GTA III skirts the feeling that you're being manipulated by offering many modes (see Chapter 2.16, "Plot Interesting Techniques") by which you can accomplish the missions, or at least some of them. Are you traveling by vehicle or on foot? What weapons are you using? What routes through the city are you taking?
The extreme impact you can have in choosing modes balances out the more limited impact you have on the narrative. As the sales figures proved, many people found it an extremely appealing balance. Adding to the balance was the fact that at any time you could leave story mode (following the game narrative) and go back into the more free-form types of gameplay discussed earlier.