Grand Theft Auto
- 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, or GTA, is a long-running series of videogames, published by Rockstar Games and developed by subsidiary companies. The game was originally developed and published by Rockstar North (formerly DMA Design) and BMG Interactive (a subsidiary of BMG Records).
There are currently ten games in the series, with a further two expansion packs for the original, and downloadable content for Grand Theft Auto IV. The games have been released for various platforms, including the PC, PS2, Xbox, PS3, Xbox 360, PSP and DS, with most of the games released on multiple platforms.
There has been a massive amount of controversy over this series, which peaked with the discovery of some sex scenes in GTA San Andreas that were disabled (but not removed) before the game was published. The unofficial Hot Coffee mod and subsequent uproar gave Rockstar Games a huge amount of press attention.
Individual games in the series can be categorised into different 'eras', mostly dependant on the storyline and graphics engine used. The start of a new era is indicated by a new number after Grand Theft Auto, eg "GTA III".
GTA 1 Era
In the GTA 1 Era there is original game, and the subsequent two expansion packs featuring missions in 1960's London. Whilst originally just called '"Grand Theft Auto", the first game and era have become known as "GTA 1" for clarity.
- Grand Theft Auto (1997), available for the PlayStation, PC and Game Boy Color. Features the cities of Liberty City, Vice City and San Andreas.
- Grand Theft Auto (Mission Pack #1): London 1969 (1999), an expansion pack, available for the PlayStation and PC, set in London. London is the only playable city in the series with a real name.
- Grand Theft Auto (Mission Pack #2): London 1961 (1999), a further expansion to London 1969, available only as a free download for the PC.
GTA 2 Era
The GTA 2 Era contains just GTA2, which featured an improved graphics engine and a different style of gameplay.
- Grand Theft Auto 2 (1999), available for the PlayStation, PC, Dreamcast, and Game Boy Color. The game is set in completely fictional Anywhere City in the near future around the year 2013.
GTA III Era
The GTA III Era 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 accross multiple games. Notably, games in this era were not released in chronological order.
- 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.
- 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 Vice City.
- Grand Theft Auto Advance (2004), what was originally supposed to be a cut-down port of GTAIII for the Game Boy Advance, turned out to be a completely original game, set a year before GTAIII, in a slightly changed Liberty City.
- 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 player and vehicles, and caused controversy when sex games were revealed in the games code on both the console and PC versions.
- Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories (2005), a prequel set in Liberty City, 1998. Originally for the PlayStation Portable, a PS2 port was released in June 2006.
- 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.
- See also: The Introduction
It is generally believed that the GTA III Era 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.
GTA IV Era
- Grand Theft Auto IV (2008) - Set in 2008 in a redesigned Liberty City, with new game mechanics, a multiplayer mode, and with protagonist Niko Bellic trying to start a new life. GTA IV has been released for Xbox 360, PS3 and PC.
- Grand Theft Auto IV: The Lost and Damned (2009) - a downloadable episode released in February 2009 for the Xbox 360 only. 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. There are no known plans to port these episodes to other platforms.
- GTA IV Episode 2 - A second episode for GTA IV is planned, but as-yet unnamed, also for Xbox 360, with release planned for the second half of 2009.
- 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, but scaled down for the Nintendo DS.
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 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. These are not considered to be canon, but
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:
- Grand Theft Auto series
- Grand Theft Auto: Double Pack
- Free download of Grand Theft Auto, Wild Metal and Grand Theft Auto 2