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GTA III 10th Anniversary – My Memory’s Gone

GTA III 10th Anniversary – My Memory’s Gone

Those of you who have been paying attention to the interwebs recently will have noticed a lot of Grand Theft Auto III chatter recently. The short version is that it’s the 10 year anniversary of Grand Theft Auto III and Rockstar will be releasing its classic on iOS and Android.

I shouldn’t have to tell you about Grand Theft Auto III. It was released in a time before Rockstar were rock stars, with word of mouth propelling it to the top of the charts rather than months (years?) of build-up, rumours, hype, carefully controlled trailers, announcements for announcements and everything else that’s part and parcel of a huge game release circa 2011.

It was, arguably, the last game that could be classed as a real sleeper hit. The definition of sleeper hit has now been adjusted to a fuzzy ‘might score above 80% and debut at number 32 in the charts’ but back then, Grand Theft Auto III crept up on a largely unaware PlayStation2 audience, with only the series die-hards and the curious really noting it before its arrival.

So. This is the part of the blog where I’d love to tell you about my own memories of the game. ‘Remember the time when you did that thing with the thing and this thing happened?’ I’d say, before doing the ‘my my, this game was so influential!’, clasping my hands together in joyous nostalgia and telling you that every game which now has some form of driving, shooting, cutscenes, anything owes a debt to Grand Theft Auto III (not that I actually believe that but hey, I’m sure the overblown coverage is out there somwhere).

Which is why I’m ashamed to say that I can’t honestly remember a damn thing. It was a game I loved and adored but the Grand Theft Auto III shaped vault in my memory seems to stuffed with fuzzy images of the Scarface mansion, running down the street with the chainsaw, Kent Paul cutscenes and Talk Talk’s Life’s What You Make It. In other words, everything I remember about Grand Theft Auto III has been replaced by Grand Theft Auto: Vice City memories.

Here’s the slightly pathetic full list of what I remember about Grand Theft Auto III:

– Sniping heads and the weird blood spurting effect from the neck afterwards.
– Sniping car tyres and being impressed that they would pop with the car leaning towards the blown tyre. It might have prompted me to say “wow, games in 2001 are amazing!” but I probably didn’t because that would be a weird thing to say. Even for me.
– The sound effect when collecting hidden packages (may even be the same sound effect for other weapons and cash but I honestly can’t remember. I just remember the sound effect specifically for hidden packages, probably because it took so long to find the damn things).
– One of the trance songs on the radio. I can’t remember any other song on any of the radio stations – this was before pre-licensed music in the days before Rockstar started flashing the cash for, well, Phil Collins and Talk Talk – but I know that mystery trance song inside out.
– Being excited at the thought of running along the train tracks at one of the train stations, then being disappointed because all I could do is run along the train tracks at one of the train stations.
– Jumping down from the train tracks to the road below and dying.

And that’s it. I can’t remember any of the characters, any of the missions and only a few of the locations. It’s weird how a game that I put so many hours into and loved so much has left so few imprints on my memory.

Be honest with yourself – how much do you remember about Grand Theft Auto III? If you’re struggling, this video might help jog your memory…

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  • Adam

    The key missions that will remain with me are the final one with Katarina and the helicopter obviously, but the Killing of Salvatore Leone will live on in the memory because it took me forever to kill him and when i did i remember jumping up and down in excitement!

    The other one was when you had to kill suicide bombers who had dynamite strapped to their chests, because, well it doesn’t happen much in videogames does it? Killing suicide bombers?

    My favourite game of all time, changed my game life forever.

  • unclebobbyb

    honestly the thing that i remember most is the radio conversation lazlow has with the red-neck that eats road kill brings tears to my eyes every time when he say “squirrels” good times ><

  • The_Deleted

    I remember countless attempts at trying to blow up the helicopter on the dam and failing every time. Could never figure out what I was meant to do… 🙁