The Purple View

Reviews, rants and purpleness

A Brief History of Grand Theft and Auto

Posted by Nathan Hardisty on April 6, 2009

GTA Week 2 Header 1

Welcome to a different retrospective on the GTA series, the main difference with it being me who’s writing this bullshit! Grand Theft Auto has faced countless challenges, most of them were breaching into everything you see today. If GTA was made today, it wouldn’t hit the shops and you wouldn’t be carjacking middle aged men… viturally. The whole series started almost 13 years ago, with the release of Grand Theft Auto, which shocked the world with its offdahook and controversial sense of morality… but we fucking loved it, like the fucking morons we are. Hit the jump for the video supplement and how fucking awesome this series is.

GTA 1 was released for the PS1 and just about revolutionized ‘sandbox’ gaming, and also the limits of gaming too. GTA 1 was slated by politics mostly, and was even used in the 2000 Presidential Campaign (as you do). Most shops even banned the game from appearing anywhere near their shelves, but  ultimately surrendered to the actual sales of the game. GTA1 was probably a good use of the phrase “give gamers freedom and they will want to abuse it”, which is actually a phrase used by our Australian jibber jabbering friend, Mistah Zero Punctuation.

GTA1 had two expansions packs, in the form of ‘London’ and ‘1961’, which boosted sales of the main game and kept public interest going until GTA 2. There wasn’t much change in the second entry of the series, apart from a more fluid atmosphere and this fluidity jumped to the new controls aswell. GTA 2 was released for the Playstation, PC and Dreamcast, with the latter just about falling on its face. This was also around the time that Sonic did a U-Turn and headed straight to “SHITSVILLE” and FUCKING fucked up his own FUCKING franchise… not his fault really, blame the brillaint ‘sonic team’ of SEGA for that. Motherfuckers…

Im in London stiiiiiil

I'm in London stiiiiiil

Enough about Sonic and lets move on. Like I said, at the time, most video-game franchises were now falling on their face and GTA chose to give the middle finger to the corpses. It didn’t give a shit about anything else but it’s sense of humour so cold and dark that even Gordon Brown’s eyebrows cower in fear. Then along came the triumphant and classic GTA III, the leap to the 3D and the new interface and relationships with everyone around you – this is when GTA took a U-Turn at awesome and went straight into “HOLYSHIT…ville”. It was now on it’s own feet.

Vice City jumped the train with its jesusholyfuckwin soundtrack and a more upbeat feel. It also jumped the flying wagon and introduced flying vehicles and Lance… or was it Vance… I forgot. San Andreas took this even further and introduced a gang setting, the largest and most detailed GTA area ever and even the best system. What San Andreas did for GTA was what PS2 did for PS1, it pulled a middle finger out on its old ways and moved forward. World of technology eh? But San Andreas also did something else to boosten the sales of GTA.



What it did was serve us a nice cup of coffee, very hot coffee. The scandal of a interactive sex scene within this holywtfawesome game propelled the interest of San Andreas by over 300%, and the sales at the very same number. Although it was given an adults only rating and shamed upon in every store in the world, San Andreas sold more in the hot coffee days than in the release days. It was the true meaning of “all publicity is good publicity” which is a phrase that was used by… by… someguy on some news program a while ago. 

Thus we reach Liberty City Stories and San Andreas stories, crafted and lovingly made for the portable systems. These entries propelled GTA’s influence to even your hands, and with Chinatown Wars coming up, it will still be spreading. GTA IV landed in our Playstation threes and Deadbox ten-thirties less than a year ago, on April 29th. Unfortunately it did a quick pit stop in shitsville, the Lost and Damned is the road just coming out of it, just thank god it still sold over 15 million copies worldwide. We’ve come a long way with GTA, but I can’t still see the end in sight, can you?


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