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Grand Theft Auto London
Platform:  Playstation
# of Players:  1
Developer:  DMA/Take 2 Interactive/Rockstar Games
Publisher:  Take 2
Features:  Vibration Compatible
Ratings:  Mature
Memory Req.:  1 block
One of the more controversial PS titles of 1998 was Take 2's Grand Theft Auto, an over the top, free roaming overhead action title that put the player in the shoes of a selection of up and coming thug wannabes. Fans of the first game will be more than pleased to know that the sequel is just as violent and crude as the original (this is a complement, folks!). Set in swingin' London, 1969, the game has you choose one of four would be criminals in a quest to live out a life of crime. This is also the first ever expansion disc for the PS, and both discs are included here for the price of one, which is quite cool. Anyway on to the game at hand: The graphics are pretty much unchanged from the first game, which means that the bigger the TV you've got, the better. The London map is huge, and many secrets are to be found, depending on your skills at navigating through (and sometimes over) the assorted streets, pedestrians and obstacles. The controls are also the same as the original, which means newcomers to the game will be a bit frustrated at first, but only for the time it takes to get used to them. Another thing to consider is that cars in London drive on the opposite side of the road, so it might seem as if the controls are reversed. In other words, you'll be racking up pedestrian casualties with little trouble.

So what makes this one worth your time? First of all, the humor here is priceless. From the super cool 60's soundtrack (which changes depending on the car you steal), to the comments made by innocent bystanders ("you bloody bawstad!"), to the wild selection of vehicles to swipe (which include a zippy Aston Martin called James Bomb, A copy of Austin Powers' Jaguar XK-E, etc.,). There are also crates all over town which contain one of four weapons, perfect for clearing a path through those pesky police that are sure to make your life hell. Secondly, while each character has a number of objectives in each mission, the route you take is totally up to you, so you can sneak about and cause as little evil as possible, or raise all kinds of hell! There's nothing like nicking some poor blokes' Mini Cooper S, running over the law trailing you from the last car you pinched, and still having enough balls to jump into a double decker bus and run over the snitch you're to wipe out! In other words, GTA Mission Pack #1: London 1969 is a more than worthy follow-up to the original, if this is the type of game you're looking for. Although next time, I hope they find a way to use analog control! Just remember, kids: Don't try any of this stuff in real life!

Greg Wilcox

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