GTA 3: the starting point to GTA 6

GTA 3: the starting point to GTA 6
Shaun M Jooste

Shaun M Jooste

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With GTA 6 on the horizon, it’s time to look back at the series to see what’s happened up until now. Even if you’ve played every one of them, it’s still nostalgic to remember why these games were so fantastic in their own right. 

We’ll begin with GTA III, which was the starting point in the new gameplay era of the franchise. You’ll see why it was different from the first two games, the main story elements and other aspects that we thoroughly enjoyed. We’ll skip all the parts where some authorities wanted it banned due to sex, drugs, and rock n roll.


GTA III: Start of a New Era

Before GTA III, the first two games had one common element to them that would not continue through the rest of the Rockstar series. They presented a top-down camera with basic graphics and gameplay. Imagine if that had not changed and GTA 6 was still played viewed from the top.

No, thank you. Fortunately, GTA III changes to a third-person perspective in a 3D world. It was easier to aim your gun, and the world you ran around in was bigger. Let’s take a look at the story and the primary game elements that we grew to love.

GTA 6 Revival GTA III

The Main Plot

Welcome to Liberty City, the location for GTA III, unlike GTA 6 which will be set in Vice City. You play as Claude, who’s a small criminal compared to the mafia gangs running the town. At the start of the game, his girlfriend shoots him while they’re busy with a bank heist. It causes his arrest.

During the prison transport, the Colombian Cartel attack the transport vehicle to free one of the prisoners. While Claude sees this as his chance to escape, he makes friends with a fellow convict, 8-Ball. It’s through him that he takes on missions for the Leone Mafia. 

One of these missions eventually leads to Claude taking on the Triads. Also, the Don of the Leone family is impressed with his work, ordering him to destroy a drug lab that belongs to the Cartel. 

This is when things become really spicy, like Bold and the Beautiful spicy. The Don has a trophy wife called Maria. Since she’s taken a liking to Claude, the Don sends him on a special mission that’s sure to get him killed. Fortunately, Maria lets him know it’s a setup. 

With a nice little twist, Claude steals Maria away, assassinates the Don, and starts working with the Yakuza. What follows is working with a corrupt police inspector, gang wars, battles at construction sites, and just utter and complete chaos. In the end, Claude has to decide whose side he’s really on besides his own.

GTA 6 Revival GTA III

Open-World Exploration

As mentioned, GTA III was the revolutionary game in the series that moved to a 3D world. It allowed the development team to do what they had wanted to for a long time: design an open world for Grand Theft Auto. Thankfully, it’s a tradition that continues to GTA 6.

With the PlayStation 2, the team felt they could do much more than before. With the use of DVDs instead of CDs, they could also store more files for buildings, design, music, and more. 

Included in the open-world design was the sound. You had radio stations with DJs commenting on the world’s events. It’s one of the elements we’ve loved in so many Grand Theft Auto games, listening to the chatter or music while being hunted by the police or taking a cruise down the main road.

The best part was that you could explore Liberty City at your leisure. The main plan was that you could enjoy a game that you felt you could live in, not just complete missions. We hope this continues into the upcoming GTA 6.

GTA 6 Revival GTA III

Gameplay Elements

The gameplay of GTA III was completely linear in that you needed to complete specific missions to continue in the main story. Also, you had to complete set objectives in Portland before you could proceed to Staunton Island, and the same for Shoreside Vale. All of these locations are in Liberty City.

Not only did you have the main missions, but there were also side objectives you could accept and complete in your own time. Some of them only became accessible once you reached a specific point in GTA III. It’s what we expect to continue into GTA 6.

The main gameplay involved walking, running, or driving vehicles. The flagship mechanic of stealing vehicles remained since that’s the name of the game, quite literally. You would fight with your fists until you obtained melee or ranged weapons. 

Another element that will carry through to GTA 6 are being chased by the cops. If you perform criminal activities that they become aware of, they chase you down based on star levels. You need to hide until the stars vanish, or you get caught and land up in prison for a short time.

Your character Claude is mute throughout the game; the team didn’t introduce any voice acting for him. Fortunately, that would change in future titles, but we’ll cover that in a different GTA 6 revival blog post.

GTA 6 Revival GTA III

The Legacy of GTA III

GTA III didn’t just change the camera perspective in the series; it left a vast legacy that many won’t forget. It received many outstanding labels over the years, such as Greatest Video Game of All Time, Top Influential Game, and more. 

There were publications that praised it for how it influenced open-world games and the open-ended designs for many future titles to come. As a matter of fact, it would inspire most of the sandbox games of the modern world.

It also led to the development of many games that are similar to GTA III. Some popular names you may recognize are Saints Row, Mafia, Watch Dogs, and True Crime. Many of these received the label GTA-clone, whether or not that was the developer’s original intention.

Another trend GTA III started that continues to GTA 6 has to do with violence and adult themes in gaming. It’s stated by many that this Grand Theft Auto game set a wave of new violent games that suddenly flooded the market. Shooters and gang-related titles appeared everywhere, trying to fill that GTA fix everyone was trying to fill.

GTA 6 Revival GTA III

Road to GTA 6

It’s undeniable that GTA III certainly set the foundation for what we expect for GTA 6. With a vast open world to explore in three different locations, it started a spree of violent games that we still see happening today. 

Stay tuned for more of out GTA 6 revival post series as we look at the other titles in the franchise and how the games developed to where they are today!

Shaun M Jooste

Shaun M Jooste

I live in South Africa, Cape town, as a father of two children. I've been gaming almost all my life, with plenty of experience writing reviews and articles on the latest titles. With 15 years of experience in local government performing Facilities Management functions, I moved towards becoming CEO of my own company, Celenic Earth Publications, which serves to publish author's books, including my own. I'm a published author of horror and fantasy novels, while I also dabble in game and movie scriptwriting.

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