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Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars Review (PSP) - 733 GTA2

Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars Review (PSP)

Do you remember when GTA first started out?

Rockstar bring us yet another instalment to the GTA franchise. This time Rockstar dive deep into the world of handheld gaming and do so supremely.

As you may or for some reason may not know, the GTA series has been running for quite some time now. There has been numerous games in the series released all following the same style of game play and objective points in there lengthy campaigns. With so many GTA games having been released over the years I find it crazy to say that Rockstar are still going strong with the series. I for one still adore all of the GTA games dating all the way back to the very start of the series in 1998.

Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown WarsWith GTA: Chinatown Wars it feels like history has repeated itself as the game is played in the style of the original GTA game that I played on the Playstation back in 1998. This is by no means bad, in fact I think its fantastic! Chinatown Wars is played with the classical high rise birds eye view that is seen in the early games of the GTA series. It just made me feel and think back to when I was a youngster playing an “18” age rated game when I was only 7 years of age. Its just amazing to play Chinatown Wars in the style of the original GTA we saw on Playstation.

You play as Huang Lee, a spoilt rich kid who loves to do nothing but spend his fathers money. Huang’s father is murdered and this brings Huang to Liberty City to carry on his fathers work and keep family ties together. When I say ‘work’ I mean that Huang’s father is a leader of a gang in Chinatown known as the Triads. Now that Huang’s father is dead, there has been a lot of trouble with their family and business power in Chinatown. Some of the trouble being small thug gangs attacking the Triads business branches and much more. It’s up to Huang to set things right and recover the power of the Triads.

I cannot emphasise just how much there really is to do in this game.

The game plays like all of the other games in the franchise. You will have to kill certain people, steal cars, maybe sell some drugs and escape the police when needed. All of these game play aspects come from the masses of missions the game has to throw at you. These missions play through the story of the game as well as acting as small side missions to earn some extra money on the side. I’ve played through the entire game and can say that this game holds around 10-11 hours of game play for you to have a blast with so there is plenty to look forward to, and I have not yet mentioned small hidden gems this game holds.

Graphically the game looks superb on the PSP, its slick cartoon like presentation is surprisingly welcome to the franchise. There is plenty of detail in the environments, the buildings that you play around look really nice and well scaled along with everything else that you will see within the game. I find it awesome that the PSP games can hold so much within them, the map is pretty big but it’s not the map that you realise is big, it’s the entire game. I cannot emphasise just how much there really is to do in this game.

So what else is there to do in this game? Well not only do you play through a fairly long campaign you will be able to become a professional drugs dealer…within the game. You will be able to buy and sell drugs to other dealers and clients all over Liberty City, working on a buy low, sell high basis. If selling drugs was this easy and this much fun in real lifeI would be on a corner of a road right now!

Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown WarsOther than the ability to become a drugs dealer you will get to play through rampages, ambulance calls, cab calls, delivery calls and much more. The wanted system that has been seen in all GTA games is still here, but in Chinatown Wars you can wipe-out police chases by simply smashing up the police cars as they chase you. One definitive impact on them and a small cross sign will show telling you that the cop is down and out. This is a nice little touch to the game and makes a change to be able to show the cops who’s really boss with ease.

The story in this game is shown through multiple cut scenes throughout the game, although are nothing amazing as they lack any voice acting or any animations. They are simple snapshot pieces of artwork showing the characters faces. This isn’t much of a problem as the game will make you forgive Rockstar though, as the story is pretty good.

More over, you will come across a series of mini games that you must complete in order to do certain things such as hot wiring cars, putting together guns etc. All of the mini games are pretty good but sometimes it can ruin the experience as they are all done with button combinations and rotating the movement stick,

Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown WarsThere are still some small issues with GTA: Chinatown Wars though. I myself am still not a huge fan of the locking on system constantly seen in the GTA series that can sometimes bug out and you will be looking at a downed enemy for a few seconds till the game realises the guy is dead. I feel something a little new would make a welcome change to the game. The Mini games should have been left to the Nintendo DS in my opinion, as they kind of ruin the experience with their boring style.

Through it all, what we have here is a fantastic PSP game and another amazing Grand Theft Auto game. If you feel like you could do with some old school GTA go buy this and refresh yourself for a reminder of what was the beginning of one of today’s biggest franchises in gaming history.

The Good: Lengthly campaign, Plenty to do around liberty city,Dealing drugs is AWESOME!, Sharp presentation throughout the game.
The Bad: Mini games are boring and not very immersive, Lack of animation within the cut scenes as well as voice acting.

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Silver Y AwardSilver Y Award
4 4 / 5

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