GTA: CHINATOWN WARS REVIEW
'GTA Chinatown Wars' returns the series to an isometric viewpoint and many of the 90's gameplay facets. Does this make for a retro funfest or a dated pile of junk?
Posted by PlayDevil.com Staff on May 14, 2009 11:44 (May 14, 2009 11:44)
Written by: Ian
When GTA came out, it revolutionised games forever. However, it wasn’t until GTA 3 came out that the series really became truly massive. In fact, GTA 2 was a bit of a disappointment that it was still top-down in 1999.
With this new title returning to the old style after 10 years, can "GTA: Chinatown Wars" still live up to it’s impeccably high standards on such a small and underpowered handheld?
The storyline in GTA Chinatown wars is one of the best stories on a handheld game, ever. The writing from Dan Houser’s team is absolutely top notch, and it had to be.
There’s little to no speech in the game, and all the cut-scenes are delivered through cartoon- style comic book sequences with text. Much of what made the 3D GTAs so good was the incredible delivery of the lines.
Therefore I was really impressive that I found the story so engaging and so hilarious despite the fact that it is entirely text-based. The only real problem is that it is so short. The game can be finished in roughly 5-7 hours by an average player, so there is roughly only ¼ of the content found in GTA IV.
GTA games have proved to be so popular not just because of the fantastic stories and violence, but also because of the tight gameplay and sandbox world.
Whilst GTA CTW delivers in spades on the first point, on the latter, there are some problems. The game gives you the world of GTA IV, but minus Alderney, so around 1/3 of the total landmass has disappeared.
Secondly, the controls don’t always work that well. DS games normally use either the buttons or the stylus exclusively, but Rockstar has decided that you should use both, and normally give you little to no indication when you’ll have to change between the two. This is frustrating when you have to fart about to get the stylus out.
Also, the AI can be pretty poor. The wanted system is part of this, and I don’t like it. To get your wanted level down, you need to destroy that number of police cars +1. So if you have a 5 star level, you have to destroy about 20 cop cars to escape, which is completely unrealistic, and can be frustrating to boot.
Cops have a tendency to destroy themselves because they are wont to crash into everything and anything that isn’t you.
However, flaws aside, the rest of the game is really really good. It’s classic GTA stuff that pretty much everyone will enjoy.