Grand Theft Auto 3: 10 Year Anniversary Edition: Full Review

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Ten years might as well be ten aeons in the game industry, such is the pace with which technology progresses.

It takes a rare title to transcend the huge developments in graphics, game engines and hardware that a decade brings. We're pleased to confirm to you that Grand Theft Auto III, 10 Year Anniversary is one of those games.

A little history

From small but controversial beginnings the Grand Theft Auto (GTA) series has become one of the gaming industry's biggest franchises. GTA III is the game that cemented the series' place in gaming history.

With the newly three-dimensional Liberty City, GTA III gave gamers access to a living, breathing world where the structure of a storyline was only a small aspect of the game's appeal.

Of course, it caused controversy, but anyone who plays the game for more than five minutes will tell you that it's about more than beating up prostitutes and mowing down queues of pedestrians, and you're never above the law when you do so.

Transition to smartphone

We played GTA III on the iPhone. Naturally, after being so used to playing GTA games on a full console with a joypad, the controls take a little more time to get used to.

Driving controls are very similar to any other iPhone driving game. Gas and brake are below your right thumb, with left and right under your left thumb. When armed with a drive-by weapon, there's a left/right button above the steering, and above the gas and brake are buttons for the E-brake and leaving your car.

On foot, the left thumb controls movement by holding down and directing your character as you would with an analogue stick. Your right thumb handles sprinting, jumping and firing, which can be done on the move and automatically locks on to your nearest foe.

It all works pleasingly well, given the potential complications. The controls are responsive - maybe a little over-responsive in some cars, making sneaking through traffic tricky - and the auto-lock with weapons works far better than it ever did on the PlayStation.

Other controls, such as changing the in-car radio station, switching weapons or looking around, are handled by swiping your finger on the relevant area of the screen.

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