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Grand Theft Auto

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This article is about the Grand Theft Auto series. For the first game in the series, see Grand Theft Auto 1 or for the mission in GTA III see Grand Theft Auto (mission).


Grand Theft Auto
Logo

Grand Theft Auto series logo, which has
been used since Grand Theft Auto III

Genres Action, parody, and open world
Developers Rockstar Games
Rockstar North (formerly DMA Design)
Rockstar Leeds
Rockstar Toronto
Rockstar Lincoln
Publishers Rockstar Games
Creators David Jones
Dan Houser
Sam Houser
First release Grand Theft Auto 1
October 1997
Latest release Grand Theft Auto: V
September 17, 2013

Grand Theft Auto (GTA) is a long-running series of video games, published by Rockstar Games and developed by subsidiary companies. The first games were developed by Rockstar North (formerly DMA Design) and BMG Interactive (a subsidiary of BMG Records).

There are currently fifteen games in the series, plus two expansion packs for the original and two expansions for GTA IV. The games have been released for various platforms, including the PC, PSX, PS2, Xbox, PS3, Xbox 360, GBC, GBA, PSP, DS and iPhone, with all but two of the games released on multiple platforms.

There has been a massive amount of controversy over this series. The unofficial Hot Coffee mod and subsequent uproar gave Rockstar Games a huge amount of press attention.

Grand Theft Auto holds 10 world gaming records including the Most Guest Stars in a Video Game Series, Largest Voice Cast in a Video Game (GTA San Andreas), Largest In-Game Soundtrack (GTA IV), and Most Successful Entertainment Launch Of All Time (GTA IV).

Overview

The games allow the player to take on the role of a criminal in a big city, typically an individual who rises through the ranks of organised crime through the course of the game. Various missions are set for completion by the figureheads of the city underworld, generally criminal, which must be completed to progress through the storyline. Assassinations, and other crimes feature regularly, but occasionally taxi driving, firefighting, pimping, street racing, or learning to fly fixed-wing aircraft are also involved as alternate adventures, which can be done at any time during the game, with the exception of the periods performing main missions.

The Grand Theft Auto series, belonging to a genre of free-roaming video games called "sandbox games," grants a large amount of freedom to the player in deciding what to do and how to do it through multiple methods of transport and weapons. Unlike most traditional action games, which are structured as a single track series of levels with linear gameplay, in GTA the player can determine the missions they want to undertake, and their relationships with various characters are changed based on these choices. The cities of the games can also be roamed freely at any point in the game, offering many accessible buildings and minor missions. There are exceptions: missions follow a linear, overarching plot, and some city areas must be unlocked over the course of the game. Although you can explore the entire city or state even it is locked (but there are limited time to explore some city because some may trigger a 4-wanted level) and ignore the missions.

Setting

See: Grand Theft Auto World and United States of America.

The Games

Main Games

Game Universe Year Protagonist(s) Platform(s)
Grand Theft Auto 1 2D 1997 Player's choice PC, PlayStation, Game Boy Color
Grand Theft Auto 2 2D 1999

Claude Speed

PC, PlayStation, Dreamcast, Game Boy Color
Grand Theft Auto III 3D 2001 Claude PC, PlayStation 2, Xbox,  iOS devicesAndroid devices
Grand Theft Auto IV HD 2008 Niko Bellic PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Grand Theft Auto V HD 2013 Michael De Santa, Franklin, and Trevor Phillips PlayStation 3, Xbox 360

Other games

Game Universe Year Protagonist(s) Platform(s)
Grand Theft Auto: London 1969 2D 1999 Player's choice PC, PlayStation
Grand Theft Auto: London 1961 2D 1999 Player's choice PC
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City 3D 2002 Tommy Vercetti  PC, PlayStation2, XboxiOS devicesAndroid devices
Grand Theft Auto Advance 3D 2004 Mike Game Boy Advance
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas 3D 2004 Carl Jonhson PC, PlayStation 2, Xbox
Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories 3D 2005 Toni Cipriani PlayStation2, PlayStation Portable
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories 3D 2006 Victor Vance PlayStation2, PlayStation Portable
Grand Theft Auto: The Lost and Damned HD 2009 Johnny Klebitz PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Grand Theft Auto: The Ballad of Gay Tony HD 2009 Luis Fernando Lopez PC, PlayStation3, Xbox 360
Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars HD 2010 Huang Lee Nintendo DS, PlayStation Portable, iOS devices



Individual games in the series can be categorized into different 'eras', mostly dependant on the storyline and graphics engine used. The start of a new era is indicated by the generation of the consoles in which the games are on.

2D Universe

In the 2D Universe there is the original game, the subsequent two expansion packs featuring missions in 1960's London and GTA 2, which featured an improved graphics engine and a different style of gameplay. Whilst originally just called '"Grand Theft Auto", the first game and era have become known as "GTA 1" for clarity.

3D Universe

The 3D Universe featured the first blockbuster GTA title, Grand Theft Auto III, and introduced a 3D game world and a third person perspective. The entire era contains interlocking storylines, and many characters appear across multiple games. Notably, games in this era were not released in chronological order, with first game released being the last chronologically, and the last game released being the first chronologically.

  • 5. Grand Theft Auto III (2001) - Set in a fictional Liberty City, based upon the real life New York City. Multiplayer game mode was lost, but other areas were much improved, namely the graphics, voice acting, storyline with non-linear gameplay.
  • 6. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (2002) - Set in Vice City, a city based on real life Miami. This sequel to GTA III is technically a prequel (set in 1986) to the game, and to GTA San Andreas, which was released after GTA Vice City.
  • 7. Grand Theft Auto Advance (2004) - What was originally supposed to be a cut-down port of GTA III for the Game Boy Advance, turned out to be a completely original game, set a year before GTA III, in a slightly changed Liberty City.
  • 8. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (2004) - Set in the state of San Andreas, featured three cities, Los Santos, San Fierro and Las Venturas, based on Los Angeles, San Francisco and Las Vegas respectively. The game is set in 1992, making it a sequel to GTA Vice City, and prequel to GTA III. The game featured a lot more customization options, for both players and vehicles.
See also: The Introduction
  • 10. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories (2006) - Announced on May 10th during E3, is based in Vice City, 1984, two years before the original GTA Vice City, featuring Lance Vance's brother Vic as the protagonist. It was released in October 2006 for the PSP. A PS2 port was released later without multiplayer in March 2007.

It is generally believed that the 3D Universe has been completed, and there will be no more official expansions on the characters, storylines or engine. However modifications and fan fiction continue to build on these.

HD Universe

The HD Universe features Rockstar's new RAGE engine, also used in Rockstar Games Presents Table Tennis. This era features

  • 12. The Lost and Damned (2009) - A downloadable episode released in February 2009 for the Xbox 360. TLAD is set in the same Liberty City as GTA IV, with events and characters overlapping with GTA IV. The protagonist is a biker, Johnny Klebitz, of The Lost Brotherhood biker gang. It is also available on a disc Episodes From Liberty City which includes The Ballad of Gay Tony also. It was released on PC (Games for Windows - LIVE) and PlayStation 3 in April 2010.
  • 13. The Ballad of Gay Tony (2009) - A second episode for GTA IV released in October 2009, the last DLC for GTA IV. The protagonist is Luis Lopez, a part-time hoodlum and full-time assistant to legendary nightclub impresario Gay Tony. It was released on the same day as Episodes From Liberty City disc. It was released on PC (Games for Windows - LIVE) and PlayStation 3 in April 2010.
  • 14. Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars (2009) - Set in 2009 and focusing on the Liberty City triads. The protagonist, Huang Lee is the son of a murdered Triad boss who comes to Liberty City. It is set in the same Liberty City as GTA IV (excluding Alderney, but scaled down for the Nintendo DS). PSP and iPhone ports were released later, including new missions, characters and radio stations and improved graphics.
  • 15. Grand Theft Auto V (2013) - Set in 2013 in a recreated Los Santos. According to Rockstar, Grand Theft Auto V is destined to be their biggest open world game to date. The game will concentrate on "the pursuit of the almighty dollar". In a break with recent tradition, GTA V will feature three playable protagonists.

The Fan Base

Grand Theft Auto has one of the largest fan bases of any game franchise. There are many unofficial Fansites about GTA games, providing the latest news, download databases, and often an online forum for the GTA community. Thousands of GTA fansites exist, ranging from small one-person news blogs to community-edited wikis (like this one) to massive downloads databases to forums with hundreds of thousands of members.

One activity popular with fans is modding - creating new vehicle models, skins, re-texturing of objects, and tweaking settings in the games' configuration files. These modifications are then made freely available on these fansites for anyone to download and install into their game. Another popular pastime (since GTA III) is stunting - the act of performing wild stunts with vehicles, and producing compilation videos.

Some of the more creative members of the community enjoy writing their own Fan Fiction - stories based on events which follow on from, or are based around events which happen in the games, but these are not considered to be canon.

The List of GTA Forums attempts to list all of the large communities, and demonstrates just how big the community as a whole is.

These are some of the most popular fan sites:

Trivia

Official Sites

Wikipedia


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