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Grand Theft Auto III - Definitive Edition

Grand Theft Auto III (GTA3) is a game that made history for GTA in the fact that it was the first 3D game in the GTA series. With Rockstar remaking the game along with two other titles, I wanted to try out these games and happened to pick up the trilogy while on sale.

I should note that I have not played the original GTA3 but after playing this game. I have no prior knowledge of the game, except for a few bits or pieces. The only GTA game that I have played is GTA5, so I will be comparing my experiences with the game and the other two but not with some of the mechanics that both games have. You will learn why when I talk about them in the review on certain things.  I also want to clarify that I do have certain opinions about this game, which will remain present for the other two remakes when I review them.

Pros and Cons


The story is decent

Fun open-world gameplay

Amazing soundtrack

Chatterbox was really fun to listen too


You are limited in what you can do in Liberty City

The game can get difficult at times for unnecessary reasons

You lose all of your weapons when dying outside of missions

Game lags when pausing to look at the map

The game lags sometimes due to your internet connection via online DRM

There are bugs and some texture glitches


The story starts out with Claude and his girlfriend, who are robbing a bank with a few other people. However, as soon as Claude is about to leave, his girlfriend Catalina betrays him and shoots him, knocking him out. After that, he is arrested, while crossing this bridge. The Colombian Cartel ambushes the police convoy to kidnap an Old Oriental Gentlemen. Claude survives and he and someone named 8-ball free themselves. A free man once again, Claude sets himself up on a path of revenge on his girlfriend for betraying him.

The story for GTA3 is nothing too special, although it is decent for what it’s presenting, although there are a few issues. That being with its characters, while they do have a few interesting personality traits going for some of them, they sometimes fall flat. Although some side characters do appear in some other GTA games, which is cool. However, I found the character development to be a little lacking, although overall, the story was decent.


One thing I want to give GTA3 credit over then in GTA5 is that you can explore the world immediately after the first chase scene. In GTA5, you had to play at least an hour of the game before you were able to explore. But in GTA3, you can do this almost immediately and that’s something I rather like about the game, mind you, you are very limited in what you can do but it’s still something I like. Now, I can’t be too harsh on GTA3’s gameplay too much as the game came out in 2001. So, I can’t complain about how clunky the shooting is and some of the other mechanics that the game has. Although to be fair, the shooting is not that bad, despite you being a sitting duck for the most part and auto aim being really bad. I do have some issues with the gameplay though that I will touch upon in a bit.

The game's physics is very arcade-like, and the cars can get destroyed very easily if you are not careful. They will explode no matter if they are upside down and will instantly kill you if you do not run away in time. I should also add that you do not regenerate health in this game either and can only replenish it with a hospital or a health kit. Overall, the gameplay is fun for what it can offer despite its age. However, I do have some issues I want to address now with the game that I want to point out.

GTA3 is limited in what you can do inside the city, unlike GTA5 where there was a ton to do. The contrast in the amount of activities between the two was very noticeable. Now that does not mean there isn’t stuff to do, there are a lot of side missions you can complete, and you will be rewarded for doing them. There is just not as much stuff to do outside of those missions.

But I can forgive GTA3 for that as the game is older, but something that did frustrate me is just how difficult the game can get on occasion with the amount of enemies you make and the missions. I’ll start off with one of these difficult missions, that being the mission Grand Theft Auto, for the people who have played the game, you know where I am going with this. For those that are new, well strap in because I am going to tell you why this mission is one of the worst.

Your job is to deliver these three cars for someone who has ties to the Yakuza. If any of the cars get damaged, you have to repair them at this garage that is near the drop-off. Now this may sound simple but there is one small issue, a very tiny issue. You’re on a time limit and you only have six minutes, so if any of the cars are damaged, repairing them more than once wastes time. Luckily, the cars you are meant to deliver are fast so there is that but getting there will be a bit hard as you will get slow-moving cars to reach that destination.

And that’s not it either, as the gangs you come across will get hostile to you the more actions you do later in the game. Especially this one gang that will get pump action shotguns, which will destroy your car in one shot if you happen to drive by any of them. This makes getting 100% compilation very difficult or next to impossible, depending on what you do in the game. So, make sure you do certain missions before attempting to do certain story missions.

Also, if you die at any point outside a mission, when you respawn at a hospital or a police station, you lose all your weapons. You can get a pistol and a submachine gun at the gun shop but that’s it, you will have to find the other weapons in the game.

Graphics and Performance

The art style for the remake is something that I am not too much of a fan of. GTA3 in its original look had this dark gritty theme to it. In this version, it feels like something you would see kids play and that’s a little odd because GTA is rated M. I hold this opinion for all of the remakes for the definitive edition and that won’t change for me. The character models look very weird and they just don’t look right sometimes, the original games had the look and feel much better. Looking at the models just doesn’t feel right, the originals were fine, so why screw them up here?

I tested the game on an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 3GB, AMD Ryzen 5 1500X Quad-Core Processor 3.50, and 16 GB of RAM, the game works fine if your internet is not a hassle. All of the remakes require an internet connection to play and if your internet is lagging, the game lags too. Which will screw you over on certain missions and make the game next to impossible to play. Also, if your internet is lagging and you happen to fail a mission, the cutscene also lags and if you pause to look at the map, the game also lags. Although the map issue is actually not tied to the internet, it just happens in general. So, on top of the game having online DRM, you are pretty much in a battle if your game lags or not, depending on your internet. Although you not being able to play the game offline is already a big enough issue as is. Except for San Andrass that does not have it for some reason but whatever.

There are also some bugs and texture glitches that the game has as well, the citizens will actually go out of their way and fight each other sometimes for no reason. Although to be fair, this is funnier than anything.

The soundtrack on the other hand was actually very nice, the songs that are in were great and it felt like very early 2000’s. Though, not all of the songs made it back into the remake, although this is not on Rockstar, licensing issues came into play, so I can’t fault them for that.

The sound design is also fine, and the voice acting is also good and not something I hate, it sounds very 2000s-like so the developers got that down.

Final Verdict

This is the first remaster I have played in the trilogy and so far it's the worst one out of the three. I have yet to play the other two, which I will get to, eventually. In my opinion, the original version of GTA3 is the better one to play, although it’s no longer available on Steam due to Rockstar taking the original version down. In other words, this is really the only way to play GTA3, unless you emulate the original or own a copy of the original game.

Do I recommend playing the GTA3 remake though? Well, if you get this game on sale with the other two games, then yes, I do. Just be prepared for a buggy game that Rockstar likely won’t fix because they are focusing on GTA6. Although it is in a better state than it was back when it first came out.


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