April 27, 1998

Entertainment

Computer Game Review

Grand Theft Auto

by Rick Brewster
  
   In Grand Theft Auto, you get to be a criminal. As part of an organized crime ring, you'll steal cars, murder rival gang members, and traffic illegal items. The whole thing has a sort of old-Eddie Murphy-movie ("Beverly Hills Cop") feel to it, except that you're the bad guy! This is one game you should avoid if you're easily offended.
  
   I should start by saying that this game is fun.You don't even have to complete any of the missions; you can go on your own little crime spree just for fun. The only requirement to pass each level is to reach a specified score (1 to 5 million points). Completing the assigned missions will get you there faster, but it's not always the most fun way to do so. Just seeing how long you can outrun the cops is a thrill. They're smart, too. They'll set up roadblocks and will do everything in their power to stop you, including getting out of their squad cars and chasing after you on foot. At that point, you can shoot the cop and steal his car! Not for the faint of heart.
  
   One of the coolest parts of this game is the variety of things you can do. Almost any car you see can be stolen. Not just parked cars, either -- if you really want that Dodge Viper driving around, run over to it, tap Enter, and your character will pull the driver out, punch him in the face, and jump in the car. Each car handles differently. A school bus accelerates slowly and turns even worse, while that Dodge Viper you just grabbed can zip through the back alleys like there's no tomorrow.
  
   I only have one small, tiny gripe with this game: traffic jams. Sometimes all you want to do is grab a fast car and go joyriding. However, at times there is so much traffic you end up spending most of your time pushing other cars out the way, damaging your own car in the process. Also, the graphics are a bit low-tech, but I prefer to look at it in a positive light. Since the game doesn't use a plethora of 3D effects (ala Quake 2), the system requirements are amazingly low. I've seen people with lowend Pentium systems running the game acceptably.
  
   If you can stand the "mature" content of the game, I highly recommend you buy this game. Now.
   Created by: DMA Interactive
   Publisher: ASC Games (www.ascgames.com)
   Category: Arcade
   Price: $45
   System Requirements: Pentium 75, 16MB RAM, 80MB hard drive space
   Reccomended: Pentium 100, sound card, 24MB RAM for 3Dfx mode
   Highs: it's addictive, it's fun, and it'll keep you coming back for more; low system requirements means fun for all
   Lows: occasionally confusing navigation; traffic jams
   Content Rating: R for ludicrous amounts of violence, swearing, illegal activity
   Star Rating: 5 out of 5 stars