Retronauts Episode 405: Grand Theft Auto III

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Remember when the PlayStation 2 launched 21 years ago? I don't because there were no games I wanted for it, so I very purposely did not bother buying one. That changed in 2001 though, as the holiday lineup that year was absolutely stacked with blockbusters.

However, there was also a sequel that I had no interest in: Grand Theft Auto III, a follow-up to a series of top-down racing/crime simulations that I'd seen in stores but never played. Once it hit store shelves, however, people started talking about its 3D world that felt like a real city, once where anything goes. Curious, I bought my copy and promptly spent the next eight months tearing Liberty City apart block by block, stealing cars, shooting thugs, and doing sick jumps with sports cars.

This week I, Diamond Feit, am your host, and joining me are Jeremy Parish and Bob Mackey for a virtual road trip 20 years into the past. It was a more innocent time when a nation coping with fresh tragedy was very concerned about violence in video games, and no one knew that a British PS2 game steeped in references to American mob movies would become the template for open-world gaming for the next two decades.

Description: This Week in Retro host Diamond Feit carjacks the main mic from Jeremy Parish and Bob Mackey this week to steer the crew into a wild and possibly illegal look back at the first truly pivotal game of the 21st century: Rockstar North's Grand Theft Auto III.

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MP3, 45 MB | 1:29:52 Direct download Retronauts on iTunes Retronauts at Libsyn

Artwork for this episode by Shaan Khan and editing thanks go to Greg Leahy.