Product Type: Take 2 PC games
Newest Review: ... fun to fans of the original. It's fair to say that GTA2 copies the successful formula of the first game for all its worth; there isn't mu... more
Grand Theft Auto 2 (PC)
Member Name: defiler
Grand Theft Auto 2 (PC)
Date: 14/04/01, updated on 14/04/01 (295 review reads)
Advantages: Many elements of the original have been improved, more freedom over what you do
Disadvantages: Too similar to the original to provide enjoyment to everyone
The main highlight of the original game was its originality, there were no other games that really let you have the freedom of movement throughout a city mixed with the crime theme. Now though the theme has been copied with a few other games as well as being seen in the original and when this game came along it was nothing original at all therefore interest in it was lower. Mix this in with the fact that it really is just a slightly improved version of the original and only big fans of the original or people who haven't played the original game at all really have an interest in it.
I myself was a big fan of the original however I still wasn't tempted to pay the full price for it, when I finally did buy it (for £20) I wasn't disappointed. While the game is not really that different to the original, it does make some changes that (to me at least) made it more fun to play.
The game offers freedom over what you do, while there is a target to reach you can do this any way you want. If you don't want to do any missions then there is nothing to make you do them and instead just drive around the city in cars and do what you want, however you are unlikely to reach your target this way. The fact that you "can" do what you want really does make you feel far more free in the game, personally I involve a mix of doing missions to increase the bonus multiplier and then simply driving around the city creating as much carnage as possible.
In the original game you had 3 cities to explore, each of these with 2 seperate sets of missions. GTA2 changes this and puts you in a single city, however this city is much larger and has to be split into 3 parts
(giving you the same number of stages). As you progress through each of the stages the next one gets tougher with the police getting better, missions getting tougher and targets getting higher. Personally I found that any of the stages provides a suitable difficulty with later ones just being harder to complete. The 3 areas are: downtown, industrial & residential, the names do reflect the type of buildings you will see there, however other than the appearence and layout of the levels there aren't huge differences between them.
This game is all about respect (apparently anyway). Basically there are 3 gangs in each area of the city, in order to attempt missions for one of these gangs you need to have their respect however this will likely anger another of the gangs.
Usually what happens is that angering gang a will please gang b, angering gang b will please gang c and angering gang c will please gang a, this basically means that at any time (except at the very beginning) you will have 1 or 2 gangs who like you and 1 or 2 gangs who will attack you on sight.
Having high respect for a gang means that you can freely walk through their area of the map and attempt the tougher missions, having low respect means that you will be shot on sight and having extremely low respect will mean specialists from the gang will try and kill you as quickly as possible when seen.
While there are certainly more weapons than in the original GTA I would say that most of the additions don't really add anything to the game, the original worked because of it's simplicity and the extra range of weapons to me just took something away from the game. Many of the weapons are easy enough to use (shotgun, machine gun, pistol) wheras some of the others can take a bit of getting used to (molokov cocktails for example), due to this the most common weapon you will use is one that can shoot as much as possible against polic
e/civilians/gangs and one that does high damage against vehicles.
In addition to personal weapons, cars can now get 2 weapons. These are a gun or oil, the gun allows you to shoot in front of you and easily destroy vehicles and kill people, the oil is meant to make vehicles behind you slip. The gun is often limited in availability so that you won't constantly use them on every vehicle you can get and the oil seems very underpowered (or maybe I just can't use it right).
In a way these are improved, in a way they are downgraded. The game is set in the (near) future, as such most of the cars aren't really recognisable as cars that exist today (because with it being in the future the cars "don't" exist today). One of the fun parts of the original GTA was that you could identify what each car was meant to be, despite its different name, taking this away from the game doesn't really seem a good thing.
How vehicles are improved is that there are a few good new types of vehicle that are fun to use, as well as this how you control the vehicle seems better and vehicles that are supposed to be slow and hard to use really do seem this way.
Much improved over the original, in my opinion it was far too easy to get away from the police in GTA. Similarly to the original you have different levels of how wanted you are, this starts with just getting more police sent after you however after you really start to get dangerous you will get a SWAT team, FBI and finally the army after you.
Rather than confront you with the most difficult police immedietely the highest level of "wanted status" is detemined by the part of the city you are, stage 1 will only allow you to get normal police and a SWAT team, stage 2 will add the FBI and stage 3 will add the army. This prevents you from being overwhelmed from the start and helps to slowly increase the difficulty as you progres
s through the game.
As well as just having more than 1 type of police the game also makes existing police more intelligent, they will try to ram you off roads, follow you in places they normally wouldn't and have 2 police per car (rather than the quite unbelievable 1 in the original). Overall when the police are after you, you really have to be much more careful than you had to be in GTA.
By finishing certain parts of the game you can gain a bonus stage, these tend to be fun modes of play that have very simple goals but ones that can be improved on with practice. An example of this is the first bonus game you get, in this you have guns for your cars and have to destroy as many ice cream vans as you can, as you progress you get more police after you and more wrecked carnage on the road and as your time limit ticks down you become more and more frantic to destroy the next van to get a time extension. Overall these bonus games are nice additions to the game.
One of the most fun parts of the game is that you can set your own difficulty, if you want to work slowly through the missions being careful not to anger the police you can do, on the other hand you may want to rush through the missions while being chased by hoards of police. Both of these options are available meaning that anyone who wants a good challenge can get it while people who prefer to take a game slowly and carefully can also do this.
The difficulty overall though (if you take an average route) is a bit above average, some of the missions that you attempt can be extremely tough and there is often no way of telling how difficult a mission will be until you have tried it once.
The missions themselves are split into 3 difficulties, the more difficult the mission the higher the reward, the more likely to anger other gangs and the higher the respect you require with the gang you are attempting the mission for. Person
ally I tend to do as many easy missions as possible to increase my bonus multiplyier a bit then go onto the tougher missions to amplify the rewards even more.
This game is definetely themed towards adults, I personally wouldn't have found this game offensive when I was younger however I'm sure many parents wouldn't like their children playing this game. This content comes mainly in the form of strong language (from people talking to you in missions and voices of civilians/radio) and the strong theme of violence and crime in the game, you will be told to do anything from kidnap to torture to dealing drugs to murder in this game so anyone easily offended should stay away.
Control of vehicles is improved over the original, vehicles handle much more like they should do. A vehicle is not always easy to control, however this is usually because it is meant to be difficult rather than being a problem with the game itself, cars that are meant to be easy to control really do handle very well and you get the feeling that much study has been done into how to make the cars easy to control.
Controlling your character is identical to the original, I have no complaints but it's nothing than any other game made couldn't really do.
Music is certainly implemented well with the idea of giving you various radio stations, you can change these stations any time you are in a car and the range means that if you hate the music that is currently on you can soon change it, unfortunatly many of these stations in a particular part of the city will be of a similar theme and if you don't like one you may not like any of them. The music itself is of generally a high quality, but it really does depend on you liking that genre of music and if you don't you may find yourself switching it off.
Sounds are quite well done too, with strange adverts on the radio, realistic c
ar sounds (if perhaps slightly exagerrated at times) and various other sounds that really add to the game (such as civilians insulting you when you nearly run them over) the sound is really done well.
This game is now on budget and can be bought for £9.99 (probably cheaper at various places). The cheapest I have personally seen is at MVC for £8.99.
This game can also be downloaded for free from freeloader.com, this version isn't identical to the original but the only things missing are the things that would take hours to download (such as some of the movie files). This version is easily worth the download and if you have this there is no point at all in purchasing the game.