Grand Theft Auto 3
(this portable version has the radio stations ripped out)
The Grand Theft Auto series, belonging to a genre of free-roaming video games called "sandbox games," grants a large amount of freedom to the player in deciding what to do and how to do it through multiple methods of transport and weapons. Unlike most traditional action games, which are structured as a single track series of levels with linear gameplay, in GTA the player can determine the missions they want to undertake, and their relationships with various characters are changed based on these choices.
The cities of the games can also be roamed freely at any point in the game, offering many accessible buildings and minor missions. There are exceptions: missions follow a linear, overarching plot, and some city areas must be unlocked over the course of the game.
The game's unnamed protagonist finds himself a rising star in Liberty City's world of organized crime, after a vicious betrayal by his girlfriend leads to
a chance encounter with a man by the name of 8-Ball. Soon after getting your feet wet doing a bit of driving for a local mob boss, you'll soon find that
if you want to get anywhere, you're going to have to get your hands dirty. If you can keep your cool while keeping your employers happy, you just might get a shot at revenge.
The use of vehicles in an explorable urban environment provides a basic simulation of a working city, complete with pedestrians who obey traffic signals. Further details are used to flesh out an open-ended atmosphere that has been used in several other games, such as The Simpsons Hit & Run, which has less emphasis on crime or violence.
The series has courted a great deal of controversy since the release of Grand Theft Auto III. This criticism stems from the focus on illegal activities in comparison with traditional "heroic" roles that other games offer. The main character can commit a wide variety of crimes and violent acts while dealing with only temporary consequences, including the killing of policemen and military personnel. Opponents of violent video games, such as Jack Thompson, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton and Julia Boseman, believe that players will try to emulate this behavior, while proponents believe it provides an emotional outlet, as such actions in real life would have serious consequences.