Grand Theft Auto 3 – The Definitive Edition – 14 Features New Players Need to Know About

The open world classic that started it all, remastered for a new generation. Here's everything that new players should know about it.

Posted By | On 10th, Nov. 2021

Grand Theft Auto 3 – The Definitive Edition – 14 Features New Players Need to Know About

By now, you may have heard about Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition. It consists of remasters for Grand Theft Auto 3, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, and releases on November 11th for Xbox One, PS4, Xbox Series X/S, PS5, PC and Nintendo Switch.While this trilogy is obviously meant for longtime fans, what should new players expect before hopping in? Let’s take a look at 14 different things you should know about each game before buying, starting with Grand Theft Auto 3: The Definitive Edition.

Story

The story centers on Claude, a criminal in Liberty City who partakes in a bank robbery with his girlfriend Catalina. Unfortunately, while making their escape, Catalina betrays Claude, shooting him and leaving with her cohort Miguel, a member of the Colombian Cartel. Persecuted and shipped off to prison, Claude’s prison escort is ambushed and he manages to escape. He thus begins his quest for revenge, undertaking jobs for the Leone Family and becoming embroiled in the crimes and dirty business of Liberty City in an effort to find Catalina.

Cast

grand theft auto the trilogy the definitive edition

Claude is a silent protagonist, not speaking at all throughout the adventure but still inflicting plenty of violence. Other important characters in this saga – who are voiced – include Catalina, who goes on to lead the Cartel along with Miguel; 8-Ball, a fellow escaped convict who’s good with explosives; Salvatore Leone, the don of the Leone Family; his wife, Maria, who causes more than her fair share of headaches for Claude; Asuka Kasen, the co-leader of the Yakuza; and Donald Love, a media giant who manipulates the various criminal factions for his own ends. Of course, there are plenty of other characters you’ll encounter and each is unique in their own ways.

Setting

grand theft auto the trilogy the definitive edition

Liberty City’s impressive skyline hides its seedy criminal underworld. It’s divided into three boroughs – Portland, Staunton Island and Shoreside Vale – with each opening up more as the story progresses. Though initially inspired by New York City, writer Dan Houser told Entertainment Weekly in 2011 that it’s meant to be a hybrid of various American cities including “Chicago, Pittsburgh, Detroit” along with New York.

Open World Design

grand theft auto the trilogy the definitive edition

When it launched in 2001, GTA 3 was a trailblazer. It was the first game to offer a fully 3D, seamless open world to explore, where the player could go just about anywhere. Various NPCs roamed the streets and drove in cars, and one could either walk around and take in the sights or cause random havoc. Of course, because it was the first of its kind – and debuted on the now-ancient PS2 – the overall level of detail and immersive elements is a lot less than its more contemporary peers. Some gameplay aspects like flying are also missing.

Graphics

grand theft auto the trilogy the definitive edition

The art direction and atmosphere was fairly dark and gritty for the time, which made sense given its focus on crime and survival in a merciless city. The Definitive Edition adds new lighting and high resolution textures while also increasing the draw distance, significantly improving environmental details and revamping the character models. So far, it’s looking pretty sharp, providing a much better look for Liberty City while staying true to the older aesthetic.

Activities

Along with a large world to explore, Grand Theft Auto 3 also introduces activities that players could engage in outside of missions. These include picking up passengers with a taxi cab and collecting fare; serving as a paramedic in an ambulance; fire fighting; and even hijacking a police car to respond to different crimes like a vigilante. While genuinely cool, these activities also provided various perks and benefits – ranking up as a vigilante, for instance, would unlock the ability to bribe cops after committing a crime.

Wanted System

Speaking of cops, though the Wanted System existed in prior titles, GTA 3 expanded on it further. If the player commits a crime, then police will arrive at the scene, attempting to arrest them. Each star in the Wanted level represents an escalating level of police response depending on how much chaos you cause. The police become more aggressive and simply opt to gun you down overtime while at higher levels, SWAT teams, the FBI and the military will get involved. Much like GTA 5, the cops can be incredibly aggressive here so think twice before picking a fight with The Man.

Driving and Navigation

Grand Theft Auto 3 - The Definitive Edition_03

The driving controls in the original release aren’t great, feeling more tank-like than realistic. It also doesn’t help that cars seemingly have very little health, making it easy for pursuing law enforcement to blow your vehicle up. Though no sat-nav is provided in the original game, the Definitive Edition does feature updated mini-maps with “enhanced” navigation and even allows for setting waypoints, which should make some missions much less frustrating.

Controls

The controls in Grand Theft Auto 3 are perhaps the one aspect that hasn’t aged the best and this extends to the combat. Rockstar has confirmed improved gun play and targeting controls along with a Grand Theft Auto 5-style controller layout (though expect an option for choosing the classic layout as well). The inclusion of cover shooting is still up in the air though and just how much the driving has been improved remains to be seen so keep that in mind.

Weapons

Weapon selection is fairly sparse by today’s standards but every single category is more or less accounted for here. There’s an AK47, shotgun, M16 Carbine, sniper rifle, pistol, Uzi, flamethrower and rocket launcher along with melee weapons like the baseball bat. Tools like grenades, Molotov cocktails and detonators (aka remote explosives) are also available. There’s no weapon customization so what you see is what you get but the Weapon Selection wheel is being updated so selecting the right weapon for the right situation should be a lot more seamless.

Radio Stations

A notable feature that added to Grand Theft Auto 3’s immersion in the long run was the presence of radio stations. There are nine stations in total with a mix of licensed tracks and original music, not including Chatterbox FM, a fictional call-in show with various NPCs. Selecting tracks should also be easier this time around thanks to an improved Radio Station Selection wheel. Though rumors indicate that certain songs are being cut due to licensing issues, there’s been no official confirmation from Rockstar on the same. We’ll have to wait and see, as usual.

Side Content

grand theft auto the trilogy the definitive edition

In terms of side content, this is definitely the lightest in the series. The phone missions constitute different side tasks like picking up magazines, killing Triad members and so on along with completing tasks for different NPCs (like Marty Chonks, who wants you to dispose of some bodies in a fairly gruesome fashion). You’ll also destroy gang vehicles with an RC car across four missions, pass through checkpoints in four off-road missions and collect different vehicles in two separate missions. This is offset by the sheer number of story missions which number 51 in total. Don’t worry about failing missions either since the Definitive Edition adds the option to immediately restart.

Total Playtime

grand theft auto the trilogy the definitive edition

According to HowLongtoBeat.com, it takes roughly 15.5 hours to finish the main story. If pursuing the story and some “extra” content, then one’s playtime can go up to 22 hours. Completionists will need to invest about 40 hours for everything, including main missions, side content and all activities. Not too shabby when you consider this to be one of three games in the overall package.

5.293 GB on PS4 and PS5

PlayStation Game Size on Twitter recently revealed that the overall size of the trilogy would be roughly 39 GB or so on PS4 and PS5. Grand Theft Auto 3: The Definitive Edition is the smallest among the three games at 5.293 GB. It’s also worth noting that it will be available on PlayStation Now from December 7th onwards. So those with access to the service can try it out before investing in the remastered trilogy.


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