The History of Grand Theft Auto

If you are a gamer, you probably have played a Grand Theft Auto game.

Developed by Rockstar Games, it is one of the most famous franchises in the video game industry, but also infamous for its mature content.

The player controls one or more characters who complete a variety of main and side missions in an open world setting.

These include driving and shooting, assassinating targets, stealing significant items and vehicles since the name refers to motor vehicle theft.

The franchise was born in 1995 at DMA Design in Dundee Scotland.

David Jones founded the company alongside his classmates Mike Dailly, Russell Kay and Steve Hammond.

They started discussing ideas for their next game which they ultimately agreed would be a racing game titled Race N’Chase.

The project used Dailly’s graphic engine and three modes were featured; a cannonball run, a demolition derby and bank robberies.

As for the latter, which was a variant of cops and robbers, it was the most exciting.

So the title was changed to Grand Theft Auto.

The game was released for PC in October 1997.

A 2D top-down shooter, players complete missions by answering telephones and earning points.

These points can be used to buy several items that will help the game’s progression.

The game gets more difficult across the three cities it’s set in; Liberty City, Vice City and Los Santos.

Its entertaining and fast-paced gameplay proved a success and a sequel was greenlit.

Grand Theft Auto 2 was released two years later with another setting called Anywhere City.

However the game was criticized for maintaining the same gameplay elements with little improvements.

DMA was shut down and most of the staff moved to Edinburgh where Rockstar North was founded.

A controversial decision that proved beneficial, the team worked on the next game.

Grand Theft Auto III was released in 2001 and was a game changer in every way.

It follows the silent Claude who embarks on revenge after being left for dead by his girlfriend.

It was the first set in a 3D open world universe from a third person perspective and returns to Liberty City, a fictional NYC. 

These creative changes which also featured voice acting were revolutionary across the board.

The game was immediately regarded as one of the most influential games of all time and won numerous awards.

Vice City followed a year later and was set in fictional Miami.

Players this time control Tommy Vercetti who rises to power in a criminal underworld after a drug deal gone wrong.

Gameplay was almost identical to its predecessor with a few tweaks and new missions.

The city’s immersion made it feel like you were in the 1980s, which was the star of the show.

Critically acclaimed, another game followed, San Andreas released in 2004.

Los Santos, a fictional Los Angeles, and CJ was the setting and protagonist.

He returns home due to a family tragedy and is drawn back to criminal life when he is framed for murder by corrupt cops.

Gameplay remains the same but players can now swim and fly aeroplanes.

It introduced roleplay elements to customize CJ’s appearance, eat, go on dates, and adapt a physique.

These changes were highly praised and the game is widely regarded as the best in the series.

Just like its predecessors, it was also controversial due to its violent and sexual content portrayed in the game.

Two PSP prequels titled Liberty City and Vice City Stories launched between 2005 and 2006.

The GTA franchise switched to HD with Grand Theft Auto IV.

Released in 2008, it returns to Liberty City and follows Russian immigrant Niko Bellic who is under pressure from criminals.

This was the game that introduced the RAGE engine, which made gameplay feel very realistic and detailed with its graphics.

It also introduced a first-person mode, multiplayer and two expansion packs.

To no surprise, the game was universally adored, receiving flawless scores from critics.

Which brings us to the last GTA game released recently, Grand Theft Auto V.

It uses the same engine as before and returns to Los Santos.

Three protagonists take centre stage this time; Michael, Franklin and Trevor.

You can switch to any of them at any time and perform a multitude of activities.

Just like Liberty City in the previous game, Los Santos feels alive and makes you want to live there.

Similarly to the previous games, the amazing graphics and addictive gameplay led to the same level of success.

It broke a billion dollars in sales in just the first three days and is still widely popular today.

Yesterday, we finally got the long-awaited first look at the upcoming Grand Theft Auto game, much earlier than the expected 15:00 time.

Grand Theft Auto VI will return to Vice City and be set in Leonida, the fictional state of Florida.

The game will center on Lucia and Jason a criminal duo a la Bonnie and Clyde.

Lucia will be the first playable female protagonist in the series since the first game.

Fans and gamers alike also got a look at what you should expect in the game which is pretty much freedom, madness and immersion.

However we still got two more years to wait when it launches on Playstation 5 and Xbox Series X/S.

Have you played a GTA Game?

And if yes, what is your favourite? DM us and let us know!

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© Capital Communications Ltd 2022 | 243, Sliema Road, Kappara, SGN 4411

Home to award winning shows, Malta’s favourite personalities, big competitions on the radio, cool giveaways online and more! Listen to us across Malta & Gozo on FM, on DAB+ Digital Radio, Online, & on your Smart Speaker.

© Capital Communications Ltd 2022 | 243, Sliema Road, Kappara, SGN 4411

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