Grand Theft Auto 3 Mobile: Homage, Or Blemish?

We’ve seen quite a few video game anniversaries of late, chief among them Grand Theft Auto 3’s 10-year. Rockstar’s ground breaking open world adventure quickly became a smash hit in 2001, as the talented company brought its over the top franchise into the 3D realm on PlayStation 2, introducing millions of consumers to a gripping Hollywood style narrative, memorable characters and extreme violence.

To celebrate, the company intends to port it to iPhone, iPad and Android.

At first, this seemed like a wonderful idea, since the devices are more than capable of running a decade old video game. Given the graphical horsepower, Rockstar could probably make visual tweaks to cut down on or remove the jaggies from the original PlayStation 2 version.

That said, one important feature could derail the entire thing: virtual analogue stick controls.

It’s no secret that touch screen sticks pale in comparison to the real deal. Obviously, some games have better controls than others, but the ones that don’t are near unplayable.

To that end, early reports from journalists that got their hands on this new edition of GTA 3 praised the vehicle controls but were disappointed while on-foot, where much of the game’s action takes place.

With this in mind, we’d hate to see the game ship with a lackluster control scheme, as it would kill any momentum Rockstar hopes to achieve. There wouldn’t be much fun wrestling with the controls while a small army of police officers open fire.

Of course, we’ve yet to play GTA 3 iOS, so it remains to be seen whether those virtual sticks are a blessing or a hindrance.

Considering how much we love the original, we hope it’s the former.

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