Grand Theft Auto, popularly known as GTA, is a 2D open-world action game developed by DMA Design and published by BMG in 1997 for PC.
At the end of that same year, it would see the light in the Playstation 1.
For many neophyte gamers, GTA, one of the most important sagas in the world of video games, began with the Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. Although this title has been the first one that gave to the adventure the popularity that it has nowadays, the developers arrived at it with five previous releases. The one that started it all is precisely this one, Grand Theft Auto.
A great achievement of this installation is the level of detail it possesses to make the city feel real. When an NPC dies, the ambulance immediately arrives and tries to revive it. Also, traffic violations can be committed, and by perpetrating a criminal act, the attention of the police is drawn, who gradually pursue the player in a more cruel way.
The story is quite simple. The player, who must choose from 8 playable characters, goes out on the streets of the three cities and tries to win the points that are imposed on him as a target in each one of them. This is obtained in several ways. From stealing cars, carrying out crimes, or doing different missions for the mafia are a good excuse to raise the score that is then used as currency to buy items.
This title is innovative in many ways. First, it has a totally open world where you are free to do what you want. On the other hand, players are encouraged to kill passers-by on the street, and even mock the police and shoot them. Although this is now the franchise's trademark, by 1997, it was really very controversial.
Grand Theft Auto didn't make a particular emphasis on graphics or sound, but it certainly has its pearls. To begin with, the big difference that it maintains compared to its successors is the camera. This is located high above the player's head, like a helicopter that follows him at all times. On the other hand, along with the fact that the missions are given to you by the mafia, providing you with the right and necessary information by phone, reminds the player of the critically acclaimed Miami Hotline series. One can't help but wonder if its creators weren't inspired by this early entry of GTA.
Regarding the audio, even though the sounds are nothing out of this world, there are small decisions like a goofy sound very used in the era to represent the phone calls. Also, the radio was implemented with different stations featuring real tracks in the cars that the protagonist steals during his adventure. A choice that later would become another significant trait for this title.
The reception of the critics was mixed and came with a social uproar that caused its prohibition in Brazil and its disgust in Britain, Germany, and France. Far from being a problem, it was an accomplished goal for the game's publicist. He contacted sensationalist media and made the most violent publicity possible to bring this game into the eye of the storm. Thus, without realizing it, the critics and journalists who attacked the game on several fronts gave it enormous popularity and a resounding commercial success.
If you are a fan of the Grand Theft Auto saga and also spent your teenage years completing the Vice City and San Andreas entries, you have to try the original. Although it may look different and feel weird at first, you'll soon realize that the elements of those games that we came to love so much are there and far from being wasted.