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Old News - October 2001 Contents

10-30-01
10-29-01

10-26-01
10-25-01
10-24-01
10-23-01

10-19-01
10-17-01
10-16-01
10-15-01

10-12-01
10-11-01
10-10-01
10-08-01
10-05-01
10-02-01
10-01-01
Tuesday - October 30, 2001 <11:40 PM CST> <Top>

GTA3 Cheats Are Here!   <11:40 PM CST - schu>
For all you people out there just itching to cheat, go to Gamewinners.com for a partial GTA3 cheat list.  Now then, I don't think they have uncovered all the cheats yet, but according to a friend at Rockstar, the forthcoming editions of Liberty Tree will have cheats hidden in them.

***Possible Spoiler***

Furthermore, Insane2757 says that the following URLs are hidden in the game... www.dma-design.com/GTA3/bonus.htm and www.dma-design.com/GTA3/secret.htm

According to Insane2757, one is by Capital Auto sales and the other is somewhere in Portland.  Those pages are not up yet, but the current rumor is that they will go live on tomorrow.  Yes I know this is hard to read, I did it purposely to avoid having anyone who doesn't want to know this stuff from reading it on accident.  Highlight it with your mouse to make it easier to read.

Thanks to Insane2757, Andy H, OutForBlood, Dave Walsh, LeX, FiReStArTeRo0o, Richard S, James15, and MrKnifey for sending in codes and URLs.

Upcoming Strategy Guide   <11:40 PM CST - schu>
I wrote the good people at Rockstar to see what the current status the cheats is.  I wasn't given any, of course :) , but they did tell me that IGN will be posting a GTA3 strategy guide on November 1st and it will be updated all month long.

  

Monday - October 29, 2001 <8:00 PM CST> <Top>

GTA3 Is #2?   <8:00 PM CST - schu>
Yeah yeah, well at least it beat DMC...  I guess I'm going to have to go and rent GT3 and see what everyone it talking about, I'm not much into straight racing games where you can't get out of the car and fu*k sh*t up.  Sure it's pretty, but can you run down a senior citizen at 80 MPH and then jump out of your car and gun down all of the witnesses?  Anyway, if you're wondering what I'm talking about, check out the results of the IGN Hottest Games of 2001 poll thing...  Apparnetly, GameSpot thinks differently, based on site traffic, GTA3 is currntly at the top of the charts.  Thanks to Insane2757, BigRed, and Whes007 (GTA3 World).

GameSpot UK Reviews GTA3   <8:00 PM CST - schu>
GameSpot UK posted their review for GTA3, giving it a score of 9.7.  I think this quote pretty much sums it up:

"As of now Grand Theft Auto III is the best game available for the PS2 and if you have copies of Driver, Crazy Taxi, Silent Scope or Syphon Filter to trade in we guarantee you won't miss them once you arrive in Liberty City."

  
GTA3 Release Dates & Locations
  <8:00 PM CST - schu>
So far it looks like GTA3 is out just about everywhere.  Check the list for locations confirmed by other fans.  

Roisin sent in another update from her EB location in Australia, here is her report:

We've fufilled about 75% of the orders by 1:30pm Monday. We 'should' have some more coming in tommorrow and I'm getting phone calls every second hour asking when its coming out. Most people have removed their orders from 'Metal Gear Solid II' and 'Twisted Metal Black' to get a hold of the game. You maybe want to make a web site about MGS II and ease my misery? At the moment I'm picking up the phone saying 'we'll have GTA3 some time this week' to every caller. Not to mention every irate second customer yelling at me since its out everywhere else too :P

I didn't post all the reports because it seemed rather redundant, regardless, I'd like that thank Roisin, dElAvA, Nicholas, Steven, and KANE79 for all of their contributions.

Liberty City Inquirer   <8:00 PM CST - schu>
ZMän posted the first issue of his online Liberty City newspaper, The Liberty City Inquirer.  

GTA3 Tips & Tricks   <8:00 PM CST - schu>
If I can ever rip myself away from this game I'll start adding these to the appropriate section, this is a pretty busy week for me, so it might not happen until next week.  If you have any spoiler reservations, please don't read these, I wouldn't call them spoilers, but the more I play the game the harder it gets for me to spot a true spoiler :).  Here are today's tips:

  • If you listen to GameRadio in GTA3 you'll occasionally hear them annouce the URL, www.hiphophoneys.com.  Striderhiryu2557 went to take a look and the site does exist.  It is not a site created by Rockstar Games, but it does exist and it is of an adult nature.
  • It turns out that you can pick up a hooker in the game.  Someone mentioned that a strategy guide mentioned it so I thought I'd give it a try.  They didn't say how so I just figured it out based on my past experience picking up hookers (yes, I'm kidding... no really).  I'm not sure if it requires a specific car, but I used the Esperanto since it looked like a pimp-mobile to me.  Just pull up next to the hooker of your choice and honk the horn, they should then walk up to your passenger side door.  If you wait a few seconds she will get in.  Then drive somewhere secluded, and well, use your imagination from there.  No I haven't tried this in first person view but I don't think there is really anything to see.  You then get an extra 25 health (so you can get up to 125 health total) but it costs you money.
  • cHOAS sent this in but I haven't checked it out yet.  "Hey, this is a little something I've noticed while playing GTA3!  First you go to Staunton Island, then you go to that internet cafe (the place where you can smash through the glass to get in), after you do that you gotta go to the two comps by the stairs, then look through first person mode at the comps! You'll see something very familiar ;)."
  • Here are a few tips from illspirit on melee combat, "I think hits and kicks might have to do with how hard you hit the button.  Also, you can creep at slow speeds in car by holding down the x button very lightly."
  • If you don't mind spoilers, Terran Redneck XII found a message board for you, click here for the GameFAQ's GTA3 message board.  Whes007 (GTA3 World) also mentioned GameFAQs.com, apparently they have posted a stategy guide you can view here.
  • Tanks got you down?  Here is a GTA2 tip from LoneWolf that works in GTA3, "If you actually manage to live long enough so you have the Army after you, you've probably found that the Tanks are pretty much invulnerable to bullets. Try and find a tight alleyway, where the Tank has to fight to get at you. While it's trying to get into the alley, pelt it with molotov cocktails (pretty much the exact same way to beat the Tanks in GTA2). Pretty soon, the Tank will be set on fire, and will eventually explode."
  • inv noticed that if you tap the L3 button while driving an emergency vehicle it will turn the sirens on.  I think I may have mentioned that before actually.  Anyway, after you have the sirens on you can hold the L3 button to emit different siren sounds.  The sirens should make the cars in your path move out of your way.
  • stuntwill found a way to pack more cars in the ShoreSide Vale garage, here is his tip.  "To [fit more cars in the ShoreSide Vale garage] do this, you can either park the 3rd car in front of the garage door (which isn't opening because you already have 2 cars in there), then get out really fast, which causes the door to open because you're near it. After it starts opening, you get back in your car quickly and drive through the door before it closes again.  Another way to do it is to block the door with a car you already have in the garage, then drive your 3rd car inside while the door shakes around trying to close. However, this doesn't work as well because the car jamming the door will disappear if it leaves your field of vision, closing the door in the process."
  • Here are a few from Insane2757:
    "Kill Frenzys/Rampages can be passed more easily if you jump on a car that is not moving. This way, the people with baseball bats cannot hit you, and peds cannot punch you. (That is, until you jump off the car.)"

    "Taxi missions can be MUCH MUCH easier if you do them in a row, because the extra time accumulates after each drop-off. Also, the green blip isn't the one YOU HAVE TO GET, you can drive past them, and someone else will want a ride."

    "Missions that deal with taking out a certain person is very easy with the Sniper Rifle. It can be bought in the Ammunation in Stuation Island for $10,000. You get 20 or 25 shells, AND IT'S WORTH EVERY CENT."
  • This is a definite spoiler from Stom4571.  "OK......after you beat the game (all the required missions), go to Phil Cassedy's army surplus.  When you get there, there should be a tank next to all the sand bags!  When I went there to buy a rocket launcher, it was there, and even after I (accidendtally) rolled it over (dont ask).  I went back to the surplus store and it was there again......cool huh?
  • This might be a spoiler if don't know of all the power-ups in the game.  BadBoys1987 sent this in.  "Hey i found this cool combo.  OK, first get the pill power-up, then get the Uzi out the run up to a ped and punch him.  He should go flying in the air, and while he is in the air hold R1 and blast away."

  
New GTA Sites
  <8:00 PM CST - schu>


Site Updates
  <8:00 PM CST - schu>

  • Roisin, the EB employee in Australia is actually a She, not a He...  Sorry about the earlier update Roisin.  I've made the appropriate changes.
  • Really, I'm trying to update more quickly but this game makes time disappear like you wouldn't believe.  Someone emails me a question, and if I can't remember what the answer is I play the game to figure it out.  Four hours later I realize that I found the answer three hours and fifty minutes ago, leaving me wondering where all the other time went.

 

Friday - October 26, 2001 <7:30 PM CST> <Top>

New GTA3 Videos   <7:30 PM CST - schu>
Well I said I'd get to the new GameSpot vids so here they are.  The first five are from Gamespot, the last two are from GamesTicker.  The last two videos require the DivX codec and the sound wasn't working, at least it wasn't on my machine.  Thanks to Whes007 (GTA3 World) for sending URLs to all the videos.

Click To View
Download (4.3 MB)
This video shows an insane stunt bonus performed in a Cheetah.  The car hits the jump, launches into the air, and does a full 180 degree turn and lands backwards.
  
Click To View
Download (5.8 MB)
This vid starts in the middle of a police chase with the main character jacking a yellow van.  The end is the best part.  As you can see to the left, a police car overshoots the van, hits a ramp, and goes flying.
  
Click To View
Download (4.9 MB)
As you can see at the left, there is a body in the trunk.  This vid takes place during mission where you're disposing of the body by taking the car to the crusher.
  
Click To View
Download (5 MB)
Not much to this one.  Mainly just cruising around the city in a Diablo at high speed.  For a brief while you'll notice one of the other Diablo gang members in pursuit.
  
Click To View
Download (6.1 MB)
This movie shows off the respray shop.  The driver pulls a beat up Hummer into the shop and comes out with a new coat of paint and a full repair job.
  
Click To View
Download (3 MB)
This one is pretty boring, mainly just shows how you can can bag one of the few sports cars in the industrial section of town.  In order to view this video properly you'll need to install the Divx codec.
  
Click To View
Download (13 MB)
This video shows the main character getting a mission from Joey and then going to AmmuNation to collect the gun needed for the mission.    In order to view this video properly you'll need to install the Divx codec.

GTA3 Release Dates & Locations   <7:30 PM CST - schu>
I haven't heard from anyone from the UK lately so I assume GTA3 has been released there.  

According to S3KTOR and KANE79, GTA3 has been released in Australia.  A few of the locations they mentioned are Top Shop, dStore, and Tandy.  Those locations are all online stores, KANE79 says that most local retailers are saying they will have it in stock on Monday or Tuesday.

Andy C. sent in an interesting conversation he had with a K-Mart employee here in the US.

I have a funny story to tell you, it is what a clerk told me over the phone about GTA3. I had called all around town trying to find stores that had it, Media Play, Wal-Mart, Target, Best Buy, and finally K-Mart. When I had called K-Mart I asked the clerk if they had it in. She told me to wait while she typed it in, as she was typing she asked me again what it was called "Grand...... Theft..... Auto..... 3" I responded. She then stopped typing and said, and I quote, "I'm sorry our computer doesn't say that we are getting it in today.. And I highly doubt we would ever sell a game with such a title.." *Click* I thought the way she worded it was funny. Oh well. I ended up getting the game at FuncoLand for $5 more than any place else."


GTA3 Cheats, Tips & Tricks
  <7:30 PM CST - schu>
Once again I DO NOT KNOW ANY GTA3 CHEATS!  However I know where you can get some GameShark codes.  Alfadog sent in this URL where you can find some GameShark codes and Striderhiryu sent in this URL where you can find a lot of tips, some of which are spoilers.  Richard S. informed me that this thread at GameShark is still worth checking.  Apparently someone on there is trying to come up with a GameShark code for infinite health.  Here are a few general tips:

  • The side missions in the police car, ambulance, fire truck, and taxi are more than just a fun diversion, you can earn rewards back at your safe house if you do enough of them.
  • The hidden packages are another way to get rewards in the game.  Every time you find ten of them, something new will appear at your safe house.  At the end of this list I posted a list of rewards sent in by MrKnifey and zach.  They are posted in grey, just in case someone out there doesn't want to accidentally read the list.
  • Ok, there definitely are ATMs in the game.  I'm not sure if you can use them, but I do know that peds can.  Gun down people around the ATM for a better payoff.
  • If you don't want to wait for the items at your safe house to respawn, try going into your safe house, then when it asks you to save, just hit cancel. When you come back out they should all be there again.
  • If you need a police car there are a few ways to jack them successfully. The first method is to try jacking the car from the driver's side, then run to the passenger side and get in when the cop gets out.  You can also try jacking the cop car from the passenger side, then run around some cars and peds to confuse the cop.  Then jump in his car before he can get back to you.
  • Stand in the street and wait for a car to come up behind you, the jump on the hood.  The car will drive around the city while you stand on top.  It's not always easy to stay on and if the cops are looking for you they will ram the car and try to knock you off.
  • Badboys1987 mentioned that if you hit the CIRCLE button fast enough in melee combat you can perform limited combos.  Mainly a punch followed by a kick to the face.  Personally I think it is all related to distance, because I tried this about twenty times and I could never quite get the same combo twice, even when I did the exact same thing over and over again.
  • zach sent in a rather complex and dangerous way to get a tank, read on and find out how.  "My second tip is how to get an army tank, to get one max out your warning level and steel it when the military come for you, its easier if you have at least 50 hidden packages then go to your house in the second part of Liberty City and collect all the items, then go up and shoot pedestrians, and cops with your Uzi’s in front of the ally that goes to your house until you get 5 warning stars. Then jump in a car and the FBI should be after you. You should blow up the FBI cars by drive by shooting them, its easier that way cause if you get out of your car they'll gun your ass down. After you blow up about 3 or 4 FBI cars you will have 6 warning starts, this is when the military come for you. Try to lure a tank down to your garage and try to get them to come out of the tank, then shoot them down, and if your lucky you can get their tank then drive it into your garage and save because it's fucking hard as hell to do, and once you've done it you won't want to do it again. I spent several hours trying to get one but I finally got one and its bad as hell and was well worth all the time spent getting it."

Thanks to Richard S., barry, MrKnifey, LoneWolf, zach, and Badboys1987.

Hidden Packages (replenishing item in hideout):

  • 10=handgun
  • 20=uzi
  • 30=grenades
  • 40=molotovs
  • 50=armor
  • 60=shotgun
  • 70=AK-47
  • 80=sniper rifle
  • 90=M16
  • 100=rocket launcher and $1,000,000

Vehicle Missions:

  • taxi=complete 100 taxi missions and a new taxi will be
    created!
  • ambulance=save 50 people and health powerups will be
    created at your hideout, save 100 people and
    adrenaline is created at your hideouts, complete
    ambulance level 16 and infinite run is awarded,
  • fire truck=complete 30 missions and the flame thrower
    is created at your hideouts.
  • police car or tank=kill 40 criminals and police bribes
    are created at your hideouts!


Crazy Sh*t
  <7:30 PM CST - schu>
Don't ask, just click!  OK, some of the stuff on this site isn't exactly intended for any of the younger readers out there, you have been warned.  Personally I don't know much about this site, but the Audio section has some pretty good stuff, try the British Telecom mp3 on there, from what I've heard, almost anyone living in the UK should really appreciate this one.  Other quality picks are the Ebonics lesson, StopNGo, Barney, and the ThunderCats Bloopers.

  

Thursday - October 25, 2001 <7:30 PM CST> <Top>

GameSpot Reviews GTA3   <7:30 PM CST - schu>
Gamespot posted their review of GTA3, giving it a rating of 9.6 (superb).  The review is two pages long and includes seventeen new screenshots, five new videos, and a video review.  I don't have time to get to the movies right now, but I'll work on getting some comments on them for tomorrow's update.  The new screenshots are posted here at G! starting on the twenty-ninth screenshot page.  There are some very nice shots in there, including shots of the new SWAT van and a nice overhead shot of Bush Stadium. Thanks to Whes007 (GTA3 World) for the email on this.

GameSpot UK's GTA3 Interview   <7:30 PM CST - schu>
GameSpot UK interviewed DMA's own, Leslie Benzies (GTA3's producer).  The interview is two pages long and gives some insight into the creation of GTA3.

GTA3 Release Dates & Locations   <7:30 PM CST - schu>
I'll keep updating on the release dates and locations as I hear new information.  For actual locations and URLs, check the update I posted yesterday, I will continue to alter that list as I hear more.

Netherlands:
Erik wrote in from the Netherlands and said that his local Free record shop was only getting eight copies, and he reserved their seventh copy, leaving one left.  The moral of the story, you better reserve it or buy it early in the morning if you want to play it on Friday.  I'd imagine that this same story will stand for all of Europe and Australia.  Obviously the larger the city you live in the better chance you stand of getting a copy.

Australia/New Zealand:
Roisin works at an EB in Australia and she is reporting that Australia and New Zealand should be selling GTA3 on Friday or possibly Saturday.  She also mentioned that if you don't reserve it will be very difficult to get a copy, apparently they have five or six new orders placed every day at his location.  I've also been getting some other conflicting reports from Australia, some say they've seen it on the shelf at EB, while others say it won't be out until November 2nd.  The November 2nd release date was sent in by troy who saw that date on the official Australian PS2 site and also heard the same from many retailers.  I suppose it's possible that some of the bigger software store chains will have it this Friday, while the smaller stores and the department stores might not see it until November 2nd.

Canada:
Sean is reporting that Toronto has a wealth of copies, his local EB and others are apparently well stocked.

UK:
I've added some new locations to the list...

Thanks to Erik, Roisin, BUStED, troy, Alfadog, Sean Daniels, JCronic, Andy, and Nicholas.

  
GTA3 Strategy Guide
  <7:30 PM CST - schu>
Insane2757 wrote in saying that the Brady Games strategy guide doesn't have any cheats, but it does have some other good stuff.  It's mainly a big book of spoilers, so if you want to find everything out for yourself, you'll want to avoid it.  If you want a road map through the game and don't want to experience any of the excitement of finding new things, then by all means, buy it...

GTA3 Cheats & Tips!   <7:30 PM CST - schu>
None have been released, so PLEASE STOP ASKING.  Trust me, if I knew any I'd post them in the GTA3 Tips & Cheats section.  I do have something for you GameShark owners out there though, check this thread at GameShark.com for some GameShark codes.  Thanks to Richard S. for finding that thread.

While I'm on that subject of tips & cheats, feel free to send in any tips you might have, if I have time I'll start building that section.  Please stick to general tips, I'd rather not post spoilers in there yet, mainly because I don't want to spoil the game for myself or others.  I'm working on an alternate solution where you can post spoilers with warnings.  Here are a few tips that have been sent in or that I've been using while playing (the last one is a possible spoiler).

  • Eric sent in the following tip that most of us used in GTA, "you should try out some of the old skool tricks in this new version. i.e. like causing a traffic jam in the middle of a huge intersection and then blowing everything up. Everything catches on fire and blow up in succession. It's awesome! we used to do that in GTA 1 and 2 cause it was the quickest and easiest way to get money to progress in the game. There's not much need to do this in GTA3 since much the progress is story driven but it's still cool. Plus, the city and its drivers and pedestrians all react in mayhem anytime there's a massive explosion like the ones you orchestrate."
  • Walking or driving around on the elevated rail tracks can give you a birds eye view and will help you track down hidden weaponry and power-ups.  JWeb sent in a more specific tip but believe me, its more fun to track this stuff down on your own.
  • If you played GTA, try some of the same stuff in GTA3, a lot of the same vehicle stunts still work in the same way (L1, the handbrake button, is your friend).
  • To perform at drive-by in GTA3 you must have an Uzi.  When you get into a car your weapon will automatically change to the Uzi, then you just hit the R2 or L2 buttons to change to a side view, and then hit the CIRCLE button to fire.  You can only do a driveby with the Uzi.
  • Hydraulics are only on certain cars, when you get into a car with Hydraulics it will tell you how to use them.  Basically you hold down L3 (the horn button/left analog stick) and then adjust tire height using the right analog stick.
  • *** Possible Spoiler *** Keep an eye on what people drop, some of the homeless people living in the tunnel behind 8-Ball's bomb shop drop some very useful items.  Also, some peds are richer than others, especially if they recently visited an ATM machine (no I don't know where it is or if it even exists, this was something the R* guys mentioned to me after I noticed that one ped dropped a lot of cash - if you find it, let me know)...

  
New GTA Sites
  <7:30 PM CST - schu>

   
Site Updates
  <7:30 PM CST - schu>
The new server move is going rather slow, apparently it's still being built so I'm not sure how soon the forums will be reopened, but I'll keep on them....

  

Wednesday - October 24, 2001 <9:00 AM CST> <Top>

Limited Edition GTA3 T-shirts   <9:00 AM CST - schu>
Rockstar Warehouse just started selling limited edition GTA3 T-shirts this morning.  My personal favorites are the white shirt and the navy shirt.  Get over to Rockstar Warehouse and check them all out.

Rockstar's GTA3 Giveaway Frenzy   <9:00 AM CST - schu>
Rockstar is holding a GTA3 contest in honor of GTA3's release.  Prizes include:

  • 5 GTA3 Baseball Bats
  • GTA3 T-Shirts
  • GTA3 Posters

To enter, just go to rockstargames.com/grandtheftauto3/contest and fill out the form.  Thanks to ElBazo (GTA Scraper) for posting on this.

GTA3 Release Dates & Locations   <9:00 AM CST - schu>
According to numerous Canadians, you should be seeing copies of GTA3 on shelves today, not on the 27th.  Everyone who wrote in from the UK said Friday is the day, both EB and Game were the only locations mentioned so far.  No word from Australia or New Zealand but I'd suggest calling around, it might be Friday there as well.  If you'd like to compare prices, try here or here.  They are both links to shopper.com, but one is a search for 'grand theft auto 3' and the other is for 'grand theft auto III'.  

The listing below shows what stores are reported to have GTA3, however just because the EB in Virginia has it, doesn't mean the one in Arizona will, nor does it mean it will be in stock, it's always best to call first.  Toys R Us here in Milwaukee sold out in a matter of hours, the guy who worked there told me he had to sell the copy he had reserved for himself.  I'm not sure about you, but if that was me I would have told the customer to go screw himself, they'd have to pry that copy of GTA3 out of my cold, dead hand.  If you live in the UK, I would highly suggest that you try and reserve a copy at your local software store to avoid getting screwed.

US (does not apply to all locations - other locations can be found here and here)

Canada (does not apply to all locations)

  • Best Buy
  • Electronics Boutique
  • MicroPlay

UK (does not apply to all locations)

Australia (does not apply to all locations)

Thanks to all the following people for their contributions to this list:  dElAvA, illspirit, James15, Nicholas, Ayatollah, DennyKoo, Richard S, Damnation, JWeb, Rich, Erik, Roisin, BUStED, troy, Alfadog, Sean Daniels, JCronic, Andy, Andy C, S3KTOR and KANE79.


GameSpot UK PlayTest - Part Four
  <9:00 AM CST - schu>
Gamespot continues their GTA3 playtest coverage with the fourth installation of their article.  This part mainly covers some of the ambient details in GTA3, including weather and peds.  This part also includes ten new screen shots, I've posted these shots on the twenty-ninth screen shot page.  If you haven't done so already, I also suggest you read the other three parts of their article, there are links to them in the headlines (above).  Thanks to Phil for the email on this.

Movies & MP3's @ GTA Scraper   <9:00 AM CST - schu>
ElBazo has three mp3s from GTA3 and a new movie on his site, GTA Scraper.  All the mp3s and the movie were taken from Play magazine and are online exclusively at GTA Scraper.

GTA3 Poster In PSM   <9:00 AM CST - schu>
The December issue of PSM includes a GTA3 poster showing lots of the caricatures from the game.  Thanks to Caustic for the email on this.

GTA3 Press Quotes   <9:00 AM CST - schu>
Rockstar sent out a newsletter with some GTA3 quotes from the press:

  • Stuff, November 2001
    GAME OF THE MONTH
    "The Grand Theft Auto series has always let you play bad guy across giant cityscapes. All the games feature realistic civilian behavior, insanely violent game play and steal-anything-on-wheels driving action. But now the living, breathing, belching city is rendered in brilliant over-the-shoulder 3-D vision."
  • MAXIM BLENDER, November 2001
    * * * * (FOUR STARS)
    "As you claw your way down the lurid ladder into the car theft underworld, bribing cops and back-stabbing gangland rivals (sometimes literally), missions develop progressively conflicted interests with constantly shifting alliances... Rather than creating and peddling lame sequels, game publisher Rockstar improves each version, and GTA3 represents the most marked advance in play and detail..."
  • IGN.com, October 22, 2001
    EDITORS' CHOICE AWARD
    9.6 / 10
    "Having taken advantage of PS2's new technology to expand and develop their vision, the makers of Grand Theft Auto 3 have created a complete videogame experience like few, if any, before it... The game is absolutely, insanely good, and is truly one of the best titles of the year, on PlayStation 2, or on any system... Grand Theft Auto 3 is a massive scale operation that just gets better and better as players dig into it."
  • ROLLING STONE: "A satisfying, sophisticated gaming experience"
  • IGN.com: "One of the most important games of the year." "Grand Theft Auto 3 expands the very idea of what a game has traditionally been."
  • PSM: "Frankly there aren't any other titles like it out there. Even if there were, I have a feeling that they couldn't even begin to compete."
  • EGM: "...People will be talking about this game for a long time to come"
  • PSE2: "One of the PS2's must have games of this year"
  • GAME INFORMER: "One of the most explosive titles ever to grace a home console."

New GTA Sites   <9:00 AM CST - schu>

  
Site Updates
  <9:00 AM CST - schu>

  • Just as I finished writing this my copy of GTA3 arrived.  The game includes a GTA3 poster with maps of the three different sections on the back, a manual, and of course the game itself.
  • About.com has a few GTA3 tips posted right here.  I'm not sure about all the tips, but at least some of them seem legit.  There are spoilers in there so don't go there if you want to discover everything for yourself.
  • Shaggsnasty is reporting that the strategy guide does not contain cheats, I'm not sure if this is true or not but I thought I should mention it, just in case someone was going to buy it mainly for the cheats.  I think Rockstar probably has some sort of deal worked out and we'll see the cheats either in a print mag or on IGN or something.
  • I changed the "Vote GTA3" link to read the "25 hottest games of 2001" instead of the "25 best games of 2001."  O.Krogius pointed out that IGN does a separate article later in the year about the BEST games of 2001, this vote is for the hottest/most anticipated games.

  

Tuesday - October 23, 2001 <9:00 AM CST> <Top>

Vote GTA3   <9:00 AM CST - schu>
IGN is holding a reader poll for the 25 best games of 2001, show your support and cast one of your votes for GTA3.  If you're still looking for something else to vote for, why not drop in a vote for State of Emergency as well :).  Thanks to Insane2757 for the link.

GTA3 Reviewed   <9:00 AM CST - schu>
Surprise, surprise, IGN is the first out the door with an online GTA3 review.  I bet you didn't see that one coming a mile away.  IGN gave GTA3 a score of 9.6 which is the second highest score ever awarded on IGN, tying it with Twisted Metal: Black and Devil May Cry, and beaten only by GT3.  Personally I think it deserved a 9.7 or 9.8, but that's just me :).  Here are some quotes that cover things the previews never covered, things that I was never allowed to mention, or just stuff that I thought you'd all find interesting:

"What creates an even larger sense of scale is that nearly everything can be explored. Adding to that, little things can be found in the most remote places. One hundred "secret packages" are located throughout Liberty City; and Slowdown pills, Frenzy icons, Health icons, Cop Stars, Secret Instant Stunt Jumps, and loads of weapons are scattered everywhere. There are hidden alleyways, second-story rooftops, and secret locations placed in every nook and cranny of the game. I just can't find enough words to describe the immense, fantastic sense of freedom and size in GTA3; it's simply mind-blowing."

"The biggest learning curve is really in discovering where the secrets are. Things like Cop Stars (which remove stars off the Wanted Meter), health power-ups, weapons, and paint-and-spray garages take some time to locate and remember. Grand Theft Auto III is shown through nine perspectives, four while on foot (first-person, close, far, and top-down), and five while driving (first-person, close, far, top-down, and cinematic, which is a low, beside-the-car side-view), and it offers a small circular map/radar with colored icons to distinguish important areas, such as Save Places, Mission Hubs, etc., and a Compass. "

"Players drive cars, and have a huge list of car-related things to do (carjack, jump out of a burning car, steer, accelerate, brake, power slide, etc.), but they get to do lots of things on foot, too. One can walk, run, sprint, jump, pilot a boat, handle 11 weapons, open doors, and carjack any one of 81 (yes, 81) vehicles in the city. It's all handled with a simple interface and an ease of use that's instant and gratifying."

Thanks to Insane2757, ZMän, Chad Finch, inv, and James15 for sending in email on this.

GTA3 Out Today   <9:00 AM CST - schu>
Well since GTA3 shipped yesterday it only stands to reason that it should be in some software stores today, if you happen to see it anywhere, please let me know and I'll try to compile a list or something.  IGN has also confirmed that GTA3 did indeed ship yesterday.  I'd suggest trying software specialty type stores, as opposed to huge electronic stores or department stores, typically the first places to get these newly shipped titles are the specialty stores.  As you may have heard, some people got the game early, I spoke with Rockstar about this and their only explanation is that some copies may have been swiped during delivery or production.  To their knowledge, no stores should have had the game prior to the 22nd.  Thanks to Striderhiryu for the link to the shots.

I got some other email from people around the world with some different release dates.  Keep in mind that these are not official release dates, they are probably retailer estimates.

  • Europe - October 26th
  • Canada - October 27th
  • New Zealand / Australia - October 29th

Personally I think Canada will have it earlier than the 27th, but who knows. Thanks to marp and samir for the release dates.

Four New Movies @ IGN   <9:00 AM CST - schu>
Yes, this is old news from Friday, but since I wasn't here most of Friday I thought I'd give it a mention.  IGN posted an article that expands on Liberty Tree's coverage of Liberty City's more famous denizens.  I thought it was funny how the interviewee was slamming soccer, since it was probably Rockstar's Dan Houser who gave the fictitious interview :) (Dan Houser being from the UK and no doubt a rabid soccer fan).  Personally I prefer ThunderBall myself.  If it doesn't have a "gun circle" and a car on the field, it's not worth watching in my opinion.  Now, on to the movies:

Click To View
Download (7 MB)
In this video he steals a Mafia Sentinel. Notice how the other Mafia guys try to stop you when you steal one of their cars.   He then proceeds to run down a few people and ends up flipping the car in midair. It lands on its roof and blows up just after he escapes.  You may also want to look at the shot to the left.  I own that piece of Rockstar merchandise :)...
  
Click To View
Download (3.5 MB)
This one is pretty good.  An old man won't shut the fu*k up so the main character guy proceeds to beat the piss out of him.  It ends with a nice kick to the groin and the subsequent demise of the old man, but at least you got some cash out of it.
  
Click To View
Download (4.5 MB)
Not much too this one.  But this does give you a nice view of your first safehouse.
  
Click To View
Download (5 MB)
This one starts out with an excellent plow through some lawn chairs and peds which segues into a jump.  The jump lands you on a rooftop with a hidden shotgun.  He then decided to test out the shot gun on some unsuspecting peds.  And you people thought this game was toned down...

Thanks to Insane2757, Pie427, GtA3GaMeR, Naked Alfonso,

New GTA Sites   <9:00 AM CST - schu>

  
Crazy Sh*t
  <9:00 AM CST - schu>
Grr...  I was so ass tired by the time I finished the update on Friday that I completely forgot about this, so here it is.  Don't ask, just click!  If you've ever seen the show, Upright Citizens Brigade you'll recognize these clips.  Unfortunately half the damn things don't work.  Oh well, you can also check out the selection oz sent in, mofo.com.

Site Updates   <9:00 AM CST - schu>

  • Blame my ISP
  • I added a link to the grandtheftauto3.com sub-site, MSX FM.  Thanks to AndyH for pointing that one out.

  

Friday - October 19, 2001 <2:00 AM CST> <Top>

GTA3 Official Sites Updated   <2:00 AM CST - schu>
Both GrandTheftAuto3.com and Liberty Tree have been updated!  Liberty Tree has four new screenshots and some great new stories.  All of the shots are of characters in GTA3 that go along with news stories relating to them.  

GrandTheftAuto3.com has a wealth of new shots and sound clips in the ShoreSide Vale section.  For some reason I can't get the viewer in the Screens section to work, but there are twenty new shots there (sixteen are actually new, four of them have been posted previously).  I've posted them here on G!, starting on the twenty-seventh screen shot page.  I also found two new sub-sites, Francis International Airport and Game Radio.  You can find the rest of the sub-sites in the Links section.  There are no new movies, but they did expand the characters section to include a lot of new character images so be sure to take a look at that.  Thanks to SavSat, illspirit, Big_Red, stuntwill, blunt, Jordan, QuikSilvrX, SavageSatan, and DigitalD for sending email on this.  Thanks guys...

GTA3 Hands On Part Nine   <2:00 AM CST - schu>
This is the final part in my GTA3 hands on series.  Here I will present you with all the remaining Q&A, the full GTA3 button layout, and three exclusive screens.  I was going to do this over Thursday and Friday, but since I skipped Thursday I decided to just dump it all on you now.

Q&A:

Q:  Are there cars with more than one person in, a driver and a passenger?
A:  Yes

Q:  When is it coming out?
A:  Grand theft auto 3 will ship October 22nd

Q:  Also in one of the movies at gta3.com there is a Laundromat in the background..is the inside fully rendered?
A:  There is a full scene that takes place inside the Laundromat

Q:  Can the boats be damaged?
A:  Yes they can be damaged and will eventually explode

Q:  Is there any verbal interaction with store clerks?
A:  Yes

Q:  How long will a day be?
A:  ½ hour real time is 24hrs liberty city time

  
Button Layout:

Button Action - On Foot/In Vehicle
Square Jump / Brake
Circle Hit / Fire / Activate Car Bomb
Triangle Enter / Exit Vehicle
X Accelerate / Sprint
  
R1 Target Lock / Hand Brake
R2 Change Weapons / Driveby View
R3 Look Behind / Toggle Vehicle Mission
  
L1 Change Radio Station
L2 Change Weapons / Driveby View
L3 Horn / Sirens
  
Left Stick Movement
Right Stick First Person View
D-Pad Movement
  
Start Pause Game / Access Options Menu
Select Change Camera Angle

  
Screenshots:

Click To View Click To View Click To View

Thanks to Rockstar for making all of these "hands on" updates possible.

GameSpot UK PlayTest - Part Three   <2:00 AM CST - schu>
GameSpot UK has released part three of their GTA3 playtest article.  This portion of the article is a great read and covers the missions in GTA3.  There is a lot of good information on how the GTA3 mission system works along with something most gaming sites don't give you, details.  Along with the article there are seven new screenshots and a total of three movies.  The first two movies on their movie download page are smaller and larger versions of a movie previously released on IGN.  The third is the only one exclusive to GameSpot UK, I did a write up on it on October 15th.  You can find the new screenshots on the twenty-seventh screenshot page.  Thanks to GtA3GaMeR and QuikSilvrX for the heads up.

Four New Movies @ IGN   <2:00 AM CST - schu>
IGN updated their GTA3 preview with four great new movies, check below for the movie links and descriptions.  All of these movies are pretty good but the first and the third ones are my favorites.

Click To View
Download (2.7 MB)
This movie features a great police chase on the runways on of the Francis International Airport.  It starts out with a SWAT van in pursuit and ends with an awesome fiery wreak.  All the while he is weaving in, out, and under huge 747s, with the cops on his ass all the while.
  
Click To View
Download (2.7 MB)
This is a rather odd one.  He starts off jacking a Sentinel which gets the cops on his ass.  He then leaves the Sentinel for a huge SUV, might be the Maibatsu Monstrosity everyone keeps talking about.  He then hangs a U-turn with it and practically runs over the hood of one of the police cars, only to end up ramming the Sentinel he originally jacked.
  
Click To View
Download (2.7 MB)
This movie rules.  I think if you watch the beginning of it and stop the movie it looks like he is making a getaway after bombing some warehouse complex.  The only problem is that he is making his getaway in a Cheetah that is on its last leg when he starts and when he's done it ends up in flames.  If you watch closely you'll see just how fast you have to get out of a flaming car before it blows.
  
Click To View
Download (2.7 MB)
This is a movie of a truly insane stunt bonus.  I don't want to ruin it, just watch and enjoy.  After you watch it once, watch it again and keep an eye out for the unlucky ped who was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Thanks to Andy H, Shoopz2, James15, and Joe Taco (GTA3 Impound) for the help with this update.

Free GTA3 Poster in PSM   <2:00 AM CST - schu>
LoneWolf sent word that issue 52 of PSM includes a free GTA3 poster, and on the back of the GTA3 poster is a Smuggler's Run 2 poster.  I'm not sure if that issue out yet so keep an eye out for it.

PlayZone Movies @ GTA-3.com   <2:00 AM CST - schu>
The guys over at GTA-3.com, the excellent German GTA3 site, have posted three new movies that were on the Playzone DVD.  The first and third movies are just so-so, the second movie is pretty good and gives you a good idea of what it's like to play GTA3 from the top-down perspective.  To download the movies, visit GTA-3.com and look for the three "GTA III Video Spezial" headlines.  Thanks to DigitalD and tDemaxX for the help on this one.

New GTA Sites   <2:00 AM CST - schu>

  
Site Updates
  <2:00 AM CST - schu>
Yeah, I know...  Where's the Thursday update?  Well, Thursday didn't go as expected because my life sometimes gets in the way of this site, or is it the other way around :) ?  The good news is that I now am the sort-of proud owner of a PS2, the bad news is that the Thursday and Friday updates have been mashed together into the Friday update.  But wait, there's more.  I'm going out of town for the weekend and I'm leaving later today so it's more than likely that you won't see an update from me until Sunday or Monday.  If I had to guess I'd say watch PS2.IGN.com and watch GameSpot UK because they will probably both update again.  Until then you can blow some time in the forums around the GTA scene, there are links to all of these forums in the Message Board section.

  

  

Wednesday - October 17, 2001 <7:00 PM CST> <Top>

GTA3 Hands On - Part Eight   <7:00 PM CST - schu>
I hate to keep using that same headline, but for lack of a better one, I continue with Q&A.  I had written an article that went into detail about the vehicle based mission for the police car, ambulance, etc.  It has been axed so I won't be posting it.  No matter, you will all find out on your own in due time.  I will warn you that the rest of the questions this week are the bottom of the barrel and will decrease in quality from here on out.  Other than Q&A the rest of this week, I will also have three more screens for Friday's update.  This will be a hard weekend to get through, but after that you can stop reading about GTA3 and start playing it :)...

Q:  Will we see car bomb missions?
A:  These types of missions exist in various forms, some more complicated than others.

Q:  This game is all about being a not-so-nice guy, but is there a choice if you want to be goody two shoes? (like helping the cops etc)
A:  There are an unlimited number of ambulance, cop, fire, and cab missions where you can lend a hand fighting crime and aiding the community.

European Release Date   <7:00 PM CST - schu>
The moment all Europeans have been dreading is here.  It's not bad, but it's not good.  According to GTA-3.com, GTA3 will be out in Europe on October 26th.  The North American release date remains October 22nd.  I wouldn't really call this a delay, chances are it comes down to production and distribution throughout Europe.  No word on other parts of the world.  Thanks to Whes007 (GTA3 World) for emailing me on this.

More Press Quotes   <7:00 PM CST - schu>
GamePlay posted an extensive collection of press quotes and review scores for GTA3.  Basically, this game kicks ass and now everyone knows it, read what all the reviewers are saying right here.  Thanks to Jordan for the link.

GameSpot UK PlayTest - Part Two   <7:00 PM CST - schu>
GameSpot UK posted the second installment of of their GTA3 play test article.  This part mainly covers the vehicles of GTA3 but it has some other nice pieces of information along with a movie and nine new shots.  The movie is a repeat, it's the same movie they posted on IGN awhile back on the Stinger.  The strange thing is, the video posted on GameSpot UK is named Banshee, and the IGN movie that is exactly the same, is called Stinger, not sure what is going on there.  Here are some quotes that should be of interest, the new shots start on the twenty-sixth GTA3 screenshots page:

"Occasionally you'll come across [a car] that's locked, alarmed or is being driven by someone who's happy to put up a fight, but for the most part if you can see it, you can drive it without any worries."

"The bomb shop also makes a welcome return, allowing you to rig your vehicle to explode the next time the ignition is turned - this tends to be used only for specific missions but if you're fed up with having your own (previously stolen) car stolen there's no reason why you can't use it to rid the city of another no-good joy-rider."

"Other optional extras from GTA2 such as machine guns and oil slicks have been dropped for the sequel, and rightly so. Grand Theft Auto III sees a cast of convincing characters going about their business in a city that is wholly believable - to throw James Bond's gadget laden Aston Martin into the mix would be no better than giving you the keys to a flying saucer."

  
IGN's Pet Sounds of GTA3
  <7:00 PM CST - schu>
IGN has released part five of their Pet Sounds of GTA3 article.  This part covers the FlashBack FM radio station and the composer who created many of the songs on that station.  The composer, Giorgio Moroder, wrote songs for lots of 80's movies including Scarface, Top Gun, FlashDance, among others.  Once again the radio sample at IGN didn't download correctly, however I found a way around it.  Right click on the link, choose Save Target As, change the Save As Type menu to All Files, and change the file extension from MP3 to WAV.  It should work that way, at least it did for me.  If that doesn't work, try copying the link into a download manager like Download Accelerator.  Thanks to DigitalD, AndyH, Eric, James15, Gamer555, Insane2757, Phyre, and Manson... whew, thanks guys :)

New Server   <7:00 PM CST - schu>
Ok, it looks official, I think we'll be moving to a brand new, dedicated server.  This should mean no more "500" errors, and the forums should be re-released when the site is moved in about 5-7 days.  When this happens the site will go down for 3-4 hours, I'll try to let everyone know before this happens.

  

Tuesday - October 16, 2001 <7:00 PM CST> <Top>

GTA3 Hands On - Part Seven   <7:00 PM CST - schu>
More Q&A today, I should have some screens for Friday's update and possibly a larger "Hands On" article later this week.  I don't recall who asked the second question because I can't get the forums right now, sorry:

Q:  Zack Viola asks, "Do you have to join sides with the gangs like in GTA2 to get missions?"
A:  You can perform missions for gangs and do jobs against other gangs. There is no respect meter like in GTA2, but there is a relationship between the gangs, some hate each other etc and jobs you do affect this.

Q:  Are there police boats?
A:  There are police boats and civilian boats

 
GTA3 UK Reviews
  <7:00 PM CST - schu>
It seems that a lot of UK magazines have been releasing GTA3 reviews, here is what they have been saying:

  • Play Magazine (Biggest unofficial PSM mag in UK) - Features an eight page review with a score of 98%.  Here are some quotes from the review:
    "The best game ever made"
    "A new standard has arrived by which all past and future games must be judged"
    "There is no denying GTA3 is a remarkable achievement of proportions we never imagined possible. It has single-handedly changed the way we see all video game entertainment and the repercussions it should have for the industry are staggering. In one fell swoop your entire games collection has become obsolete".
  • P2 - 5/5
  • Gamesmaster - 91%

Sounds good to me :) ...  Thanks to Tom, Iain, and Johnboy for the quotes and ratings.  QuikSilvrX also wrote in to say the the US magazine OPM put GTA3 at the top of their "most wanted" list, ahead of such titles as Metal Gear Solid 2, Tony Hawk 3, and many other well known games.

The G! Forums   <7:00 PM CST - schu>
The GOURANGA.com forums will remain offline for the time being.  I am working on a new server solution that should end any problems with the forums in the future and should put an end to the "500" errors.  I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, but I really can't do anything about it until the server problem is solved.  For now, ElBazo mentioned that his forums are working just fine and he invites everyone to join him there.  You can find them at forums.sky-scraper.net.  Please make sure you read and abide by any of the terms relating to his board also be sure to check out his great GTA3 site at gta.sky-scraper.net.  I'll go ahead and drop a GTA3 questions thread in there and I'll try to keep up with it.  Thanks ElBazo :)

  

Monday - October 15, 2001 <11:40 AM CST> <Top>

GTA3 Hands On - Part Six   <11:40 AM CST - schu>
I had a request to post more on how the taxi / fire truck / police / ambulance missions work, so I'll try to post more on that later this week.  Today I bring you two new questions that have probably already been answered in the forums :) and I have three new screenshots.

Q&A:

Q:  Horns 456 asks, "I really hate when you blow a lot of %^$^$# up, walk around the corner and BOOM its like nothing happened. Could you please find out for me if there is some sort of memory at least for a little bit. That everything you destroy isn't back to normal just after you walk down the street or turn your head. I don't expect the environment to be forever altered but just for the time you are on the block for."
A:  Debris and the effects of explosions etc. remain forever, until you leave the area (by area they mean that section of the city, industrial, commercial, and suburban).

Q:  Zack Viola asks, "Are the gangs restricted to only their turf or can they go anywhere?"
A:  The gangs have their own turf and generally prefer to hang out in their own neighborhoods, but at times they do venture into other areas.


Screenshots:

Click To View Click To View Click To View

  
GameSpot UK PlayTest - Part One  <11:40 AM CST - schu>
GameSpot UK has a brand new GTA3 movie and eight new screenshots.  I've added the screenshots to the twenty-sixth screenshot page.  None of the shots are really spectacular, but this one does show the scene just after the prison escape.  You can see 8-Ball in the back seat.  More on the movie below:

Click To View
Download (2.7 MB)
This movie features a great police chase in a beat up yellow van.  The van is being pursued by two police cars and a helicopter.   The cops are intent on running him off the road but never do.  He only really screws up bad at the end of the movie when he hits a jump but falls short, slamming into the overhead rails and dropping the van on it's roof.

Thanks to Rev.Ted and Whes007 for the email on this.

GTA3 Reviewed?   <11:40 AM CST - schu>
According to JSA1 the UK magazine PSM2 has published a twelve page review of GTA3, giving it the highest score they've ever given a game, 98%.  They also regarded it as the benchmark for all games to follow.  I haven't seen the mag myself so I can't confirm it, but it sounds good to me :) ....

GamePlay GTA3 Report   <11:40 AM CST - schu>
GamePlay recently played GTA3 and now they've posted an article about what they saw.  The article is ok except for the fact that it mentions information that I've been told time and time again is not true.  For instance, they say you can fly the helicopter and airplanes in GTA3.  Rockstar's Dan Houser has told me about a hundred times now that you cannot fly the helicopter or the airplanes.  They also mention something about picking up hos.  I cannot confirm or deny what they are reporting, but I did send of an email to Rockstar, so hopefully I'll have a reply later today.

GTA3 On GBA   <11:40 AM CST - schu>
The GameBoyAdvance version was announced a while back but very little has been said about it since.  Currently most retailers are showing a November release date, but other than that they haven't release any details.  Until then, you might want to take a look at something dElAvA found.  This preview of Midnight Club Street Racing was recently posted on GBA Dome.  Judging by the shots it looks a lot like GTA.

Site Updates   <11:40 AM CST - schu>

  • Previously I posted a question by Gunmen 27.  The name I posted was incorrect however.  His nickname is actually Gunman, not Gunmen 27.  I went back and corrected this error.
  • The forum has been generating an inordinate amount of server errors.  I am aware of this problem and I'm working to resolve it.  If you get an error, just hit the refresh button and it should come up eventually.  Although it seems to be down altogether right now.  I'll see what I can do...

  

Friday - October 12, 2001 <12:01 AM CST> <Top>

GTA3 Hands On - Part Five   <12:01 AM CST - schu>
As I was getting ready to write this I realized that a standard hands-on article isn't what I was really going for. Most of the people who visit this site know a lot about GTA3 and are mainly interested in features that haven't been discussed yet, along with some of the more interesting points of the game, so that's what I'm going to try to give you. I've tried to make sure this doesn't spoil anything for anyone. So, first I'll give you a list of things I encountered while playing the game, second I'll answer a few more questions, and lastly I have three new screenshots for you. All of this should be considered "preview" information and should in no way be construed as a review of any kind.


GTA3 Features & Comments:
When you read this list you should think GTA, as in the original. A lot of the stuff in GTA, no matter how obscure, has returned in GTA3 in one form or another.  If there are any additional questions you have, please feel free to post them in the G! message board under the "Ask Your GTA3 Questions Here!" thread, or send me an email.  Keep in mind that I can't answer any spoiler type questions.

  • In the original GTA when you paused the game it brought up a shot list of statistics showing you how many secrets you found, missions passed, and that sort of thing. When your game was over you got even more information in the form of a criminal record showing your list of crimes. This feature returns in GTA3, but it has been expanded upon. When you pause the game you are given an extensive list of options, the tab it defaults to lists lots of statistics from everything on criminal acts to the amount of miles you've run over the course of the game. Along with this menu you also have the rest of the standard options, sound, video, load game, listen to the radio stations, etc.
  • At one point I was standing in the middle the street when someone pulled up behind me and started honking. This prompted the character to turn around and flick the guy off :). This also happened when I was standing on the sidewalk after a cop walked by, he just turned around and flicked the cop off... Brilliant...
  • I can't say I really heard the peds talking to each other that much but they all definitely have their own personalities and comments depending where they are. Some of the people in the forums noticed that one of the guys looks a lot like a gay construction worker. If you're standing anywhere near him you'll hear him yell out random lyrics from the song YMCA. Around the university the students will talk about tests they have, business men will talk about vacations, and all the rest of the peds all have sayings unique to them. There are also a lot of random comments and jokes thrown in that keep things interesting.
  • All of the radio stations are completely brilliant, but out of all of them I found myself tuning into the talk radio station, Chatter Box. I didn't realize how much I was listening to the stations until after I flipped my car in the middle of the show and found myself trying to jack another car just so I could hear the rest of the show. I really hope Rockstar releases a separate sound track CD for GTA3.
  • As I played the game I tried to only play only a few missions because I didn't want to spoil the game for myself by playing too far into it. I spent the rest of my time exploring the city and doing random side missions. One of my favorite pastimes is to steal a police car and do the vigilante missions. These missions generally involve finding your target on the radar and running them off the road until they get out of their car. When the finally make a run for it you can either get out and gun them down or you run them down with your car. At one point I succeeded in damaging a criminal's car enough for him to get out, after he did I circled back and around and squashed him between my car and a concrete wall at around 50 mph :). You have to be careful however, because each criminal is armed differently, if they pop out with a rocket launcher you better watch out. If you trash your police car in the middle of the mission you can always jack another one and complete the mission, as long as you do it within the time required. As you know from other previews, you can also take missions using the ambulance and fire truck. If you successfully complete enough of these missions in a row you'll be rewarded in one form or another.
  • While you are driving any emergency vehicle you can turn on the sirens by taping the horn button quickly, when the lights and sirens come on, the other drivers will pull over to the side of the road to let you through, very convenient in a police chase.
  • Not all rooftops are accessible, but there are many choice sniping locations that are available, it just takes a little searching to find them.
  • A lot of people have been speculating what the different colored halos around the weapons and power-ups mean, so far we've only seen green and red. Actually, each weapon and power-up has a different colored halo to identify it, so if you see a weapon with a purple halo on the ground you know it's a flame-thrower, red halo for a bat, and so on.  This makes it easier to see what weapons it is from a distance.
  • Weapons are acquired by finding them in secret locations, in police cars, off of dead enemies, back at your safe house, or you can buy them from AmmuNation. AmmuNation doesn't have every weapon available all the time, they have different weapons at different times depending on where you are in the game.  To buy a weapon you just walk in the AmmuNation store, find the weapon you want, and walk over it.  This will put a new weapon at your disposal and will deduct the cost of the weapon from your cash.
  • The radar is another part of GTA3 that has had a lot of speculation. Here is how it works. If you look at this screenshot you'll see different letters around and on the radar, along with a small green house and a phone. The N represents North, the other letters represent your different contacts, T for Tony, J for Joey, etc. The phone icon shows where you can get a phone mission and the small green house shows where your safe house is. There are other icons that pop up as well, they all pretty much speak for themselves when you see them. Along with these icons you may also see colored dots. The white tear-shaped dot represents you. Green dots are usually mission objectives and pink dots are your final destination or objective (I.E. Pick up character A (green dot) and take them to their destination (pink dot) - you will see your destination in the game as a transparent blue cylinder so it's easy to see where you need to go. As you play the game, things like this will be explained to you as you encounter them or whenever you walk over an information power-up, just like the ones in GTA.
  • You have three safe houses, one in each area. Your first safe house only allows you to store one car and some weapons, as you progress through the game the safe houses improves in both usefulness and appearance, you'll see what I mean when you play the game.  The main purpose of the safe house is to save your game.  To save the game, just walk inside and a menu pops up prompting you to choose a save slot and a save name.  You can also use your safe house to repair your car, just drive it into the garage, jump out, and when you come back it will be ready. Another use of the safe house is to retrieve rewards for completing certain missions, I can't elaborate on this, but trust me, it works very well and makes your safe house useful for more than just saving your game.
  • There are three spray shops in the game, one in each area. They work just like the ones in GTA, drive in and the paint color changes, your car is repaired, and the cops are off your ass, all for a price. Bomb shops have returned as well, and like the spray shops there is only one per area. It was a little more challenging with less spray shops and bomb shops but I didn't find it terribly inconvenient. Any time you are directed to a spray shop or bomb shop it will appear on your radar, otherwise you'll have to find it yourself.

Q&A

Q: illspirit asks, "Is the guy who does 8-balls voice really Guru from the hip-hop group Gang-Starr?"
A: Yes

Q: Brian asks, "How about saving the game?"
A: GrandTheftAuto3 features the latest in game saving technology! To save the game, go to your safe house. There are multiple save slots, so you don't have to worry about being limited to one slot or anything.


New GTA3 Movies
  <12:01 AM CST - schu>
I've posted twenty-six new GTA3 movies in the GTA3 Info section.  They begin on the eleventh movie page and go to the fifteenth movie page.  I've written a short commentary and posted a screen shot with each movie.  If you download all the new movies (4.mpg through 29.mpg) you can use this batch file to join them together into one 31 MB movie.  Just download them all into the same directory and run the batch file in that directory, it will then copy them all into one larger movie named bigmovie.mpg.  As you watch these, keep in mind that they were shot from an older copy of GTA3 and that many changes have taken place since then.  Thanks to phile for posting this in the forums.

It appears that all the movies have been removed from Zon.se where they were posted...  You can still read the descriptions I posted and see the screens, but the movies are no longer available.


Crazy Sh*t   <12:01 AM CST - schu>
Don't ask, just click!

  

Thursday - October 11, 2001 <2:00 AM CST> <Top>

GTA3 Hands On - Part Four   <2:00 AM CST - schu>
Yet more Q&A today, once again I apologize for how short this installment is but I still haven't heard back from Rockstar about my article:

Q:  Gunmen27 asks, "Can you sell cars or is it only the crusher?"
A:  You cant sell cars, to get rid of it you can take it to the crusher.

Q:  Gunmen 27 asks, "What does the main menu look like?"
A:  There is no menu screen, the game goes straight into the opening intro and then straight into the game. All choices are made in the game (the option menus pop up when you pause the game).

  
New GTA3 Screenshots
  <2:00 AM CST - schu>
The Italian Take-Two site, Cidverte, recently posted eleven new GTA3 screenshots.  They posted twenty-five shots total but fourteen of those are repeats.  Check the twenty-fifth screenshot page for all the new shots.  Here are a few of my favorites:

Click To View Click To View Click To View

I mainly chose these because the first one just kicks ass, the second one is some more proof of indoor combat and locations, and the third is one of the few shots of Liberty City's subway system.  I also noticed that GTA-3.com has a few of the same shots.  They found their shots in an Italian GTA3 preview.

GTA3 Giveaway   <2:00 AM CST - schu>
FedEX delivered the prizes for the GTA3 fan site giveaway today.  The prizes include 1 GTA3 baseball bat, 2 GTA3 T-shirts, and 3 GTA3 posters.  Any ideas on how I should work this giveaway?  If there are any other GTA3 webmasters out there who want to work out some sort of inter-site giveaway to generate more interest in the scene, I am open to that as well.  I haven't quite figured out how to work this because I'll be taking the hit on any shipping costs and I have no idea how much it would cost me to ship a bat to Zaire or anywhere outside of North America...

IGN On GTA3's Cutscenes - Again   <2:00 AM CST - schu>
IGN posted the second installment of their GTA3 article The Cinematic Touch of Grand Theft Auto III.  The second part has four new screenshots taken from a cutscene with Joey Leone.  They also posted the video footage the shots were taken from, so you can view the whole scene.

Click To View
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This movie details a meeting with Joey Leone where you're getting a job to hit an armored truck.  Pay close attention to the car he is working on.  I can't say more than that, but that should give you a HINT where you get it from.  This movie also gives you an idea of how a time based mission works, I.E. the van you're hitting won't be driving around all day so you have to look for it while it's doing its rounds.

Thanks to James15 for the email on this update.

Site Updates   <2:00 AM CST - schu>
I've added all the new movies, except for today's selection, to the ninth and tenth GTA3 movie pages.  I've also updated the GTA3 Previews/Reviews section with links to all the new IGN articles.

  

Wednesday - October 10, 2001 <5:00 AM CST> <Top>

GTA3 Hands On - Part Three   <5:00 AM CST - schu>
Still no word back from Rockstar yet so I'll continue with the Q&A.  I'll probably post the next batch of screens on Friday unless I get them earlier.

Q&A:

Q:  wsm.bernd ask, "Is it possible to drive the train as a driver?"
A:  No you can only ride on the train as a passenger,

Q:  Gunmen27 asks, "When you run people down, do they fly over the hood or get flattened under a car?
A:  Both

IGN On GTA3's Cutscenes   <5:00 AM CST - schu>
IGN continues their GTA3 coverage with the release of their latest article, The Cinematic Touch of Grand Theft Auto III.  The article has four new screen shots and a movie of a cutscene showing the main character meeting with Salvatore Leone.  The article also has an interview with Rockstar's Lead Analyst, Adam Davidson, about the filming and integration of the cutscenes into GTA3.  

Click To View
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This movie covers your initial meeting with Salvatore Leone, the head of the Leone Cartel.

Thanks to Andy H, Eric, and James15 for the emails on this one.

Site Updates   <5:00 AM CST - schu>

  • Tuesday's update was canceled because I was stranded half way between Chicago and Milwaukee most of the day, at least my car wasn't to blame this time.  Still no final word back from Rockstar so until then I'll continue with Q&A.
  • Yesterday I accidentally said that the IGN pet sounds article was part III, when in fact it was part IV.  Thanks to Doofey for the correction.

  

Monday - October 8, 2001 <11:30 PM CST> <Top>

GTA3 Hands On - Part Two   <11:30 PM CST - schu>
Well, I had a huge dope ass article written for this update, but after I finished it I realized it probably violated just about every aspect of the NDA I signed.  So I emailed it to Rockstar in the hope that I could get approval on some of the more questionable items, unfortunately it's still in limbo, so until I get some word back I'll just post some more screens and answers to tide you over.  By the way, many of the answers to these questions were written by the people at Rockstar, so you can credit any smart ass comments to them :) .  Today I've posted all of the answers to Sonny Bone's questions since they were all sort of interrelated:

Q&A:

Q:  Sonny Bone asks, "Can you legally purchase cars in GTA3?"
A:  No, you don't buy cars, you steal them (the game is called Grand Theft Auto)!

Q:  Sonny Bone asks, "Are there any indoor areas in Grand Theft Auto 3?"
A:  Yes quite a few

Q:  Sonny Bone asks, "Now that IGN says you can buy weapons, there would have to be some type of indoor shop, because I cant picture an outdoor gun stand."
A:  Yes, AmmuNation is an indoor gun shop

New Screenshots:

Click To View Click To View Click To View

  
IGN's Pet Sounds of GTA3 Part IV   <11:30 PM CST - schu>
IGN has released part four of their Pet Sounds of GTA3 article.  This update mainly covers the radio stations K-Jah and MSX FM.  K-Jah is the reggae station in Liberty City and MSX is the techno/electronica station.   There are two samples, one for each station.  As expected, neither dowloaded correctly but that is easily remedied.  Just Right click on the download link, choose Save Target As, change the Save As Type menu to All Files, and change the file extension from MP3 to WAV.  It should work that way, at least it did for me.  If that doesn't work, try copying the link into a download manager like Download Accelerator.  Thanks to James for the link on this one.

At the end of this article IGN gives a listing of music credits for some of the songs featured in GTA3, including those from the movie Scarface.

GameSpot's PS2 Most Anticipated List   <11:30 PM CST - schu>
GameSpot has included GTA3 in this year's list of the PS2's most anticipated games.  You can view their brief overview right here, or start at the beginning of the article and read the whole thing.  Thanks to Crashton for the link.

Site Updates   <11:30 PM CST - schu>
Sorry for the long delay on this but I've been waiting for approval on that article so that sort of delayed things a bit.  Hopefully I'll have the original article or a revised version ready to post later this week.

  

Friday - October 5, 2001 <11:59 PM CST> <Top>

GTA3 Hands On - Part One   <11:30 PM CST - schu>
The trip to NYC was great, and before I say anything else I want to thank everyone at Rockstar Games for the chance to see Grand Theft Auto 3 in action.  I'd especially like to thank everyone who took time out of their busy day to spend time with me while I was there.  

The primary reason for my visit was to see the changes Rockstar & DMA made after the terrorist attack on September 11th.  The changes are so inconsequential that they are hardly even worth mentioning.  The only real major change was the color of the police cars, other than that some minor dialog changes were made.  The violence and the language remain unchanged.  This is still very much an adult game.  The main reason for the change in release date was because they couldn't get into their offices for a week and the week they were back they had lots of communications problems with their phones and Internet connection.  Currently it looks like GTA3 will be in stores on October 22nd, roughly two weeks from today.

Ok moving on, there are a few more things I need to get out of the way before I answer any questions.  The version of GTA3 I played was not final, therefore the following information should be regarded as preview material, and not as a review.  I am going to post answers to the questions rather slowly, I have 24 questions and answers total, so I figured I'd drop a few answers on you today, and a few answers every day I update till release.  Any questions that were spoilers have been left out.  I actually got a lot email from people requesting that I avoid posting spoilers, so I won't post anything would ruin the game for anyone, after all, half the fun is discovering this stuff as you play.

Q:  Slider asks, "How will you enable hydraulics on the car (as seen on one of the vids)? Will there be a "special" button for it, like the same button that turns on the police sirens?"
A:  Yes, and yes.  The horn button is used. Also the right analog stick can be used to adjust the height of each tire.

Q:  Limbo asks, "Cameras, Cameras, Cameras! Detailed information about how the cameras work and how many different cameras are available."
A:  There are multiple camera angles: Top down, First person, Side view (left and right), Front view, Third person Close Up, Third Person Further Back, Cinematic camera.  The two side views are accessed using R2 and L2 I think, the others are changed using the Select button.  More on this later.

Q:  Jason asks, "Will there be a replay because some of the IGN movies look like they are from one?"
A:  There is no replay - the IGN movies make use of the cinematic camera IN GAME.  It takes a lot of skill to drive using the cinematic camera but the rewards are endless.  The two IGN movies I posted today are both shot using the cinematic camera so you can see why it would take some practice to use it successfully.

Now for the screen shots.  These shots were not taken by me, nor were they taken while I was playing, but as far as I know they are exclusive to my site.  I only have four for today but I've been promised more for Monday's update and possibly even more for later next week.

Click To View Click To View
Click To View Click To View

That's it for today.  I'm working on a short hands-on article that I will try to have posted on Monday.  I'm sorry if this is rather anticlimactic but I've agreed to spread all this out a bit rather than hammer it all out in one day.

GTA3 Giveaway!   <11:30 PM CST - schu>
The Rockstar Webmaster is sending out prizes to some of the GTA3 webmasters so that we can all conduct our own GTA3 giveaways.  According to the email we should each be receiving one GTA3 baseball bat, some T-shirts, and some posters.  I'm not sure how this is going to work just yet, but as soon as I know I'll update on it.

Two New IGN Updates   <11:30 PM CST - schu>
IGN is still firing away and while I was gone they posted two new GTA3 articles.  The first article is an an interview they conducted with DMA's Leslie Benzies.  The interview mainly covers some of the more technical aspects of how GTA3 utilizes the PS2's hardware along with a few questions about GTA3's influences.

The second article IGN posted is entitled, "The Pure Action of GTA3."  The main redeeming qualities of the article are its ten new screen shots and its two great movies.  All the new shots begin on the twenty-third screenshot page, the movie write-ups and links are below:

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This first movie is the shorter of the two.  It starts out with you running from the cops and stealing one of their cars in the confusion.  The getaway seems to be going fine until the car flips and it ends with you running for your life.
Click To View
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The second movie the best of the two by far.  It starts in a police chase with you behind the wheel of a police car, but the ending is the best part.  It ends with an Insane Stunt Bonus where you hit the ramp, flip your car in mid air, and land upside down sliding for a good 100 feet on the elevated tracks.  If you listen closely just before you land on the tracks you'll hear the noise it makes when you pick up a power-up.

Thanks to Insane2757, Andy H, Jared, Axer, and Whes007 for sending word on this one.

Ten New Screens @ GTA-3.com   <11:30 PM CST - schu>
The guys at GTA-3.com have been hard at work.  Over their past few updates they've posted ten new screenshots they found on PlayZone and Game-On.  You can find the new shots in GTA-3's older updates or you can go straight to PlayZone's Preview and Game-On's preview.  I've also added these shots to my twenty-fourth screenshot page.  For some reason the gta-3.com link appears to be dead, but you can also view their site via the gta3d.de URL.  Thanks to Andy H for the email on this one.

DVD Movie Action   <11:30 PM CST - schu>
Whes007 over at GTA3 World sent an email saying that the next issue of the UK gaming mag, PlayStation World (PSW) will feature a DVD with GTA3 footage on it.  He found the information in their September issue, so hopefully the issue with the footage should be out soon.

Crazy Sh*t   <11:59 PM CST - schu>
Don't ask, just click!

  

Tuesday - October 2, 2001 <10:30 PM CST> <Top>

The Pet Sounds of GTA3 - Part III   <10:30 PM CST - schu>
IGN released part three of its Pet Sounds of GTA3 article today.  The article has one sample from the Chatter Box station.  It also features a great interview with Dan Houser and Terry Donovan on the sound in GTA3.  One interesting fact mentioned in the article is that GTA3 contains a full 3 1/2 hours of radio in the game.  Mind you that's only DJs, commercials, music, and breakers, that doesn't even include the sound effects and speech, so the complete audio experience should be pretty amazing.  Once again the radio sample at IGN didn't download correctly, however I found a way around it.  Right click on the link, choose Save Target As, change the Save As Type menu to All Files, and change the file extension from MP3 to WAV.  It should work that way, at least it did for me.  If that doesn't work, try copying the link into a download manager like Download Accelerator.  Thanks to Crashton for the link on this one.

EGM & OPM On GTA3   <10:30 PM CST - schu>
The guys at Ziff Davis sent word that the November issue of the Official Playstation Magazine - US will hit news stands on October 9th.  The November issue contains an extensive GTA3 preview and a GTA3 cover.  Here is a shot of the cover they sent me.  

dElAvA picked up an issue of EGM and ran into another GTA3 preview.  Here are a few interesting quotes dElAvA sent in:

Well I was in Brooks (a local Rx) and decided to buy a gaming mag preferably one with GTA3 in it. Long story short I was reading the preview and found some interesting things.

"...walk the streets and pick the pockets of nearby citizens,..."

"You can even take part in a street race once you've got enough street cred."

"hookers ask if you're looking for some action,"

There are also some nice screens one is you working as a taxi driver and it has a message saying fair collection.

New GTA Sites   <10:30 PM CST - schu>

  
Site Updates
  <10:30 PM CST - schu>
I will be in NYC tomorrow previewing GTA3 at the Rockstar offices and I won't be back until Thursday.  Expect the next update to appear late Thursday or on Friday.

    

Monday - October 1, 2001 <11:30 PM CST> <Top>

IGN On The Gangs & Weapons of GTA3   <11:30 PM CST - schu>
IGN yet again, did you really think it was going to stop any time soon?  This time they posted an article on the gangs and weapons in GTA3.  The article is actually more of who's who in the Liberty City gang scene.  There is some new information in there but this was the most interesting bit:

IGN: What's your personal favorite weapon? And why? Adam: I'm a big fan of the Uzi for a few reasons: It's inexpensive to pick up from your local AmmuNation store, ammo and all; it's lightweight design makes for speedy getaways when there are no wheels around and you need to hoof it; and as anyone will tell you, nothing else works quite as well when you need to buck someone down without leaving the comfort of your own ride.

First of all this the first time I've seen any preview mention the fact that you can buy weapons from AmmuNation, a question that I've been getting on a daily basis.  This also opens up the possibility that you can legally acquire wheels at Capital Auto if you really want to.  But where's the fun in that?  One last thing I noticed was that he describes the weight of the weapon.  I seem to recall that larger weapons like the rocket launcher might slow up you more than smaller weapons like the pistol and the Uzi.  There are five new screenshots in the article as well as all the gang logos.  I've had the gang logos for quite awhile, other than the reworked logo for The Triads, anyway, here are the screens:

Click To View
Colombians
Click To View
Diablos
Click To View
Mafia
Click To View
Mafia
 
Click To View
Triads

Thanks to Andy H and Caustic for the emails on this.

GOURANGA.com Forums Now Open   <11:30 PM CST - schu>
Over the weekend Azz and I, mostly Azz, got the new GOURANGA.com forums up and running.  The forums are basically Azz'z message board with one new general forum for my site.  You can access the boards by clicking on the Message Board link on the nav bar.

Questions Please / Revised Update Schedule   <11:30 PM CST - schu>
If you have any GTA3 questions that haven't been answered so far or I couldn't answer in the past, please let me know.  I've been granted the honor of seeing GTA3 in action once again.  This Wednesday I will be flying to NY to take a look at the latest, and probably final, build of the game.  Because of this there won't be any updates on Wednesday and possibly Thursday.  If you have any questions at all, please let me know, I'll compile them into a list and try to run as many as I can by the guys at Rockstar.  At this time I ask that you don't submit any PC questions because I can already tell you that their answer will be "no comment."  My main reason for this visit is to see the changes that were made after the release date was pushed back.  I started a thread on the G! board for this or you can respond via email.

New GTA3 Release Date   <11:30 PM CST - schu>
Jason noticed that the Rockstar Warehouse site recently changed its release date for GTA3 to October 22nd.  Sounds official enough for me.

Server Problems   <11:30 PM CST - schu>
Some of you may have noticed that the site keeps going off-line and in its place a Forbidden message keeps popping up.  The first few times this happened it was related to Azz'z message board.  We solved that problem by installing a new board approved by my host.  Today, the site went down again, this time they took the site off-line basically because my GTA3 images directory was getting "large amounts of traffic going straight to it."  Basically they thought it was being used strictly for file distribution.  Hopefully I've cleared this up with them, why they couldn't take five seconds to see that every file in there was a jpg or gif file that easily opens in any image viewer, I don't know.  Hopefully they'll get off this kick of taking my site off-line any time they feel like it, it's really starting to piss me off.

 

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