Like an onion being peeled, more and more of Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars is being revealed as we move ever closer to its release date. Back around E3, we were stuck with the dead outer layers of skin that was the logo, but now we’ve reached the flavorful inner part, as Rockstar has begun to allow outlets such as MTV Multiplayer to get their hands on the title.
- – Unlike GTA IV, the protagonist is younger and less confident than Niko Bellic, described as more of a “spoiled brat” who is “hapless.”
- Your first job is to deliver a sword.
- The game renders the Broker, Dukes, Bohan and Algonquin sections of Liberty City from a 3D top-down perspective on the top screen; the bottom screen provides a map, with item and stats interface.
- The game takes place in “a” Liberty City, not “the” Liberty City you may know. Don’t expect any crossovers, and while the recreations of neighborhoods are similar, they aren’t duplicated verbatim. So plan ahead before trying to outrun the cops and taking a wrong turn.
- The game boasts more than 900,000 lines of code, and is larger than even the PSP iterations of the franchise.
- Controls are traditional, so don’t expect this to be GTA meets Phantom Hourglass.
- Missions are scored, and you can retry them after completing them to see if you can best yourself for a higher-ranking medal.
- Just because the game plays traditionally doesn’t mean there aren’t any touchscreen moments; the Rockstar PR rep kept the stylus at the ready in his hand so he could do things such as flick change into a toll booth, assemble a sniper rifle, knock the windshield out of a car sinking into the river, and move garbage around in a dumpster to find a pistol.
- The game plays much like an arcade game from the top-down perspective, recalling not only the original GTAs (yes, there were Grand Theft Auto games before III), but titles such as Robotron, where you would fire in all directions at enemies swarming the playing field. “The sound effects of the gun splatter and the burning tire tracks from a well-spun-out car make this game feel more like an action-cartoon than the more serious quasi-realistic console “GTA”s of the last two console generations.”
- The game’s mic lets you whistle for a cab (nothing about a license plate saying “Fresh” or dice in the mirror, however). If you suck at whistling, then there’s a button that lets you do the same thing.
- Several missions are named after other games. “Streets of Rage,” anyone?
- The game, though top-down, features some staples of the 3D games, including slow-motion jumps, a 24-hour day/night cycle, and licensed music, though only instrumental.
- The police system has changed, and evasion is no longer an option; police must be forced to run off the road in order for the “wanted” rating to drop. A meter shows how many cars need to be knocked out to bring the wanted meter down a notch.
- You can commandeer vehicles for land and sea travel, but not for air, though you can hitch a helicopter ride; however, you can’t control that one.
- The game features no dating.
- There is multiplayer, but Rockstar isn’t saying what it entails yet.
Multiplayer’s Totilo goes on to note that the game seems more like a fresh look at GTA, rather than the repackaging of the PlayStation 2 experience that the PSP games were, and he should have further details soon. Meanwhile, you can click the link below to read his notes in further detail.