If you have already played the first Grand Theft Auto, then you will know there’s practically no story to the game. If you didn’t play the original, well then, now you know. Grand Theft Auto 2, like the first game, consists of showing the gangs and authorities of a large city who’s the boss. It’s also about doing whatever you want, no matter how obscene or wrong it might, in a completely open-world environment. Unlike Grand Theft Auto III and the games that came after it, Grand Theft Auto 2 features no story-telling narrative and focuses purely on the fun factor of franchise itself.
Grand Theft Auto 2 continues the top-down 2D side-scrolling perspective of the first game. This was one of the big disappointments I had discovered when I first laid eyes on the initial screenshots prior to its release. That’s not to say that Grand Theft Auto 2 isn’t as fun as the first, it certainly is, it’s just as fun and as addictive. But if you had a problem with the whole 2D perspective, well, you may have a problem with it here as well. All 2D issues aside, GTA 2 presents a living and breathing urban cityscape filled with buildings, a huge assortment of moving vehicles and pedestrians, sidewalks, bridges, and the like. I’d say that one of the more significant differences between this game and the last is that the colors appear to be more vibrant and electrifying in a sense, from the pedestrians to the buildings and vehicles.
Now this is the area you need to be looking at if you’re seeking to get any satisfaction out of this game. The gameplay of GTA 2 is everything the first GTA had set out to be and then some. You can execute a wide range of criminal acts from blowing stuff up, initiating random boxing matches, stealing cars, stealing cop cars, upsetting the law, working for gangs, shooting gangs, and earning lots of money for horrible acts. The game will send you on a number of quests and you will use a wide assortment of vehicles and weapons as you progress. To help set it apart from the first game, GTA 2 does have a few updates such as gaining respect from gangs in order to get work from them for instance. If you’re looking for any significant difference, start playing Grand Theft Auto III right now.
Just like the story, graphics and, for the most part, the gameplay, there’s really nothing new to report here. The controls pretty much follow suit with those of the first Grand Theft Auto. There’s a hijack vehicle option, weapon selection, fire weapon/punch, walking and running, vehicle controls, and so forth. Everyone is responsive and the mechanics attempt to add realism as best as they can, especially when it comes to driving these vehicles. For instance, an old pick-up won’t be as fast as a brand new sports car.
At the end of the day, Grand Theft Auto 2 isn’t necessarily a bad game, it just doesn’t offer too much in terms of variety from the first. Call it an expansion pack of the original if you will, but for the most part, it’s really just an excuse to bridge the first and third games. Grand Theft Auto III is really the true sequel here. Why they couldn’t wait until 2001 to make this the second game, or better yet, release Grand Theft Auto III as the second game back in 1999 instead of this is beyond me. I mean by 1999, you would have figured that the first game had already established itself as a video gaming masterpiece among the masses despite its content but I guess it took two games to make these guys realize Hey, this franchise will work better in the third person perspective treatment with an effective story and up-to-date graphics.