" content (although, later, ''San Andreas'' was once given a Refused Classification rating amid the "[[Hot Coffee mod|Hot Coffee]]" controversy). On October 20, 2003, the families of Aaron Hamel and Kimberly Bede, two young people shot by teens William and Josh Buckner (who in statements to investigators claimed their actions were inspired by ''GTA III'') filed a US$246 million lawsuit against publishers [[Rockstar Games]] and [[Take-Two Interactive]] Software, retailer [[Wal-Mart]], and PlayStation 2 manufacturer [[Sony Computer Entertainment|Sony Computer Entertainment America]].{{cite web | url = | title= Lawsuit filed against Sony, Wal-Mart over game linked to shootings | work = CNN | dateformat = mdy | accessdate= May 6, 2006}}{{cite web | url = | title= Families sue over ''GTAIII''-inspired shooting | work = GameSpot | dateformat = mdy |accessdate= May 6, 2006}} Rockstar and its parent company, Take-Two, filed for dismissal of the lawsuit, stating in [[United States district court|U.S. District Court]] on October 29, 2003 that the "ideas and concepts as well as the 'purported psychological effects' on the Buckners are protected by the [[First Amendment to the United States Constitution|First Amendment's]] free-speech clause." The lawyer of the victims, [[Jack Thompson (attorney)|Jack Thompson]], denied that and is attempting to move the lawsuit into a state court and under [[Tennessee]]'s consumer protection act.{{cite web | url = | title= Rockstar seeks to dismiss ''GTAIII'' lawsuit | work = GameSpot | dateformat = mdy | accessdate= May 6, 2006}} ==Ports and remakes== [[Image:GTA3 Dodo.png|thumb|A screenshot depicts the player flying the Dodo, the only aircraft in ''GTA III''. Here, one may see all the three islands of the city at once.]] Six months following the initial PlayStation 2 release of ''Grand Theft Auto III'', versions for the [[Microsoft Windows]] and Xbox had been made available. ''GTA III'' is notable for being the first game in the series to be released on a [[video game console]] before a PC version was available. Following ''GTA III'', PlayStation 2 ''GTA'' games generally followed ''GTA III'' release pattern, in which the Microsoft Windows port is released within seven to eight months after the PlayStation 2 versions' release.[ ''GTA III'''s release information] at MobyGames. URL accessed on June 11, 2006.[ ''GTA: Vice City'''s release information] at MobyGames. URL accessed on June 11, 2006.[ ''GTA: San Andreas'''s release information] at MobyGames. URL accessed on June 11, 2006. The Microsoft Windows version of the game, released on May 21, 2002, has been criticized for performance problems, especially in light of the much smoother performance of ''Vice City''. This was due to technical issues; the [[game engine]] rendered everything within the [[draw distance]], even things hidden behind buildings or trees, whereas ''Vice City'' only rendered what could actually be seen.{{cite web | url = | title= ''Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Graphics Q&A'' with Aaron Garbut | work = GameSpot | dateformat = mdy | accessdate= July 16, 2006}} The Microsoft Windows version does, however, support higher [[Display resolution|screen resolutions]], has more detailed textures, a customizable player skin, and a custom option for [[MP3]] playback in cars. The Xbox version was initially supposed to be released in spring 2002 but it was shelved when [[Sony Computer Entertainment|Sony]] signed an agreement with [[Take-Two Interactive]] (Rockstar Games' parent company), making the ''GTA'' series a PlayStation 2 exclusive until November 2004. However, the agreement was amended in 2003 and the ''Grand Theft Auto: Double Pack'' containing both ''GTA III'' and ''Vice City'' was released for PS2 and Xbox in December 2003. The Xbox version of the ''Double Pack'' has improved audio, [[Model (computer games)|polygon models]], and reflections over the Microsoft Windows and PS2 versions of the game. The ''Double Pack'' was not released for the Microsoft Windows. In November 2005, ''GTA III'' was re-released again for the Xbox and PS2, this time bundled with ''Vice City'' and ''San Andreas'' in a trilogy compilation, dubbed ''Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy''. There were no new changes, though the set retained ''Double Pack'''s graphical improvements for ''GTA III'' and ''Vice City''. A [[Nintendo GameCube]] port of ''GTA III'' was also planned to be released alongside the Xbox version,{{cite web | url = | title= ''Grand Theft Auto III'' and ''Vice City'' on Nintendo GameCube | work = GameCubicle | dateformat = mdy | accessdate= May 6, 2006}} but was cancelled for unknown reasons. The Xbox version, also supports the playback of MP3's through the Xbox's on board codec which involve burning the music to a CD and copying them onto the Xbox's hard drive. Two handheld titles based on ''GTA III'' have also been released. ''[[Grand Theft Auto Advance]]'' was initially intended as a [[Game Boy Advance]] port of ''GTA III'', but has since introduced a new storyline set in Liberty City, roughly one year before the events in ''GTA III''. ''[[Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories]]'' was released for the [[PlayStation Portable]] in 2005 and later ported to the PS2. The game, which is also set in the same location as ''GTA III'', takes place in 1998, three years before the events in ''GTA III''. ''Liberty City Stories'' is the last ''GTA'' title to feature Liberty City in its ''GTA III'' form, as ''[[Grand Theft Auto IV]]'' (2008) and ''[[Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars]]'' (2009) are entirely set in a completely redesigned Liberty City. ==Notes==
# {{note|Claudes_name}}{{note label|Claudes_name|1|a}} Despite being officially nameless in ''Grand Theft Auto III'', the player character's name is later revealed to be "Claude" in a brief cameo in the series' later game, ''[[Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas]]''; because of this name he is theorized to be [[Claude (Grand Theft Auto)|Claude Speed]] from ''[[Grand Theft Auto 2]]''. # {{note|Multiplayer}} While the game lacks official support for multiplayer, user-made [[Mod (computer gaming)|mods]] such as ''[[Multi Theft Auto]]'' enable players to play ''Grand Theft Auto III'' online against each other. ==References==

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