Winter!: Prepare for holiday gaming!
MATURE, Animated Blood, Strong Language
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Talk about culture shock! Or, you wonder, is it sub-culture shock? Either way, you are between the proverbial rock and a very hard place. Having just emerged from a cryogenically induced prison-sleep, disorientation floods into your mind — why was I locked up? How long? But, then, you realize the answers don't really matter — all you know is that you're flat broke, need cash and that whatever level of comfort you were used to is gone.
You're at the bottom of the trash heap, baby, and it's time to start the long and dangerous climb to the top of the nefarious underworld that controls this city. You DO remember how to claw, fight, steal and kill to get there. Looking around, you see a city loaded with cars, fantastic cars, hundreds of cars! Cars of all shapes and sizes, a mix of modern machines with eerie overtones of mid-20th century autos, gas-guzzling roadsters, electric cars, powerful cop cars, and all available just for the taking — easy targets for the skill you know best: Grand Theft Auto.
As you come to grips with your surroundings, you realize things have changed — for the worse! Instead of cringing at the immediately obvious ramifications of this out-of-control society with its invasive but highly popular "play-drugs" provided to the populace by the untouchable Zaibatsu Corporation, you swear to yourself that total control of the whole wicked shebang will be yours, or your name isn't Claude Speed! You can destabilize society with the best of them!
Feuding gangs peopled by scum-sucking hillbillies, emigrants from Japan, Russia and other countries, genetically altered zombies, religious zealots, psychotics, lunatics and drug manufacturers will all just be so much putty in your hands to be worked and molded as you develop your master plan to reign in this earthbound hell. Trust no one, double-cross everyone, use hate, fear and anger to manipulate gangs against one another, or pick and choose wisely which crime bosses to work for, all the while plotting your insidious takeover to rule as the supreme boss of the city.
Grand Theft Auto 2, the sequel to Grand Theft Auto and Grand Theft Auto London 1969(with over 2.5 million copies sold (c.1999)), is laden with more of the gameplay that, based on media attention, infuriated so many of the "moral" communities and sensitivities worldwide. The setting of the game is a futuristic and dark city, fully complementing the shadowy activity that lies at the core of GTA2: drugs, gangs, thieves, killings, blackmail, corrupt military and government, rampant crime, moral decay — it's all here as an intricately integrated part of the storyline.
Beginning your quest with a car-jacking, your character, Claude Speed, starts on a long journey to reach the top of the crime scene in the city. How he goes about it is up to you. The game is non-linear and features a large number of sub-plots, centered on the various gangs and the Zaibatsu Corporation's legal manufacturing of the "play-drug" Zoom Zoom and its derivatives. Play the gangs off against each other or infiltrate them and suck up to the big bosses, then cross and double-cross to your heart's content and own advantages.
Just some of the gangs include the Zloty, a Russian group whose disabled leader wants a new pair of legs, cars, weapons and a return ticket to Moscow and the Yakuza gang that competes against Zaibatsu with illegal drug sales and whose spiritual leader is brain-dead. The Krishna serve as the source of Zaibatsu's many medical experiments while the Redneck's are victims of the corporation's plans to subjugate them through addiction to the "play drugs." Each of the gangs or leaders have secret agendas that require interaction with the Zaibatsu conglomerate and Zaibatsu's heady goal is nothing less than world domination through consumerism.
Features in GTA2 include more than 30 types of vehicles, each with unique handling abilities and characteristics, a new game engine designed specifically for the game, smart AI opponents and a comprehensively designed city with literally hundreds of streets, parks, buildings, alleys and more. The capability of displaying up to 50 vehicles and 200 pedestrians on-screen at any given time plus an original soundtrack with selections from Rob Playford's Moving Shadow Records and Flytronix rounds out the package.
Take 2 Interactive is offering free downloads of Grand Theft Auto London 1961 at www.take2games.com/public/frameset.jhtml as a reward to fans for the huge worldwide sales. GTA2 is scheduled for release on both PC and PlayStation on October 22, 1999. ~ Michael L. House, All Game Guide