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This article may actually be useful to describe the unique gameplay of GTA games, and as a central article about all of the aspects of gameplay, but it needs a lot of expansion
Every game in the Grand Theft Auto series involves many aspects of gameplay. The game progresses, and new features, items and areas are unlocked by completing the main storyline missions. However, Grand Theft Auto is very notable for it's open-world sandbox style gameplay. The player is not required to complete the main missions, and is free to explore the city and do anything they want.
As the main storyline sees the player protagonist as a criminal, the police are active in all GTA games, and will persuit the player if they witness them committing any crimes. In the GTA IV Era, pedestrians can also report crimes using their phone.
GTA's gameplay is known to be very realistic, particularly in the GTA IV Era. Despite this, some games contain over-the-top gameplay.
Grand Theft Auto III introduced the series to a 3D world, which opened up further gameplay possibilities.