How to Win the Inside Track with Gambling on GTA San Andreas

The year is 1991, and Grand Theft Auto has just been released at the tail end of the great arcades era. It was a landmark title in many ways – the first 3D open-world game and one of the first games to feature digitised speech as well as a living, breathing world where players can explore at will. As well as putting a fresh spin on the action-adventure genre, it introduced players to a dark and gritty West London where danger and crime lurked around every corner. So with the game rapidly approaching its twentieth anniversary, it’s a natural fit for us to reminisce on one of the most significant titles of all time – and analyse its many winning – and not so winning – elements.

The Art Of Completion

Let’s be honest, at the end of the day, most gamers are driven by trophies and gold medals. For decades, the gaming world has been defined by challenges, quests, and a sense of achievement that can only be obtained by completing them. For the most part, Grand Theft Auto has always upheld this gaming ideal, and it’s perhaps this reason why the series has continued to grow in popularity even today. Back in 1991, however, beating the game definitely wasn’t enough – gamers also wanted to see what was hiding behind the walls, discover every last bit of content, and leave no stone unturned. Fortunately for players, Grand Theft Auto also had a habit of throwing in extra content and secrets with every update, expanding the game world and offering more challenges and thrills.

The Men In Black

One of the earliest hints that something exceptional was on the horizon for Grand Theft Auto comes in the form of the ‘Men in Black’ – enigmatic figures encountered by the player in a cave near the start of the game. The Men in Black were actually two of the game’s most prominent hackers, Dave1 and Gish, who programmed their own levels and provided additional content to other players via the internet. With their help, Grand Theft Auto rose to the challenge of the classic ‘game over’ screen and offered players an additional ten hours of gameplay. However, it wasn’t just the inclusion of these two masterminds that made Grand Theft Auto so appealing – it also boasted a large and vibrant modding community, allowing players to extend the game’s lifespan even further. To this day, it’s one of the most popular games on the Playstation console, and for good reason.

The Money Honey

The phrase ‘the money honey’ was actually coined to describe a form of hidden currency that is acquired by the player in one of the game’s earlier missions. Like many other ‘90s indie games, Grand Theft Auto was published by a small British company called Psyclone, which specialised in low-budget, high-quality titles and quickly established itself as a force to be reckoned with in the industry. One of their early and possibly biggest hits was a game called Broke, which was based on the arcade game Double Dragon and introduced players to a world of crime and corruption in the Chinatown underworld of Vancouver. It was an incredibly innovative game for its time, and still holds up well today, featuring a memorable and haunting soundtrack by Mike Patton (of Faith No More fame).

The Dangerous Types

If you thought that the last mission in Grand Theft Auto was intense, you’d be right. The game’s designers actually tried to keep things as real as possible, and made sure that the player never felt safe or comfortable enough to really leave their guard down. Even in today’s day and age, when video game violence is seemingly accepted as a ‘part of the fun’, Grand Theft Auto remains remarkably honest in its depiction of brutal crime and gangland warfare and is often cited as one of the most authentically violent games ever made. Not only that, but players can also choose from a variety of different playable characters, each with their own strengths and weaknesses, making each playthrough feel as unique as the player’s character. This is undoubtedly part of what makes Grand Theft Auto such a compelling game.

The Groovy Interface

While the gameplay and technical prowess of Grand Theft Auto are undeniable, it’s also the game’s design that truly sets it apart. One of the first things you’ll notice about the game is its incredible visual style, which was undoubtedly inspired by the movies of the time, particularly those of Richard Lester, whose work was consistently recognised and lauded by the industry’s biggest names, from Francis Ford Coppola to Steven Spielberg.

This is most noticeable in the game’s numerous nods to the movie world, from the way the protagonist is dressed to the cars they drive and the locations they visit. However, it’s not just the designs that are reminiscent of the silver screen – the way that they are presented is also influenced by the cinematic nature of the ‘90s, with scrolling text-based menus giving way to immersive and often graphically-stunning scenery. It’s not often that a game manages to marry such cinematic design with innovative gameplay, but Grand Theft Auto definitely does – it makes for one hell of a ride.

The Dark Charisma

One of the reasons why Grand Theft Auto became such a huge hit was because of its dark and mysterious setting and overarching narrative, which was something entirely new for video games at the time. Even now, after all these years, gamers are still talking about and sometimes even playing the game. While much of the setting and story was inspired by the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, particularly the way youth culture was experimenting with their identity in the shadows of the Cold War, the way that Grand Theft Auto portrayed this identity and presented it to the player was truly innovative, even for its time.

The Sense Of Exploration

With Grand Theft Auto, players were given the freedom to explore the game world at will, which was unprecedented at the time. Not only that, but the game also allowed players to switch between third- and first-person perspectives at any time, which not only expanded the gameplay experience but also introduced a new layer of exploration, as you could now discover hidden items and puzzles as you explored the game world from a new lens. It’s almost as if the designers of Grand Theft Auto had been listening to players’ incessant and repeated pleas for more exploration, and finally delivered it, in spades.

The Final Word

Like many other games that came before it and like many other games that will come after it, Grand Theft Auto will continue to keep its spot at the forefront of the gaming world because of its timeless gameplay and innovative design – not to mention the fact that it’s one of the most popular games ever made. It’s safe to say that Dave1, Gish, and the rest of the team at Psyclone certainly didn’t get old overnight: they continue tothis day to make tweaks and additions to the series as freely as they can, keeping gamers on their toes and ensuring that the experience is as fresh as possible even two decades later.