Were I to ask you to steal a car, would you say "Kick
Ass!" or would you say "Jolly Good"? Well, if you answered yes to
either then brace yourself for some criminal fun with this new
mission pack to the popular Grand Theft Auto. London 1969
presents a whole new opportunity to steal cars, assassinate
mobsters, hijack a wide array of vehicles and of course, drive
maniacally, though this time the traffic rules are reversed
(remember, you're in ENGLAND!).
Grand Theft Auto was by no means visually stunning the
first time around and holds true to form with this new
reincarnation. The same engine has been used but once again,
the graphics are far from disappointing. The scenery and objects
are still well done in an overhead perspective and the criminal
you control still has the same "stickmanish" look. This game is
probably also one of the only games you’ll see these days that is
also playable in DOS; This feature will most likely appeal to
nostalgic gamers as well as anti-GUI preachers (they do exist...I
think). The added bonus of the DOS version is the 3DFX support,
which speaks for itself. The graphics tend to be crisper and cleaner
and, as in most DOS games, the gameplay is much smoother. I
don’t believe D3D is all the windows version supports since it
doesn’t offer the same smoothness of gameplay the DOS port does.
When was the last time you were called, be honest now,
a "Simpleton"? This and many other "profane" terms will be slung
at you from British motorists throughout the game. The voices are
appropriate even if the comments aren’t and the background
music is upbeat and helps draw you into the action. The one
drawback to this title is the lack of new CD Audio; This is most
likely due to the fact that this addon requires the original GTA CD.
The GTA CD Audio is still heard playing in the background but for
us fanatics who’ve finished the game, the lack of new audio tracks
is a bit of a letdown.
The life of a car thief is lonesome at best and is greatly
improved with the accompaniment of a friend. The multiplayer
games in GTA were what made the game really shine. This time
around, there are four options: Deathmatch and Cannonball Run
1-3. Deathmatch involves, as you’d expect, a hunt for the other
players. The Cannonball Runs are a race against other players but
still involves the same chance as Deathmatch to slaughter your
opponents. The gameplay is not in the least outstanding when in
multiplayer since the lag is terrible. The only exception seems to
be LAN play (even cable sucks).
The controls haven’t varied at all but are easily
customizable for non-veterans. The basic controls are easy to learn
and the character and cars you control handle extremely well.
After ten minutes of gameplay, I was once again able to avoid any
shunt ‘n’ bumps while blazing down the streets, behind the wheel
of a police car (driving any car is still difficult if you’re drunk,
though...only try this at home kids :).
If you liked the original GTA, you’ll like this mission pack
to the same degree. Besides driving on the opposite side of the road,
GTA: London 1969 isn’t innovative or improved at all. The graphics
are just as acceptable as in the original and the same CD tracks
still cycle in the background. Overall though, the game is just as
amusing as it’s predecessor and won’t disappoint those expecting
the same quality and hours of entertainment of Grand Theft Auto.