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rand Theft Auto III is a 2001 open world action-adventure computer and video game developed by DMA Design (now Rockstar North) in the United Kingdom, and published by Rockstar Games. It is the first 3D title in the Grand Theft Auto series. It was released in October 2001 for the PlayStation 2, May 2002 for Microsoft Windows, in November 2003 for the Xbox and in November 2010 for Mac OS X. It was made available on Steam on January 4, 2008 and on the Mac App Store on August 18, 2011. The game was released for iOS and Android mobile devices on December 15, 2011. The game is preceded by Grand Theft Auto 2 and succeeded by Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.
Grand Theft Auto III takes place in Liberty City, a city on the East Coast of America, which is loosely based on New York City, but also incorporates elements of other American cities. GTA III's Liberty City has also been used for Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories, Grand Theft Auto Advance and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (only for one mission in San Andreas), and is one of four renditions of "Liberty Cities" featured throughout the series; the other three are present in Grand Theft Auto (GTA1), Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars, and Grand Theft Auto IV (GTA IV). GTAIII is set around the autumn of 2001, when the game was first released; this was indicated by the Liberty Tree website, which included plot points that connect to events in the beginning of the game in its last existing monthly entry, dated October 18, 2001. The player progresses from the east (Portland), to the west (Shoreside Vale) during the game.
Claude (whose name is not revealed until Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas)[a] has robbed the Liberty City Bank with his girlfriend, Catalina, and a male accomplice. While running from the scene, Catalina shoots him and leaves him to die in an alley. The accomplice is also seen lying nearby. Claude survives but has been arrested and subsequently found guilty and sentenced to jail. While he is being transferred, an attack on the police convoy aimed at kidnapping an unrelated prisoner sets him free. With the help of a fellow escaped prisoner (later revealed as 8-Ball), Claude then takes on work as a local thug.
Claude at first begins working for Luigi Goterelli, a mobster who owns a nightclub and works for the Leone family. Claude is later introduced to Joey Leone, the son of Don Salvatore Leone. Claude starts working for the high ranking Toni Cipriani, Salvatore's Capo who helped defeat the Sicilian Mafia years before. During the work, Claude finds himself opposed of the Cartel, who are selling a drug called SPANK.
Once he is respected enough, Claude finally meets Salvatore at a meeting. Salvatore takes a liking to Claude and has him work directly against the Cartel. During which Claude realizes Catalina, now affiliated with the Cartel, is in charge of SPANK dealings. In the process, Maria, Salvatore's young and strained wife, begins to take a liking to Claude. Salvatore, grows suspicious and leads him to a death trap via car bomb; but Maria saves him, remaining close to him throughout the storyline.
He later goes to work for others, including the Liberty City Yakuza leader Asuka Kasen, Maria's close friend who gets Claude to kill Salvatore, cutting off all Claude's ties to the mafia. Claude's work leads him to allying himself with other criminal sources outside of the Mafia, such as Ray Machowiski, who is allied with the Yakuza and like Claude is an enemy of the Cartel. Claude later saves Machwiski from Internal Affairs, who seem to drop their investigation on him.
Claude meets the charismatic media mogul Donald Love, who is responsible for causing media fronts to block the conspiracy of his past cannibalism and necrophilia. In an effort to start a war between the Yakuza and the Cartel, Claude and Love organize the death of Asuka's brother, Kenji Kasen and frame the Cartel. While on an errand, Claude finally confronts Catalina face to face, but she eludes death and leaves her second in command Miguel to his fate. Miguel is confronted by Asuka, who abducts him believing him to have knowledge of her brothers death. Miguel begs Claude to save him but Claude, remembering his role in the betrayal, leaves him. Shortly after this Love disappears under unknown circumstances.
On the side, Claude works for smaller street gangs, like the Diablos, Southside Hoods,the Yardies and serial killer Marty Chonks. The Yardies leader, King Courtney is responsible for Claude's falling out with the Diablos and betrays Claude himself after allying himself with the Cartel. This leaves the Southside Hoods to be one of the few allies Claude has.
With the war with the Cartel intensifying, Asuka and Maria learn of Claude's history with Catalina and get him to fight many Cartel operations head on. Eventually, his exploits attract the attention of Catalina. This results Maria being abducted by the Cartel and hold a ransom for her. This gives Claude the opportunity to face Catalina once more.
When Claude makes it to the Cartels mansion, he confronts Catalina who attempts to have Claude killed on the spot. Claude overpowers his would be executioners and fights his way to the City's Dam. In the resulting final firefight, Catalina attempts to flee on a helicopter and makes a final attempt on Claude's life, but Claude finds a discarded rocket launcher and proceeds to shoot down Catalina. As the game ends, Claude and Maria leave the area and news reports discuss the gang wars that have taken place and that there were many witnesses to the fire fight but Claude and Maria's final fates remain unknown.
Grand Theft Auto series
1961 – London, 1961
1969 – London, 1969
1997 – Grand Theft Auto
GTA 2 era
1999 – Grand Theft Auto 2
GTA III era
1984 – Vice City Stories
1986 – Vice City
1992 – San Andreas
1998 – Liberty City Stories
2000 – Advance
2001 – Grand Theft Auto III
GTA IV era
2008 – Grand Theft Auto IV
The Lost and Damned
The Ballad of Gay Tony
2009 – Chinatown Wars
GTA V era
TBA – Grand Theft Auto V
Main article: List of characters in Grand Theft Auto III
In addition to the exploits of Claude, the storyline, while not as integral to the game as its successors, depicts Claude's development of several non-player individuals and bosses, through cut scenes before the start of each mission, as the player progresses through the game. Most of the characters encountered revolve around corruption, crime and a fictional drug called "SPANK," which is a growing menace in the city.
With the success of GTA III and its sequels, several of these characters or their relatives reappear in future GTA titles with major or minor roles, and their personal background expanded, particularly Leone family Don Salvatore Leone, media mogul Donald Love, Maria, Phil, the One-Armed Bandit, 8-Ball, Catalina and Toni Cipriani.
The voice cast for the game's characters features several established celebrities. Notable voice actors include: Frank Vincent, Michael Madsen, Michael Rapaport, Joe Pantoliano, Debi Mazar, Kyle MacLachlan, Robert Loggia, Lazlow Jones and late rapper Guru.
Grand Theft Auto III inherits and modifies much of the gameplay mechanics from its predecessors, Grand Theft Auto and Grand Theft Auto 2, combining elements of a third-person shooter and a driving game in a new 3D game engine. The idea of using a 3D game engine in such a genre was however not new: the first game to combine elements of action, shooting, and driving various vehicles in a sandbox-style 3D world was Hunter, released in 1991 for the Commodore Amiga and Atari ST home computers. The first developed by DMA Design was Body Harvest (1998), for the Nintendo 64. Publicly debuted in 1995 at Nintendo's SpaceWorld video game trade show, Body Harvest was revolutionary for its time, but despite above average reviews, the game sold poorly. GTA III takes the gameplay elements of Body Harvest and combines them with the GTA series' open-ended game design to create a level of freedom and detail that was unprecedented in 2001.
On foot, the player's character has the additional ability to sprint (but is incapable of swimming), as well as use weapons and perform basic hand to hand combat; he is also capable of driving a variety of vehicles, (with the addition of watercraft and a fixed-wing aircraft).
A screenshot of Claude running with a pistol in hand. With a completely redone game engine, the player is now able to see forward and better explore GTA III's environment.
Criminal offenses, such as carjacking, murder and theft will result in increasing levels of resistance from the authorities. If the player's "wanted" level reaches certain levels, the police, FBI, and army will respond accordingly. When the player character collapses from his injuries or is arrested, he will re-spawn at a local hospital or police station respectively, at the expense of losing all weapons and armor and an amount of money for medical expenses or bribes. While this is similar to previous Grand Theft Auto games, the player character is essentially offered unlimited "lives," as opposed to the limited number of lives in GTA1 and GTA2. This allows the player character to "die" as many times as she/he pleases, and render it impossible to indefinitely lose in the game.
A major feature in GTA III's predecessors that allowed the player to obtain cash by committing petty crimes has been downplayed in GTA III, encompassing only car ramming, vehicle destruction and pedestrian killing. The amount of money in the player's possession is no longer a requirement to unlock new areas in GTA III. There are only two exceptions to this, which require the player to have a certain amount of money. Instead, the completion of missions and unfolding of the game's storyline are now responsible for this role. Additionally, the player is allowed to return to all unlocked areas of the city. However, as new areas open up, access to other, previously available areas becomes more dangerous or difficult, due to hostilities from enemy gangs.
The interface of the game has been significantly overhauled. The player-centered compass is replaced by a separate mini-map that also displays a map of the city and key locations (safe houses and contact points) or targets. Armour and health levels are now indicated in numbers, and a 24-hour clock is added. Gang behavior is no longer dictated by "respect" meters used in GTA2; instead, the player character's progress through the story affects his view in the "eyes" of gang members. As the player completes missions for different gangs, rival gang members will come to recognize the character and subsequently shoot on sight.
Whereas multiplayer modes from previous GTA titles allowed players to connect through a computer network and play the game with others, GTA III was the first computer game title to only ship with a single player game mode. As a result, third-party modifications were developed that re-extended the game with the absent network functionality through manipulation of the game's memory. One of these modifications became known as Multi Theft Auto and was developed alongside this title and future GTA successors.