Grand Theft Auto Chinatown Wars

Grand Theft Auto Chinatown Wars
 Format: Nintendo DS
Players: 1-4
Genre: Action 
Release Date: 20th March 2009 
Rockstar Leeds, Rockstar North 

Being a drug dealer is great fun. Searching the city for the cheapest pills then tracking down a sucker to offload them for mega profits is my new life. Just the other day I made enough money to buy a few houses after selling some cheap downers and heroin for big bucks. As long as you keep to the tips, business is good.

And now I’ll talk about Grand Theft Auto Chinatown Wars. 

GTA on DS goes back to the top down view used in earlier games and has you playing as Huang Lee, son of recently murdered Triad boss. He’s been tasked with delivering a special sword, the Yu Jian, to deliver to his uncle so he can win favour to become the new boss. Unfortunately for Huang, he is given the American welcome and has the sword stolen plus he nearly becomes one with the fishes. Huang decides to get the sword back and avenge his father so the life of crime begins. You work through the city driving, stealing, shooting, drug dealing, street racing, and blowing stuff up. You don’t want to be leaving this game in the DS instead of Cooking Mama if you have kids, that’s for sure. Touch screen mini games such as hot wiring cars and assembling sniper rifles here rather than cake making.

Chinatown Wars is great fun and the top down world looks great thanks to the comic styled visuals and 3D buildings bringing it all to life. Every feature of the DS is used to full extent so you can use the bottom screen as a map, whistle in the microphone to hail a cab and of course flick grenades at passerbys with the touch screen. It’s all easy to get to grips with and the only control gripe comes from reaching the L button to re-center the camera, which gave me aches and pains. Missions are small and rarely challenging, but they constantly offer new variation up to the final mission and the short length of each mission is perfect for portable gaming. The only problem with the constant variation is the game never really uses each new idea to their full potential, and each newly introduced gameplay mechanic makes the mission feel like half tutorial/ half left to you own devices. It’s always fun however and the side missions offer enough meat to keep you stuck in the life of crime for hours. Though I found taxi driving a bit less engaging than drug trading. Maybe that’s the case in real life too.

Chinatown Wars ends up being more fun than GTA IV, more daring than anything else on the DS and you can play it all to a snazzy MIDI jazz radio station.

Now, back to drug trading.



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