This is a 10 year old classic crime drama action driving game. At its core it is two types of game, a driving and an action game. The driving is simple, easy and a lot of fun. One button to go forward, one to go backward, directional pad left and right to steer, a button to get out and so on. The action part is simple as well, directional pad to run, hold one button to take aim with a gun and another to shoot. There is a jump, run and a button to get into vehicles.
Grand Theft Auto 3 is a mission based game yet it is very open world / sandbox. You take on one mission at a time, anything from driving someone from point A to B to slaying a gang or killing someone. Needless to say this is a violent game (guns, blood, car slaughter) with harsh language, drinking and so on. The missions in this game are relatively simple compared to future Grand Theft Auto games like Vice City and San Andreas. Missions are given by characters that are easy to find. The voice acting is good and your character has no voice, so the missions are mostly being ordered around. When you’re not in a mission, you can take side missions like driving a taxi, vigilante in a cop car and driving an ambulance.
The random fun comes from the sandbox like world. When you commit crimes your wanted level raises, when you have a higher wanted level different forces chase after you. Police, swat, FBI, and the army. Traffic patterns, pedestrians and gangs all contribute to the random chaos that can add to the excitement and enjoyment of your missions or even walking around.
There are a few types of weapons, pistols, shotguns, explosives and rifles. But you can only hold one weapon of each type at a time. The vehicles are nice and you can only drive four wheeled vehicles, which is fine, but if you played Vice City before this… it is a step backward.
In all, this game is a good game and at the time it was fantastic, but then Vice City and San Andreas came out that surpass this game by leaps and bounds. GTA 3 doesn’t have the personality, charm, licensed music and fun as Vice City or San Andreas. The challenge seems to be more difficult and less fun than those two games as well especially once you get the gangs angry at you.