Ten years ago Grand Theft Auto III hit the video game world with a major splash. The controversial but critically acclaimed game allowed users to commit a wide array of petty crimes in an amazingly open environment. Users could travel all through the game’s Liberty City setting – every street, alley, and sidewalk was open to users. Though the game, which was available on the PlayStation 2, the Microsoft Xbox, and Windows PCs, had a story line with tasks for the player to complete, they could just as easily ignore the missions, wandering through the city and causing mayhem at will. Though wildly popular, the game caused quite a stir with some of the things it allowed players to do – including killing prostitutes and taking their money – and prompted Walmart and some other retailers to institute stricter rules governing to whom they sold M-rated games.
The game’s maker, Rockstar Games, announced earlier this month that they would be bringing the controversial classic to Apple’s App Store and the Android App Market. The app, which launched around midnight, is $4.99. The iOS version is a universal app, playable on both the iPhone and the iPad [iTunes Link]. A gameplay video is embedded below.
Twitter reactions to the release of the game display little of the controversy of a decade ago. Most users seem excited about the release, though one expresses doubts about the viability of a console port doing well on mobile devices.
Can’t wait to get GTA III for my iPad tonight. I lost a girlfriend to the PS2 version and regret nothing.
Console ports on smartphones have novelty value but tend to be wildly overpraised because of it. “Tee hee! GTA III on my iPhone! 10/10!”
In the ten years since GTA III released, the Grand Theft Auto franchise has gone on to spawn a further nine games, with a tenth (the fifteenth game in the series overall) in the works. Rockstar announced Grand Theft Auto V (not all the games in the series get numbers) via Twitter in October and debuted a trailer on their homepage in November. The game is scheduled for a 2012 release.
What do you think of GTA III going mobile? Have you played it? Will you? Sound off in the comments.