Update: I was unfortunately not aware of Shamus Young's severe criticism of Fallout 3 available here to link in the original piece and I regret that. It dovetails rather nicely with what I've written and it's much better executed than my piece. I strongly recommend anyone...
The only game I think I could easily write a full-blown book about. I'm pretty much a pacifist, and one of the least violent gamers I know, since I refuse to play games that have mindless violence - let's face it, there's too many that do. I've got nothing against violence in the real world, but please, keep it out of my games.
So being the pacifist that I am, I was really skeptical about the hype, praise, and scores GTAIII was getting. But, as an exorcist once said, my will is weak. As soon as I started to play... I just remember thinking - f**k this, this is really fun! As someone who's really against the idea of violence in games, I can honestly say this turned out to be my favorite game ever, and thinking this much fun just shouldn't be legal - seriously, this is sick (sick in a good way, man).
Okay, so it's depicting some really violent behavior and has been the poster boy for games being a cause of real violence. But, I think if they looked at how FUN it actually is and seeing it as a positive thing for giving kids/adults some actual gaming joy, then, arrest me, because I'm guilty.. of having a lot of fun!
Well, let's go over some of the things you can do throughout. Highjack cars, shoot people, have cops chase you while running or driving your highjacked cars, steal money from people you've beaten or shot, highjack nicer cars, go anywhere you want in an awesome virtual city (which I think they should really build one day), interact with the Mafia and do work for them, interact with criminals from all walks of life and all types of crimes, do so many types of crimes and have so many different ways of carrying them out, hijacking even better cars, do police work and chase criminals whenever you want, hijack big-ass firetrucks and mame the right way, and I could go on and on. This may sound like mindless violence, but hey, it's mindless violence that's actually fun and made me appreciate the art of crime - what better endorsement could a game get?
Never before has a game brought everything together like GTAIII has. I've played its sequel, and I don't think even it can come close to GTAIII's solid package (GTAIII's actual cover and packaging looks better too - but, Vice holds its own). One thing that Vice has that was sorely lacking in GTAIII, however, is motorcycles. But still, the game was so fun, I didn't even notice anything like motorcycles were missing till I was almost done with it. GTAIII defies logic - it's brilliant and fun.