|Grand Theft Auto 2|
|Developer||DMA Design/Tarantula Studios|
22nd October 1999
Game Boy Color
Grand Theft Auto 2, or GTA 2, is the second major installment in the Grand Theft Auto series. It was released worldwide on October 22nd 1999, by developer Rockstar North (then known as DMA Design), for the PC and PlayStation. A version for the Dreamcast console was made available, and later a toned-down version for Game Boy Color.
The PC version of the game is now available for free download here, along with Grand Theft Auto 1. Although it is not the original game, it has been remade to work on modern Windows operating systems.
GTA 2 was the first title in the series to adopt early 3D graphics technology present on the PlayStation and some PCs. Whilst the gameplay did not shift to the third person perspective, as did Grand Theft Auto III with its full 3D environment, it utilised 3D graphics hardware/software to improve the visual quality.
GTA 2 gameplay was via the top down perspective, as in all GTA 1 titles/expansion packs, but due to the employment of early 3D tech, it exhibited smooth dynamic camera zooming, smooth sprite rotation, and lighting effects from street lamps, car headlamps and emergency vehicle roof lighting.
The protagonist's name is Claude Speed. The game takes place in Anywhere City, which is divided into 3 sectors - Commercial, Residential and Industrial. In each of them there are three gangs, whose bosses give the player missions via payphones. Each district also has a maximum wanted level that the player can aquire, likely to make later levels more difficult. The Commercial District allows a maximum wanted level of four, which results in the S.W.A.T. team chasing the player, however, the Residential and Industrial districts allow a maximum wanted level of six, which results in the F.B.I. and the army chasing the player.
To save the game, the player needs to find the Jesus Saves church. It can only be found by listening out for the organ playing or by hijacking a TV Van (the antenna on top always points towards it). However, once at the church, the player needs to pay $50,000 to save, so it's best not to save until turning off the game. However, completing 2-3 missions will easily reward the player with enough money.
Each of the three gangs within the three districts have a gang that they are neutral with, and a gang that they are at war with. The player will earn respect by killing other 'enemy' gang members, but naturally, will lose respect with the gang that they are attacking - a gang with considerably low respect will attack the player if they enter their territory. Respect is also earned by doing missions for each of the gangs, and a high level of respect is required to unlock the harder, but more rewarding, missions. The player can find out which gang is hated by other gangs by going to the blue phone in each of the gang's territory.
There are three levels of mission difficulty: easy, taken from green payphones, medium, from yellow payphones, which pay better but require the player to have some respect, and hard, from red payphones, which pay very well, but usually are very hard, and require maximum respect. For completing a mission the player earns money, respect and a money multiplier. Sometimes during a mission the player is also given access to new parts of town, vehicles, or weapons.
After completing each level, the player unlocks not only the next district, but also one bonus arena. There are two different types, each with 3 arenas; Destroying Ice Cream Vans, and a time-attack mode where the player must race against the clock (killing pedestrians and gang members earns the player more time).
In every city there are some "side" missions, most reward the player with an extra life or money, but the Wang Cars side mission rewards the player with 3 special vehicles. These missions are:
Maps of all these bonus missions are here (PC version):
There are 7 gangs in the game:
Each area features five radio stations, from a pool of eleven, which the player listen to while driving a vehicle. Changing radio stations for preference was also possible in the PC version by using the "F1" function key." "Head Radio" was present in the original Grand Theft Auto, Grand Theft Auto III and Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories. Each gang also has its own radio station that transmits within a limited area. All radio stations only play music, unlike future games, which feature a talk radio station as well as music stations.
GTA2 was the last PC GTA with built-in multiplayer with the exception of GTA IV. It supported up to 6 players and connections via internet, LAN, serial cable or direct modem connection. There are also 3 small multiplayer maps designed for smaller number of players, as well as 3 districts with modified locations of weapons and parked cars.
Playing via internet using only built-in tools is quite difficult. First you need to choose "tcp/ip connection", then enter server IP and you will be able to join only if host is in hosting menu. That's why programs like GTA2 Game Hunter, or GTA2 Gamer were made. They provide one-click joining without entering anybody's IP, chat and some other useful options which makes playing GTA 2 online as easy as any other modern game.
The opening of the game was pieced together from live film-material that was taken from an 8 minute GTA 2 short-movie created for the purpose of advertising the game. This movie has since been made available to the public and is downloadable from the game's web-site.
Whether the movie can be considered canonical is debatable, as it shows Claude getting killed at the end (shot by a Zaibatsu hitman while trying to break into a sports car).
Despite the fact that GTA 2 is supposed to be set in the near future, the movie was clearly shot in present-day New York City, and also featured a blue-and-white NYPD Chevrolet Caprice police car as a pursuit vehicle. Claude Speed was played by Scott Maslen.