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An Hour with: GTA 2
Posted on Wednesday, April 8 2009 @ 14:00:08 PST

Ah this takes me back. I remember many a long night spent playing Grand Theft Auto 2, zipping around the city popping heads open as I went. After just downloading the game from the Rockstar website, I thought I'd document my first adventure with GTA 2 in years. Oh and this is written as I'm playing. I'll play a bit, pause and write. Play more, pause, write and so on. So it's raw. Apart from some spell checking, I'm going to leave this as is. Without further adieu....

So I've started in the first district. Despite it being years since last I played the game, I still know this place like the back of my sweaty, vibrating hand. Horrible, nightmare inducing imagery aside, I really feel a sense of nostalgia here. Grand Theft Auto 2 is perhaps the one game I have played more than any other. I literally spent hundreds of hours playing this over the years. Still, there were things I'd forgotten. The background noise, the hum of the city being one of them. After navigating the main menu and starting the game, I notice the sounds and pause the game. Wonderful little touch I hadn't really paid attention to before. But this time, I intend to soak up every last bit of the game I can, truly experience it. Probably not, I'll just kill loads of people and blow sh*t up.

The game starts with me facing a  building with a large, flashing neon sign declaring “Jesus Saves.” Ah, the old save point. We know each other well. In front of this building is a ringing payphone, the most important objects of GTA 1 and 2, now forgotten in the glitz and glamour of the current generation of games. F**k your mobile phones, I want these old pieces of sh*t back, us gamers aren't so lazy that we can't... Heh. Yeah we are.
The phone keeps ringing. With the only other people in the vicinity being a mugger and his unfortunate victim, I walk over to the phone, automatically answering it.

“Hey there, Stranger! Welcome to the Downtown District. Stick around if you wanna learn what's going down...”

“No thanks, I think to myself, I'm a professional at this game.” I walk away from the phone quickly, lest I be pulled into a tutorial. A voice erupts from the phone after me: “Try life in the big city on your own, ya worthless piece-a-sh*t!” I think briefly about what a rude f**ker the guy is, before setting off into the thick of it. My adventure begins here, finally, free in the city!

Stealing the nearest car, a B-Type, I make my way to the Zaibatsu quarter of the city. They're always good for a job. It's a telling sign at how rusty I am with the game, that I kill at least ten people on the way here, requiring a quick detour to lose the filth in an alleyway, which in turn results in two more deaths. What stupid motherf**ker actually walks down an alleyway when clearly it could be used as an escape route for a fleeing criminal? Idiots. Finally arriving at the Zaibatsu quarter, I run for their nearest payphone. I stop for a minute and admire the patience of the guy at the end of the phone. I usually hang up after seconds of no answer, this guy can go for ****ing days apparently. Picking up the phone, I'm introduced to a man called Trey Walsh. He informs me of a Zaibatsu traitor, selling info to the cops and wants me to steal a cop car from outside the police station. Fair enough.

I hop back into the B-Type, being sure to pick up some armour and a machine gun along the way and begin my drive to the police station. I try to go more carefully this time and it works. Only three people die! I'm proud of this fact. I am. Screw you.

The police car is taken easily, with no retaliation from the fuzz. The radio chatter is another nice touch I never took the time to appreciate before either. It's oddly calming. As soon as the car door as closed, a call comes in from Trey. He wants me to head to a train station and pick up the snitch. Again, sounds easy enough. I flick on the siren and put the foot down. Actually, I'm really just pressing the arrow key on my keyboard, but you know what I mean. I'm having fun flying through the streets in the cop car, it's empowering in a strange way. So much so in fact, that by the time I've reached the train station, I've decided that I don't like Trey very much. F**k his plan, I'm going to flatten this son of a ***** right here. With a splat and an angry phone call, the mission has been failed. Pfft. Like I need him. I'll just work for the Yakuza instead. And if I kill seven or eight or sixty Zaibatsu pigs along the way, so be it.

After wiping out most of the Zaibatsu I can find, I head to the Yakuza sector and go straight for one of their more difficult jobs. A man called Johnny Zoo is on the other end of a Yakuza payphone I find and he wants me to steal a SWAT van in return for the police taking one of his most prized cars. A fair trade, to be sure. Now where can I find a SWAT van?


The answer comes fairly quickly. Why go out and seek a SWAT van, when you can stay put and make a SWAT van come to you? The next few minutes are a blur of frantic slaughter. My trusty machine gun and a rocket launcher I found on top of a crate in the Yakuza J-Lab on my way from the Zaibatsu area are put to good use. After killing pretty much anything on two legs in about a square mile, I'm finally beset upon by a SWAT van. Taking my lovely machine gun and running backwards away from the SWAT team, I decimate them and return to claim my... Johnnies, prize. Entering the SWAT van, I'm asked to drop it off in a garage nearby. Along the way, I become quite fond of my new van. It's always been one of my favourite vehicles in the game. Smashing through police blockades isn't the same without one...

But lo! What is this? Another SWAT van following me? 'Tis good. As I drop the van off in the magic garage which makes the police, even the ones just outside that had been following me, completely forget I had done anything wrong, I make my mind up that I want another SWAT van. So after a spot of killing, I take one. Sure it's on fire, but what's the worst that can happen?

Apparently, getting stuck at a barricade and blown up by pistol fire is the worst. WASTED? F**KING WASTED? I don't think so. Homie don't play that ****. I know of  a little secret tucked away in the bottom east corner of the map. A ****ing tank. Lets see the bastards blow this up with their pistols.

The journey to the tank is uneventful. It's what happens after I get the tank that's worth knowing about. I basically make my way around the city blowing everything to sh*t, killing everything in my way and destroying enough cars to make every single ex-girlfriend on the planet happy. Or dead. My spree only comes to an end when I hit the wrong key and exit the tank. Not good. I have every law enforcement officer in the northern hemisphere looking for me and I'm practically naked save for some Molotov cocktails, a pistol, machine gun and a rocket launcher with ten rockets. This'll be interesting. I decide to make my last stand somewhere memorable. So I head back down south to the strip club. What? It's a genuine landmark.

In the ensuing moments, hundreds of lives are lost and my armour is completely depleted, my health rapidly going down too. I'm pretty good at dodging bullets, but even I have my limits. Just as death is banging on the door in anticipation, sticking his pee pee through the letterbox, sliding up and down along the door frame and groaning like the audience during a Jason Friedberg/Aaron Seltzer movie, a funny thing happens. I throw a Molotov cocktail (my second last one) at a police car and jump straight after it. As I jump into a wall, I fall through said wall and under the city. I can now quite literally go anywhere by jumping, but to no avail. I can't get above ground again. As such, my time with GTA 2 has come to an end. Until tomorrow, when I play it again and start a whole new era of death and destruction, laughing as my foes fall to my feet and beg for mercy. I will show none.

And they say violent videogames cause violent thoughts. I turned out fine.
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