Application Review: Grand Theft Auto III

10 Years ago, Rockstar took Grand Theft Auto in a direction that would change the entire series forever; not only that, for the better as well. A decade after they incorporated 3-dimensions into GTA, Rockstar comes back and reintroduces this well-known classic to the iOS crowd by releasing it for the iPad, iPod, and iPhone. Nothing is cut out as they go on to reproduce the fun things I did as a kid, but with this exact reproduction, it shows us how far we’ve come, and how our demands for graphics have improved.  Read on for the full review:


Grand Theft Auto is all about the cars, go joyriding in your dream car… Who cares if a dealer actually owns it.

GTA3 for iOS is an exact port of the popular game that released for the PS2 over a decade ago. The same fun gameplay takes place. Traveling by foot, or by car, gamers have the choices to make on whether or not they will be good today, or bad. With the ability to re-immerse yourself in the classic storylines GTA offered, the story can unfold, and be told once more on the portable iPhone. Rockstar’s free-roaming environment allows players to choose exactly what they want to do when they want to do it. With a variety of odd jobs, and ability to wreak havoc on every turn, the game provides an experience that is never the same the second time around; even if it happens 10 years later.

The ammunition really screams GTA. The weapon purchasing style here is classic, old, and not used any longer.

Now, the gameplay retains the same fun atmosphere GTA gave me years ago, but the controls need some work. Although they work fine, they are nowhere near perfect. There are two main control schemes for you to use, one for driving and another for walking. A joystick, or steering wheel, allows you to move while the onscreen buttons perform all the rest of the actions. Although many of the actions are available, they aren’t complete. There is no way to choose who you want to aim a gun at as the character will simply shoot the person closest to him. Accelerometer controls are also present, but there is no way to adjust sensitivity; they were either too sensitive for me in a circumstance, or not sensitive enough.

The controls in this game work, but don’t allow you to do everything.

Gameplay: ★★★★


In the graphics department, the game really fails at one place, clarity. Much of the actual graphics in the game are sub-par and lack the refined, finished look we need and crave nowadays. For 10 years ago, sure, this would have been great. However, today, the graphics just don’t live up. Do they retain details, yes, but many are still left out as things like lights are completely absent from the graphics. Poor textures that haven’t been made retina ready have really plagued this game as well. The graphics don’t look too bad on the device, but the screenshots really look atrocious. That is, unless you have an A5 device.

Details in the car’s damage are visible, but the clarity and textures are just low quality.

The menus are really just short and sweet; on top of that, Rockstar actually included menus in a GTA. The menus are button based and you simply scroll through them to make your selections. They are simply organized and don’t take much to learn.

GTAIII has menus now… ‘nuff said.

Graphics: ★★★★


Simply put, GTA offers gamers more than enough audio. Starting with the BGM, GTA sticks to the use of radio stations with no chance of a custom soundtrack. The songs on the radio are plentiful while the advertisements are sure to make you laugh. Like the BGM, the SFX run rampant in this game. With sound effects for just about every car, gun, foot step, even each skid, these effects are sure to please any given player.

Audio: ★★★★★


Replay is at the core of any GTA game, this one being no different. Like the original Grand Theft Auto III, this game offers users no online support. However, it really isn’t needed. If you have five minutes to kill, you can quickly lose track of time as you cause mayhem in Liberty City and run from the cops during the action-packed free-roam mode. If this isn’t structured enough for you, you can quickly get into any special vehicle like a cop car or taxi and be a cop or taxi driver for a day. Even more odd jobs are around Liberty City as there is no such thing as too much labor. Each odd job unlocks something for you whether it be infinite sprinting abilities or health boosts. Of course the inclusion of the 100 hidden packages will also add to replay, can you find them all again? Weapons await you if you do Liberty City is just chalk full of things for you to do outside your little storyline; it literally is a city waiting to be explored again.

GTA would be nothing without weapons, need a stash? Collect the hidden packages; only losers pay for weapons.

Replay: ★★★★★


Grand Theft Auto III comes with a hefty 5 dollar price tag. However, it offers users so much to do all around Liberty City. You can quickly find yourself lost in the entire game running from the SWAT team or rescuing people in an ambulance. The amount of things you can do seems limitless almost like any GTA. Although the graphics and controls do hinder it a bit, I do think five dollars is a fair asking price.

Value: ★★★★½

Final thoughts

Rockstar did succeed in recreating the same game we fell in love with 10 years ago when GTA took its first baby steps into the 3D world we know today. Although hindered a little with controls and graphics, Grand Theft Auto III for the iOS platform shows us the depth we have gained in the 10 years since this game surfaced. We’ve gone a long way, but this game is still worth just about every penny you spend on it.

Final Score

† All prices are in US currency.
This review was written by the Review Team. Cumulative scores are rounded to the nearest half or full star.
All accessories, applications, themes, tweaks, or other products were purchased by iFans at their respective prices unless stated otherwise.
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