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Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars Updated Impressions: Touching (the screen) is Good (Gamespot 13/3/09)

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Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars Updated Impressions: Touching (the screen) is Good (Gamespot 13/3/09)

Post by VampiricPadraig on Mon Mar 16, 2009 3:43 am

Rockstar's upcoming Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars is quite possibly the most shocking entry in the famed series to date. But, if you know GTA, it isn't for the reasons you might think. While the game offers the immersive experience you'd expect from a GTA game thanks to a meaty story, colorful cast of characters, and the Liberty City setting, the most shocking thing about the game is the fact that it's shaped up as well as it has on the Nintendo DS. We got one last chance to take a tour of the town recently and were mightily impressed by how Rockstar Leeds has made use of the DS's unique features.

As we mentioned in our last look at the game, Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars is serving up a hybrid GTA experience that marries the immersive experience pioneered by GTAIII with an overhead camera that recalls the first two games in the series, albeit in proper 3D. The look is a good fit for the DS hardware capabilities but the gameplay also makes use of the hardware's unique features. The game's touchscreen mechanics are smartly implemented, actually making sense in gameplay, and doled out in short bursts.

Although some of the touchscreen mechanics have the minigame simplicity that comes with most stylus-driven activities, they fit into the bigger gameplay picture of the game pretty well. Whether you're assembling your own sniper rifle from component parts, picking locks, making your own Molotov cocktails, hot-wiring a car, or tattooing someone--to name just some of the touchscreen mechanics--they feel organic and contextual to the action. In addition, using the touchscreen to select weapons, toss Molotovs, or use the features of a hijacked car, such as a fire engine's water hose, while in action in the top screen, are nice touches work well from what we played so far.

In addition to the taking advantage of the touchscreen, we have to call out a cool little touch that many may miss: the game's microphone support. While not essential to gameplay at all, it's a cool touch to be able to whistle for a taxi when you're near one. One tip? Use your judgment when playing the game out in public as you may get an actual taxi or smacked if you're in mixed company.

From what we've played it's looking like there's a lot to like in Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars. The game looks to be offering an authentic GTA experience which has never worked on a cartridge based handheld (yes, we're glossing over GTA for the GameBoy Advance). The sheer amount of content and the smart use of the DS hardware looks to make for a compelling package that we reckon very few people outside of Rockstar's development studios would have thought possible. Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars ships next week for the DS, look for our full review then.

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Re: Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars Updated Impressions: Touching (the screen) is Good (Gamespot 13/3/09)

Post by silentflesh on Sun May 31, 2009 12:32 am

I want to get the game. Finally GTA in DS... Angel

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