GOT Blog

Gaming United: The History of Grand Theft Auto and The Incredible Last Installment

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My sister is back with another Gaming United segment, she covers one of the greatest video game franchises in history Grand Theft Auto. She gave a little background on each installment but mainly talks about Grand Theft Auto 5 and why she is still playing it. We hope you enjoy the post and share it with your friends and family!

Grand Theft Auto is an on going series that started in 1997 with the latest game, GTA V coming out in 2013. The series has gotten better and better with each new game by adding new pieces to every game and of course the graphics improving as well. If you don't know the basic principle of GTA you live under a rock and should get out more but I will give a little history on each game. I have only played GTA V so I will mainly talk about it.

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Grand Theft Auto came out in 1997 and was developed by DMA Design for the PlayStation 1, PC, and GameBoy Color. The game had an overhead 2 dimensional look with an open world style which was a huge development for the game. (Open world means you are no confined to an area or have to complete the game in a linear fashion, you are able to explore the game without restrictions) There were multiple levels which were split between 3 cities, the ultimate objective was to reach a target number of points to advance to the next level. The game had 8 playable characters (PlayStation only had 4) and you had a limited number of lives for each level. If you died before you reached the target point total you restarted, there was also no save feature until you completed the level. Starting with the first game there were cheat codes you could input into the game to level up, get unlimited points, upgrade weapons, and so on. 

GTA 2 come out in '99 and was again developed by DMA Design for PS1, Sega Dreamcast, PC, and GameBoy Color. It still had the overhead 2D look and had multiple levels of districts. GTA 2 introduced a key component for the series, it had one single character you played as Claude Speed. The ultimate objective was still the same as the first game but it allowed you to save at any point during the game. GTA 2 saw a big improvement on city activity, vehicles and city people actually played a role and interacted with their surroundings. Another big addition was you now earned a wanted level for committing crimes around the city, meaning the police force would be aware of what you are doing and try to stop you. The higher your wanted level the more force the police would use to stop you. It also introduced side missions, you could now become a taxi driver or bus driver or even a semi truck driver. 

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GTA 3 came out in 2001 along with the next generation systems, PlayStation 2, XBOX, PC and was available on mobile devices. It was developed by DMA Design and included two of the biggest breakthroughs for the series, it introduced the third person perspective along with a much bigger and expansive open world map. The game was set in Liberty City (based off New York City) and we are reunited with Claude Speed from GTA 2. With the bigger map the story mode was much bigger and in-depth along with the side missions. It was received with critical acclaim and controversy based on the violence and sexual content of the game. These are two sticking points for the GTA series as a whole, they are always some of the biggest games but are also very controversial. 

Grand Theft Auto:Vice City came out in 2002 and saw a new developer, Rockstar make the game which would be a common theme for the next three games. It was once again released on PS2, XBOX, PC, and mobile devices. You played as Tommy Vercetti in Vice City which was based off Miami and 1980s Miami more specifically. It once again was a third person, open world game that included a story mode and side missions. However the "world" was expanded exponentially, for example you could now purchase properties to help earn money and make the game more realistic. 

GTA: San Andreas was released in 2004 by Rockstar on PS2, PS3, XBOX, XBOX 360, PC, and mobile devices. You played as Carl "CJ" Johnson as he explored San Andreas which was based off of Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Las Vegas. San Andreas is hailed as one of the greatest video games ever and expanded on the already great GTA franchise. It introduced so many staples of what we think GTA should have, swimming, character customization including clothing, accessories, haircuts, jewelry, and tattoos. Playing as CJ you had to make sure you ate and exercised to keep your character progressing. It was only three years in-between GTA 3 and San Andreas but the developers included 250 vehicles in San Andreas which you could modify versus only 60 in GTA 3. Everyone looks at this installment to where GTA really expanded and became one of the greatest franchises of all time. 

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Rockstar took a four year break in-between San Andreas and GTA 4 which came out in 2008 on PS3, XBOX 360, and PC. It went back to Liberty City and followed the story of Niko Bellic. Once again it was a third person, open world game with a story mode and side missions. However it also added another major mode, it introduced online multiplayer which included both cooperative and competitive modes. Rockstar is one of the most intelligent game developers and with smartphones being a major part of everyday life they included that in GTA 4. The smartphone could be used to start activities and contact friends to hang out. 

The last installment of Grand Theft Auto was released by Rockstar in 2013. It was released on PS3, PS4, XBOX 360, XBOX 1, and PC. GTA V broke the industry sales records, it recorded sales over $1 billion in three days. It is set in Los Santos, which is basically Los Angeles and followed three main characters, Michael, Franklin, and Trevor. Of course it is an open world, third or first person game with a story and side missions. It also has a huge online multiplayer which can include 30 players working together or against each other. GTA V looked at all the previous titles and took everything that worked for them and put it in one unbelievable game. Let's take a look at why this game is so successful and why five years later millions of people are still playing.

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Although the story mode is great, the online mode is the preferred one for many gamers. Online mode for GTA is where you can play with other players in a lobby doing whatever you want. You can fight with each other, do missions or races, and ever start up a business or motorcycle club to do earn money. You also get to customize your characters looks and what their name is. You can change the hair, eye color, and ever add face paint to stand out among other players. I still play GTA everyday along with a bunch of my online friends. Mostly we like to mess around and cause mayhem around Los Santos with other but other times we will do missions so we can all earn money. You can purchase some really awesome stuff with the money you earn, you can buy cars, houses, clothes, and properties. A really cool example is the Deluxo, which is a flying car very similar to the Delorean from Back to the Future. Rockstar is always updating the game and adding new missions, story lines, races, clothes, and so on. Personally I prefer races over missions but a popular mission is a mode called Slashers. In this game there are two teams, the hunter and the killers or slashers. Both teams try to kill each other but the hunter only get a flashlight while the slashers get a shotgun and a machete. However, every sixty seconds the teams switch sides until one is eliminated. 

The game has been out since 2013 and is still widely played as this past December saw more players in GTA online then ever before. Although it can have its bad moments, like when the Rockstar servers are down, overall it is a fantastic game. I would strongly recommend this game and hopefully the rumors of GTA 6 are true!!

Nick DugganComment