THE CLASSIC that is Grand Theft Auto III (GTA) is now out for IOS and Android mobile devices. We've taken some time to have a play and here are our thoughts.
We've downloaded and installed the £3.23 app on the HTC Flyer but you can also download the game for Apple's Igadgets for £2.99. The app is an 18MB download but when you open it for the first time you're presented with a further 431MB worth of files to download.
It's slightly hard to believe that the game was initially released 10 years ago for the Sony Playstation 2. It was the first in the series to leave behind the birds eye view and move to a 3D environment.
When the game starts the memories come flooding back and the game looks and feels like it did all those years ago. If the visuals don't jog your memory then the old radio stations surely will. We were impressed with how well it ran on our tablet. providing a smooth frame rate and decent resolution.
The story is just like it was and you can bound around Liberty City taking on missions or just drive around taking in the scenery whilst running down the odd pedestrian and giving the police a reason to chase you.
We we're highly sceptical about playing GTA III on a touchscreen interface prior to launch, after being so used to either a mouse and keyboard or console controller. However, Rockstar Games has done a great job of optimising the game for the touchscreen.
When on foot you can touch the screen anywhere on the far left to start using the joystick and the remaining buttons are on the right, such as jump and attack. This means you don't end up with your finger in the wrong position, which can be frustrating when the virtual joystick is fixed. Touching the middle of the screen allows you to adjust the camera view.
When driving a vehicle, the left and right steering buttons appear in the bottom left of the screen and the accelerator and brake are on the right. We found it a little hard to get used to driving because the steering is on the sensitive side but we got more used to it as time went on, and you end up needing the sensitivity with the kind of stunts you need to pull in GTA.
You can select to use your devices accelerometer if it has one. Unfortunately this would only work properly in portrait mode on our HTC Flyer, which is hardly ideal when the game is displayed in portrait. Rockstar Games has also added device support for selected USB controllers, although we haven't been able to try any out.
Whilst GTA V is still on the way, this is a great way to fill the time until it arrives and enjoy some nihilistic joyrides, random mayhem and thoughtless rampages in Rockstar Games' virtual world. µ
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