Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars is another installment of the very popular gangster action games, this time created for Nintendo DS. Despite the smaller size of the console and hardware limitations, the developers managed to create a full-fledged installment of the GTA series.
Story and gameplay
The owners of the Nintendo DS portable console can return to the city known from previous installments of the series – to Liberty City. However, in order to keep the fans interested, the city consists of completely new areas. The layout of the streets was slightly modified as well and some new paths were added. The game contains all the key features of the predecessors – a large open world (the city is filled with pedestrians and cars), dynamical weather conditions and passing of time (day-night cycle), extensive plot, interesting missions and large dose of freedom. The main character is Huang Lee, a member of a Chinese criminal group. The main protagonist intends to have his revenge on people responsible for murdering his father and stealing the sword that was a valuable family memento.
This version of the game introduces various changes to the original formula of the series. Chinatown Wars contains slightly shorter and less challenging missions. It also offers the possibility to repeat failed quests. Other changes are the auto aim system (R button) and slightly simplified vehicle steering mechanics. The police intervention system was changed as well – this time, in order to escape from police cars the player must destroy them.
GTA: Chinatown Wars fully utilizes the advantages of the platform for which it was developed. It makes good use of the touch screen by offering various minigames (such as breaking into vehicles, scratching lottery coupons, assembling sniper weapon), and provides an intuitive interface. The interface adds to the atmopshere – it looks similar to a PDA and allows checking e-mails and the map, using GPS, listening to music (including from one of the radio stations that are characteristic for the series) and checking statistics. The data of player’s progress can be shared with the world by using Rockstar Games internet website.
The action is shown from a perspective that compromise between the top-down- and a traditional isometric view. The game uses a specific cartoonish graphics created with the cel-shading technology – characters have black contours and the graphics in general are colorful.