Grand Theft Auto III
Grand Theft Auto III is a legendary sandbox style first person shooter game released in October 2001 for the PlayStation 2, May 2002 for the PC, and November 2003 for the Xbox, in November 2010 for Mac OS X, and on December 15, 2011 for the iPhone, iPad, and various Android smart phones, and on September 25, 2012 on the PlayStation Network; a digital download service for the PlayStation 3, however it is not a high-definition remaster. Like many violent video games, the Grand Theft Auto series has been directly linked to acts of adolescent violence in real life.
Grand Theft Auto III makes use of a 3D game engine (operating environment), special effects for fires, explosions, and gore. Ground breaking, never before seen features include changes in weather from sun to rain, changes in time of day (1 in game minute equals approximately 1-1.5 seconds), the freedom to highjack or steal cars, and kill pedestrians and police officers through a variety of means. Some of these features were also implemented in Grand Theft Auto 1 and Grand Theft Auto 2, however only GTA 3 had achieved this open world freedom and gameplay in a 3D environment and with textures that were very detailed for the time. Vehicles include various cars, trucks, vans and buses based on their real life counterparts.
The game is set in a previous rendition of Liberty City, which includes elements of Chicago, Kansas City, and the skyscraper architecture seen in New York City. A trademark of the Grand Theft Auto franchise is to exaggerate the seediness of their real life counterparts. This is most obvious in the rendition of Los Santos seen in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. Much emphasis is put on low income and gang infested areas and consequently gang culture. The protagonist is a nameless man who was later revealed to have the name "Claude" in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, in which he made a cameo appearance. He was betrayed by his girlfriend "Catalina" during a bank robbery. He was shot in the stomach by Catalina, arrested, charged, and convicted by a unanimous verdict. While under police transportation to the penitentiary, the convoy was hijacked by a group of fellow thugs, Claude was freed, and the bridge was bombed. The player drives to what is now his living space where the player can hide out from law enforcement and save game progress. Claude is revealed in San Andreas to be "mute"; unable to talk or verbally respond to commands. This is because developers chose not to hire a voice actor.
Grand Theft Auto III introduced the ability to pick up and have implied sex with prostitutes, kill them and steal their money, or both. Wal-Mart announced they would begin doing ID checks on any purchasers of "M for Mature" rated games appearing under the age of 17. It was banned in Australia for some time and a censored version of the game was released in its place. On October 20, 2003, the families of Aaron Hamel and Kimberly Bede, two young teens shot to death by fellow teens William and Josh Beckner filed a $246 million lawsuit against Rockstar Games and Take Two Interactive over the games "purported psychological effects". Rockstar Games argued that those effects are protected by the First Amendments free speech clause.
Certain "missions" (tasks that the player must complete in order to progress through storyline), pedestrian dialogue and radio dialogue were cut after the 9/11 attacks. This included a mission titled "Love Hurts"; a mission that involved flying a plane into a skyscraper belonging to the owner of a media conglomerate in order to kill him and the changing of paint jobs on police cars. It is speculated that the ability to blow limbs off civilians was removed.