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2009 A closer look at Chinatown Wars
GTA: Chinatown Wars - Community News | @ 02:18 PM MDT | By Kodo
Welcome to March! Now that the Lost and Damned has been out and you've had a chance to play it, it's time to take a closer look at another GTA game coming out this month, Chinatown Wars.
Two weeks ago, along with preview the Lost and Damned, Zidane and myself were also treated to a demo of Chinatown Wars. The evening after the Lost and Damned event at Don Hill's, the GTA webmasters were taken out to dinner, at which point Michael from Rockstar told us we would be playing Chinatown Wars in Rockstar's offices the next day! A lengthy discussion followed in which he told us about CW's many new features and design philosophies. Truth be told, I wasn't hyped for CW, but this man made me very excited to play.
The next day, the webmasters were split into two groups. Those from the UK played in the morning session, and the USA webmasters played in the afternoon. Our group arrived at Rockstar's building on Broadway and we were escorted inside and down a hall to an elevator. At this point, it is the furthest I have ever gone in Rockstar's building. Last April, we tried to sneak inside, but were stopped at the security desk. So the moment is very exciting.
Next, we ride up, the doors open, and we're scurried into the next room by Job and Bill. They seriously would not let our eyes wander anywhere, not even for a second, lest we see some sensitive materials. Inside the room is a conference table on one side and a black couch and TV on the other side. Framed San Andreas art posters line all the walls. It is very neat in this room.
Bill leaves the room to order some pizza for us. We gather on the couch for Job to give us an overview and demonstration of the game. Rockstar actually built a gigantic working DS to show off the game on larger screens. The DS was about the size of a laptop just for this purpose. After watching the intro and being shown the new features, we are seated at the conference table with our own DS to play with. The version of Chinatown Wars we played had four missions.
Now, let me explain why I was so shocked to play Chinatown Wars. I thought it was another 2D top down game, another portable homage to the series. I thought it was just a small story in a small Chinatown district. These notions were so wrong. Chinatown Wars is an entirely original game in the series, built exclusively for the DS by Rockstar Leeds. Artistically, the game uses cel-shaded 3D graphics with a camera at an overhead perspective. The camera rotates 360 degrees, allowing you to see every detail of cars and buildings. The entire Liberty City from GTA IV is in the game (except for Alderney). How Leeds crammed an entire 3D Liberty City into the DS is some kind of miracle. Chinatown Wars has a unique design philosophy, too. The game is designed to use both screens, designed to be played on the go, and designed for those that want an arcade-like GTA game that includes the best features from all previous GTAs.
Basically, Chinatown Wars will not disappoint any fan of Grand Theft Auto. It looks to be the perfect portable GTA and definitely worth uncovering that old DS (or buying the first one) for this game. Chinatown Wars arrives in the US on March 17 (March 20 in UK) and is priced at $34.99 in the US.
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