Grand Theft Auto Double Pack

Review

posted 11/9/2003 by Charlie Sinhaseni
other articles by Charlie Sinhaseni
Platforms: PS2
Although the Grand Theft Auto series has been around for about six years the name really gained notierity when it made its 3D debut on the PlayStation2 in the fall of 2001. Since then the name has been used as a benchmark for 3D free roaming titles that contain extremely violent overtones. Although it wasn’t the first title to feature a massive city, Eidos’ Omikron did it beforehand, Rockstar’s magnum opus did it in such a manner that gamers could relate it to their own surroundings. It was a whole new ballgame and Rockstar had pioneered an entirely new way of gaming; now those who were unfortunate enough to miss out on two of gaming’s most influential titles have a chance to kill two birds with one stone, thanks to Rockstar Games’ Grand Theft Auto double pack.

I’ve already reviewed Grand Theft Auto III and Grand Theft Auto Vice City (click here for a review) in the past, so instead of repeating my thoughts I’ll just offer some insight on how I feel about this bundle as a whole. I’ve always valued the titles for their innovation but I was one of those people who had an absolutely love/hate relationship with the franchise. I derived immense enjoyment from the free-roaming aspects while the poorly structured missions really turned me off. I loved the excessive violence but the clunky auto-aim system gave me the fits, etc. So in that respect my scores for the two titles were probably much lower than the Mean from various publications. For this double-pack I decided to take the two scores, 9.1 for GTA III and 8.4 for GTA Vice City and average them out, giving me the 8.8. While I reviewed the PC version of GTAIII I also spent about 40+ hours with the PS2 version of the game so I knew what to expect.

Don’t come here expecting any changes or upgrades because you’ll just be disappointed. This is essentially the equivalent of buying the two titles separately and taping them together with a paper casing on the outside. Both titles play and operate just as they would if you would buy them individually with the only difference being the aforementioned outside packaging. This means that they’re exactly the same as they were when they were released, both the good and the bad. If you’ve played any of the two games in this pack though you’ll know that the good definitely outweigh the bad.

Looking back at these games a year and two years after their release I can wholeheartedly say that they’ve withstood the test of time. Other Game of the Year caliber titles, such as Metal Gear Solid 2 or Mario Sunshine, just aren’t as fun to play in late 2003 as they were when they were just released on the shelves. This isn’t the case with the two GTA games. They’re both as fun and as engaging as they’ve ever been, if not more so. I came into this thinking that I would just check out the games and look for changes but I found myself becoming engrossed in them for hours and hours, effectively ruining my productivity for the past week and a half.

Make no mistake about it; if you own a PlayStation 2 you simply must own the two Grand Theft Auto titles. If you’re a latecomer to the scene who missed out on the craze the first time around then this is a primo chance for you to see how much fun you’ve been missing. If you own one of the two titles and you want to catch up then this is also a neat alternative as you can keep the title that you don’t own and offer the other as a nice little stocking stuffer. At its attractive $39.99 price point ($24.99 at some outlets) this is one offer you simply can’t refuse.



B+
If you don't own any of these titles or you're looking for an excellent stocking stuffer then look no further than the GTA Double Pack. It doesn't offer any changes or fixes though so those who own these titles should probably avoid it.


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