The rise and fall of GTA 3: A look back at the game that almost ended the franchise

Grand Theft Auto has become one of the most important IPs in the video game industrycompeting at the highest level and with nothing to envy Super Mario or Pokemon. The next title in the franchise, GTA VIis one of the most anticipated of the last decade, and its last major release made history as the second best-selling game in history, behind only him Minecraft.

But What makes GTA so special? There are many elements that characterize this saga and make it unique in the industry. But to better understand the idiosyncrasy Grand Theft Auto, from Rockstar and why it has achieved the success and passion of today’s public, we have to go back a little further. Specifically, until the late 1990s, when the developer company revolutionized the video game industry GTA III.

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Grand Theft Auto 3 is revolutionizing the video game industry

Although there are many notable GTA titles, and from San Andreas to vice city there are all sorts of storiesCities and game modes that marked the importance of the saga, GTA III was a before and after in the industry. It was the first game in the franchise to go 3D, and aside from its flawless story and mechanics, it was an almost unprecedented graphical revolution.

GTA 3 came out in 2001 after that rock star north (formerly known as DMA Design Limited) worked on the game for four years starting in 1997. In the middle of development grand theft auto 2which came out in 1999 and was also a huge success, Sam Houser’s team took on the difficult challenge of creating it the first game of the franchise in 3D.

GTA III had to be open world too, and the intention is for players to explore the city freely. Beyond that, however, Houser also wanted to include a main story and side missions to keep players engaged in the game.

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With so many new ingredients to incorporate, you can imagine what the development of the game was like. Houser recalled this in an interview with The Guardian The game went through a number of major changes prior to its release. The team had to work hard to create a city that feels authentic and alive, balancing the gameplay between open-world freedom and a solid main storyline.

However, the biggest challenge for the development team was the controversy surrounding the game. Grand Theft Auto 3 was the first game in the series to use 3D graphics, which allowed the series to depict violence and explicit sexual content much more openly. Dozens of critics and parents’ associations rejected the game, arguing that it encourages violence and crime among young people.

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The most controversial GTA game

With the release of GTA III, there was an outcry in an unprecedented way. There have already been violent precedents like Mortal Kombatwhich also had its history of complaints and criticism– but Grand Theft Auto 3 was something unprecedented: you had absolute freedom to commit crimes as you pleased.

The controversy surrounding the game reached its climax when it was revealed that two teenagers in Alabama (USA) had murdered one man and injured another after playing the game. The press blamed Rockstar Games for the crimesand it was one of the most memorable moments in the industry that portrayed video games as a precursor to youth violence.

Effect GTA: Controversia y Grand Theft Auto |

However, Rockstar Games denied any responsibility for the crimes. The company argued that the game does not encourage violence and that adult players are responsible for their own actions. Additionally, The two teenagers in Alabama were found to have mental health issuesa point overlooked by the press but which made it clear that these children, GTA or not GTA, could have committed crimes as well.

Against this background Critics quickly accused the game of glorifying violence and crime. And in the UK, GTA III has been banned in some stores. But despite the controversy, Grand Theft Auto 3 continued to sell well and became one of the most popular games of its time.

Grand Theft Auto's most controversial moments |  the geek

A plot that fits the game

The clear gameplay and its Freedom to explore the city, steal cars and complete side missions made it a hit with gamers. Undoubtedly, it soon became a huge hit with critics and audiences alike. The game has received very positive reviews since its launch, which has boosted its sales. And while it’s ugly to admit, the controversy has also been good for the game to reach more people curious about this extreme game.

One of the key aspects of its success was the architecture of liberty city. Based on New Yorkthis was the first time the American metropolitan area was reflected in such detail, although we’d have to wait until GTA IV to see it in its full glory.

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The story of GTA III revolves around Claude, a career criminal who is arrested in a bank robbery and sentenced to 10 years in prison. When he was transferred to prison his convoy is attacked and Claude is freed by gangsters.

as a reward Claude is hired by the crime boss Salvatore Leone is supposed to do various dirty jobs in Liberty City. But as he progresses through the jobs, Claude becomes embroiled in a gang war taking place around town, leading him into dozens of scrapes in his busy personal life, with his girlfriend Catalina – a ruthless criminal with many secrets – as the catalyst. is getting muddy.

Characters like corrupt police chief Ray Machowski and Yardie gang leader King Courtney are some of the key elements of the plot and even appear in later guest appearances in various Rockstar games. Thanks to the company’s titanic efforts Liberty City rises in this title as one of the busiest and most dangerous cities in video game history.

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Another key aspect of Grand Theft Auto 3’s success was its soundtrack. The game featured a variety of fictional radio stations playing songs from a variety of music genres, from hip-hop to classic rock to electronic music. The music of the game was commendable, and has become a clear emblem of the saga experience. Leaving the car radio on has never been so satisfying.

GTA III was one of the titles that not only laid the foundation for Grand Theft Auto, but for the modern video game. The current sandboxes would be incomprehensible without their influence and thanks to the work of Rockstar we have quickly seen how the saga has been able to evolve in a wide variety of titles, up to the future GTA VI, whose release could come in 2025.


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