Designed by Chris Rothwell, Craig Filshie, William Mills, and James Worrall Released in 2001
In terms of game design, Grand Theft Auto III is a shining example of the triumph of systems-based design. The title features a game-world in which emergent behaviors and a wide breadth of player choices combine to create an amazing gameplay experience where players feel truly empowered to play however they want. If sales can be extrapolated to popularity, then Grand Theft Auto III and its sequel Grand Theft Auto: Vice City have each captivated more players than any other game of the PlayStation 2 console generation. Anyone who has played these games can tell you the reason why: the games brilliantly combine uniquely fun core mechanics with giving players enough freedom in the environment that the game becomes an entertaining experience players will enjoy much longer than almost any other action game.
In terms of production, Grand Theft Auto III is an example of a sequel done right, and how sequels can take advantage of advancing technology to push their game design to new places. Many game sequels incorporate more advanced rendering technology and graphics merely out of a desire to improve the visuals of a game, and unfortunately these enhancements often end up getting in the way of the original game s play mechanics. Grand Theft Auto III , by contrast, used technology to radically alter the play experience and make the new game a lot more playable than its predecessors. By changing the camera view from the top-down found in Grand Theft Auto and Grand Theft Auto 2 to the familiar racing game chase cam, Grand Theft Auto III made the driving experience a lot more intuitive and a lot more fun. While driving in the earlier games was often frustrating since players could only see so far ahead of their vehicle in a top-down view, with a chase camera players could clearly see the streets they were hurtling down. The further addition of some relatively simple physics to the driving model made the core mechanics fundamentally enjoyable in a way that had been missing in the previous games.