Grand Theft Auto III is undoubtedly a classic game, no poor tablet adaptation ten years on from its release is going to alter that status. When such an iconic app does arrive on the Android Market however, the hope is that it will live up to the stellar status it established for itself just over a decade ago. Thankfully, I am pleased to report Rockstar’s first cultural landmark is just as good as it ever was. That is, phenomenally good.
No game like GTA III really exists anywhere on the Android ecosystem. The economy of creating something on a scale this ginormous and then charging less than £3 for it just isn’t there. So despite its age, Rockstar’s multi-million selling title is actually a little more original than you’d expect, considering it was first released in the month Britain invaded Afghanistan.
If there’s an aspect of GTA III that hasn’t made it over to Android then I either haven’t noticed it or it isn’t that important. At first, the idea of a complete port of the original struck me as unrealistic, especially given how ropey touch controls can be in Android adventure titles. Through the use of auto-targetting when you’re caught in a firefight and simple left and right buttons when you’re driving however, any fatal problems are solved. I’m not saying things are perfect but they couldn’t be any better unless you plug in a USB controller with which this title is also compatible.
So you’re free to roam the streets of Liberty City with little regard for the boundaries of the tablet platform or the constraints of the law. In the several hours I spent reacquainting myself with GTA III, I’d assassinated a unruly mobster with a car bomb, won a drag race and transported several prostitutes between their places of work. Yes, it’s completely immoral and in no way suitable for kids but surely you knew that by now?
If I’ve got one complaint about GTA III for Android, it’s that nothing new has been added into the game. I can’t imagine it would have been that hard to stick in an extra side quest or two but, in all fairness, you already get plenty of value for money from this app. So much so, it is by far and away the best I have played all year.