GTA:CW New Preview Giving More Details

Hadrian

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Rockstar’s claims that the team that created it is twice the size that worked on the PSP’s Liberty and Vice City Stories games and that it contains more lines of code than San Andreas are good indicators of the care that’s gone into squeezing GTA on to Nintendo’s twin-screened handheld.

And playing a few missions and seeing a few sights proves that Chinatown Wars has been designed from the ground up for its peculiar capabilities. We’ve already seen its bustling Liberty City, rendered in smooth, clean 3D and unchanged in plan from that of GTAIV, other than a missing Alderney.

We’ve also experienced the driving, with vehicles sporting varying handling and featuring subtle and very useful auto-straightening steering. Now it’s a chance to sample the details that are so important to any GTA.

Central to life on the streets is player character Huang Lee’s PDA, which is displayed on the DS touchscreen. Taking the place of GTAIV’s mobile phone, it shows the minimap, which is identical to GTAIV’s, even down to the way the sat-nav works. It’s also where you access such staples as emails, the main map and now Ammu-nation. The weapons chain is no longer found scattered around the city – it’s now an online store that delivers goods direct to your safehouse.

The safehouse performs the functions that it did previous in GTAs, but will now also display trophies earned through playing the game and features a large whiteboard covered with photos of contacts and magnetic letters. Apart from rearranging the letters to spell rude words via the touchscreen, you’ll also be tapping on contact photos to access a list of the missions they’ve doled out, with the option to replay them and see online leaderboards.

The PDA screen is also where you select weapons – tapping the icon automatically pauses the action until you’ve made your choice. Muzzle flare and tracer lines are suitably emphasised – during a mission in which you must defend a heist attempt from the unwelcome attentions of several waves of Korean gang members, the gleefully over-egged ballistics prove vital to show the direction and impact of your shots, which are fired with the A button.

Grenades and Molotovs, meanwhile, are thrown by touching their icon (turning it into a large circle), and dragging out in the direction you want to aim. The trajectory, in green, is displayed on the upper game screen, handy in such intense scenarios as a mission in which you toss Molotovs from an AI-piloted helicopter at a gang attempting to escape to a gathering of moored boats.

Another mission, an order to snipe a target only described as wearing a white shirt and blue jeans, shows off one of Chinatown Wars’ minigames. On getting into position you must assemble your weapon from parts found in a suitcase, screwing the barrel into place and snapping the stock forward into its body. It takes only a few seconds and in practice feels far from gimmicky – rather, it serves to engage you further with the action.

Other games include safe-cracking (pay attention to the audio indicator as you gently turn each dial), stealing a parked car (delicately fit a screwdriver into the ignition), paying bridge tolls (flip a coin into the slot), and rooting through rubbish in red dumpsters for weapon caches. All those we’ve seen are short and smoothly integrated with the greater game.

Indeed, all of Chinatown Wars’ details seem to be present and correct. If the greater game, including the mission design, proves to be as snappily realised, this could be the best handheld version of GTA yet.
 

DragonWaterX

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Awsum this is going to be so cool i also heard there will wifi play
 

Anakir

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Wow. They're really pushing this game to sell on the DS. I was never really interested in GTA, but I might try this one out.
 

dinofan01

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This game is looking really good. It would be cool to see the story in this game branch with dlc in GTA 4. There located in the same place, its not too hard to rule out.
 

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