When Grand Theft Auto was still 2D
Now available as a free download as part of Rockstar's GTA classic series, GTA 2 is set in a futuristic metropolis, controlled by warring gangs.
Before the seminal GTA 3 brought the series into glorious 3D, Grand Theft Auto was a pseudo 3D, top down arcade game. The first two entries were cult games for a reason - filled with puerile humor and extreme violence, they were 18 rated affairs, and GTA 2 still warrants that.
GTA 2 sticks to the basic formula of the first game. You are free to roam the city, stealing cars, mowing down pedestrians and picking fights with the cops. The story of the game revolves around you going to pay phones, and doing jobs for the various gangs around the city. You need to earn their respect before you work for them, and can do this by killing their rivals.
GTA 2's controls are pretty simple, although connecting a game pad is probably the best way to play. Gameplay is fast and arcade-like, with scores popping up as you kill people and damage vehicles. It is still fun to play today, though mainly due to the freedom the 2D sandbox gives you. There are plenty of problems with the game, though. The graphics have not aged well at all, considering it was released in 1999, and the lack of an in-game map in GTA 2 makes orientation a pain.
GTA 2 is a fun arcade game, but more of a curiosity than a classic, as it features none of the depth or subtlety that the series went on to achieve.