Ten of the best crimes you'll ever commit.
For more than ten years, from GTA III to GTA 4, weâ€™ve been committing crimes in Liberty City, Vice City, and the state of San Andreas. Hundreds of missions, countless assassinations, heists, and untold stolen cars, bikes, copters, and planes. Time to look back and decide what, of that lot, was best.
Last November, Rockstar released the GTA V trailer. At the time, someone mentioned a 2012 release. Could it possibly be that weâ€™d be playing a new GTA this Christmas? After six months of nothing, letâ€™s just say â€˜hopeâ€™ ended up a bullet-ridden corpse lying outside a liquor store in Ganton.
A week ago something stirred. Rockstar released a couple of beautiful screenshots, answered a few questions and, while I promised myself I wouldnâ€™t be, here I am, obsessed with Grand Theft Auto again.
So, with the expectation that a finished game may still be a long way off, and Rockstar Games will read this, concluded that I know exactly what Iâ€™m talking about, and subsequently tailor GTA V specifically to me, here are my Top Ten Grand Theft Auto missions.
TA 4â€™s conflicted, tortured protagonist Niko Bellic meets Gracie to supposedly buy her car. When she finds out sheâ€™s being kidnapped, all hell breaks loose. No, itâ€™s not a five star wanted level. Itâ€™s an angry mob daughter pulling on the steering wheel and trying to scratch Nikoâ€™s eyes out. And, the language.
So, conflicted and tortured, Niko punches Grace in the face, knocks her the #@&% out. Itâ€™s a GTA mission with a difference, not a heist, not a beat the clock, or a car chase, but still crude, violent, wrong on so many levels, and funny as hell.
Talking of heists and car chases... While there is a major robbery as the centrepiece of most GTA games - Three Leaf Clover from GTA 4 being an especially good example - the best is the bank job in Vice City. But first you have to beat Hillary, Vice Cityâ€™s best driver, a two star wanted rating, and a few annoying cops. And all you get is a bog standard Sentinel.
Flat out through the centre of the city, no weapons, no short-cuts, your only chance is to nudge Hillary into a wall and then drive perfectly to the finish. It sounds simple, but it ainâ€™t. Itâ€™ll take a lot of attempts, and a lot of luck. When you beat Hillary, youâ€™ll stand up and cheer. But, youâ€™ll never want to play the mission again.
If you think that â€˜never wanting to play a mission againâ€™ is a strange reason for putting a mission in a top ten list, how about liking a mission because of plot twists and character development.
Gang-banger CJ finds drug dealer Mike Toreno, who CJ thought he killed, is alive, and a member of the CIA (or worse). And Toreno wants CJ to work for them. With Cesar, CJ has to steal a truck. Itâ€™s a simple and fun mission. Ride fast over the Garver Bridge with Cesar on the back of the bike. Avoid the traffic, get close enough for Cesar to jump onto the truck. Then drive back to the garage.
A great, straightforward mission, a major plot twist and some quiet conversation between Cesar and CJ, some of my favourite bits in San Andreas. You just canâ€™t underestimate plot and character when it comes to GTA.
Sometimes itâ€™s not plot, character, or even hard racing that makes a good mission. Sometimes itâ€™s a simple short-cut, and a joke at another gameâ€™s expense. When GTA IIIâ€™s Claude has to take out the weird walking, but fast driving Tanner, you have two choices. You can drive after him, and chase him all over town, with a four star wanted level. Or, you can trigger the cut-scene, line up your bazooka, and blow him up before heâ€™s out of second gear.
While weâ€™re blowing stuff up: back in Vice City, Tommy needs to detonate a bomb in the mall. Unfortunately, the cops know thereâ€™s a bomb there, and they have the place locked down. So Tommy and Lance Vance steal a police car and a couple of uniforms, walk into the mall, and set off the bomb. Instant five-star wanted level.
In GTA there are five stars, and then there are five stars. In Copland thereâ€™s no armoured car to jack, no tank, no helicopter stashed around the back of the building. Itâ€™s just you, whatever carâ€™s closest, and every damn cop in the city, in a balls-out race back to your mansion.
Any mission the starts with â€˜these pants are a bit tight in the crotchâ€™ and ends with five thousand dollars delivered to your mansion door every day, sums up what GTA is all about.
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