GTA Chinatown Wars – Review (PSP)

Having been a fan of the Grand Theft Auto series since it’s first very instalment it is nice to see Rockstar taking the game back to it’s roots.

This PSP title returns the series to a top down perspective, although tilted to give it a semi 3D sheen. It certainly looks a lot shinier than those old PSX titles.

Set once again in Liberty City this time the story focuses on a triad gang member called Huang. He is escorting a rare family heirloom when he is set upon and it is stolen. His uncle demands he gets it back and the story kicks off from there.

One thing I was a bit disappointed with was that there was no voice acting – with cartoon cut scenes telling the story. Would’ve liked to have seen them accompanied by audio but perhaps that is too much strain for the PSP.

The missions are traditional GTA – some amazingly fantastic and some too hard. Too hard maybe isn’t the word – frustrating might be better. Because often you’ll have a large mission broken up into two or three pieces but if you die you start the whole mission again. It’s pretty annoying but is at least consistent with other GTA games.

The story is good but not great and a lot of the twists were fairly obvious, which is a shame.

One thing I thought was excellent, and I hope to see it implemented on the next console version, was the wanted system. As well as stars you now also have number of cop cars underneath.

So you’ll have two stars and two cars say. To get down to one star you’ll need to destroy two cop cars. Then another one to get rid of your last star. (You can also lose the cops in the traditional ways as well)

This led to some truly stupendous chases where I led the cops on a Dukes Of Hazzard style pursuit through the city, luring them into oncoming traffic etc. Awesome 😎

GTA Chinatown Wars is a large and well presented game. With almost 60 main missions and plenty of side projects it will certainly take a while to get through.

Despite a few annoyances this is definitely one of the best games out there for the PSP system.

Rating: 9/10

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