Grand Theft Auto 2
Grand Theft Auto 2 is an action-adventure game, developed by DMA Design and published by Rockstar Games, for Microsoft Windows and the PlayStation in October 1999, and the Dreamcast and Game Boy Color in 2000. It is the sequel to 1997’s Grand Theft Auto, and the second instalment of the Grand Theft Auto series. The game focuses on players taking on the role of a criminal as they roam a fictional futuristic city, conducting jobs for various crime syndicates and having free rein to do whatever they wish to achieve their goal. The game’s intro is unique for a title in the series, as it involved live-action scenes filmed by Rockstar Games.
Like its predecessor Grand Theft Auto, the game focuses on players completing a series of levels, each requiring a set target score being achieved in order to progress to the next stage. Points are awarded from various criminal actions such as destroying cars, selling vehicles, and completing missions for various crime syndicates, with the latter awarding more points than doing simple criminal actions. Unlike its predecessor, Grand Theft Auto 2 is set in an unspecified time period—conflicting sources suggest anything from “three weeks into the future”, to the year to be 2013, despite in-game references—and within a retrofuturistic metropolis referred to only as “Anywhere, USA”, with each level focused on a different district of the city. Completing jobs earns points and a multiplier bonus, while failing them earns nothing. Creating chaos from their crimes will cause the player to be wanted by the police who will hound the player to arrest or kill them, with higher wanted levels increasing the level of response used. Being arrested or dying loses the player any equipment they found, and impacts their multiplier bonus.
Grand Theft Auto 2 introduced several new features and improvements to the game. Players can now save their game during a playthrough of a level by visiting the church they start at, but must pay a set number of points to do so. Jobs on offer come from three different syndicates—each level features two unique syndicates, alongside a third syndicate present in all levels. By doing jobs for a syndicate and successfully completing them, the player gains respect with that syndicate, allowing them to take on tougher jobs with enough respect, but lose it with their chief rivals, locking them out of their jobs and making the syndicate’s members hostile to the player. Other improvements include vehicles and pedestrians being more interactive with the game’s environment—such as gang members engaging in fights with police—the presence of other criminals (such as muggers), a health meter, garages that can modify vehicles with special improvements, a selection of side missions ranging from running a taxi to driving a semi-truck, and groups of ‘hidden’ packages to find across the level.