IGN: GTA 3: Liberty City Radio Set the Bar

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Among the most used of the gameplay elements in the GTA series is the radio. We all have our favorite songs, on our favorite station, for whatever situation we're in from cruising to rampaging. IGN's article "GTA 3: Liberty City Radio Set the Bar" looks into how the soundtrack in Grand Theft Auto III set it apart from other games. Some excerpts below...


"Music is extremely important in gaming, and every so often a game will come around that completely reshapes the way we look at music and video games. Grand Theft Auto III was one such game.

Adding in licensed tracks to video games was nothing new by the time Rockstar launched Grand Theft Auto III. Games like Activision's Tony Hawk's Pro Skater franchise and WipeOut had already featured music tracks licensed from a variety of established artists. In fact, previous entries to the Grand Theft Auto franchise had a radio station mechanic with licensed music as well, but it wasn't until GTA III that the series was able to truly utilize these stations in a groundbreaking way. Grand Theft Auto III was one of the first games of this ilk to really use licensed music as a tool for immersion.


For the average player, GTA III's radio stations were littered with songs that they hadn't heard of, from a soundtrack full of cuts from relatively unknown drum-and-bass and jungle acts to 80's bubblegum pulled from the Scarface soundtrack and even some classical thrown in. The idea wasn't to present songs that would be immediately familiar to players, but ones that would help firmly establish the game's mythos and play off on its themes, and to that end GTA III succeeded.


Considering how the game itself is a violent and money-driven affair, the commercials hold up a mirror to the in-game society, and even add an interesting commentary on our own culture, aping our focus on big cars and reality TV. It even pokes fun at the gaming industry with a commercial for a fictional action-platformer featuring anthropomorphic monkeys during a time when many publishers were releasing 3D platformers focused on marketing cartoony mascots."

Read the full article here.

Feel free to let us know your favorite station or song plus any other GTA III memories you have! And don't forget to check out the Grand Theft Auto V forums!