Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars • Page 2

New turf.

The lack of a touch screen has also meant there have been adjustments to the control system. This is most noticeable in the mini-games - for example, you now unscrew car radios by rotating the analog nubbin. But Rockstar doesn't reckon this results in a negative effect on the gameplay; quite the opposite, in fact. "There was, for want of a better word, this disconnect with the DS version, where every time you did a mini-game it was a separate thing," says Mr Rockstar.

"We're happy with how the mini-games worked out, they were cool and funky, but you had to stop and take out the stylus to play them. With the PSP version, we haven't put quick-time events in there like everyone was worried we would. We use the face buttons, the analog nubbin and the D-pad to make it feel like something that's fitting for the platform. It's very tactile."

Other changes to the control system include the way you throw grenades - by using the nubbin to direct them and the left bumper to throw. (This ought to please Tom, who wrote in his review of the DS game: "Throwing Molotovs or grenades seems to want more fingers than I have available, although it's usually not a problem.") Otherwise it's pretty much business as usual: "We've tried to keep the controls as similar to the console GTAs and the DS version as possible," confirms the Rockstar chap.

One thing that's very different from the DS game is the soundtrack. No more plinky-plonky midis - the audio's been fully remastered and there's much more depth to it this time around. Plus there are more than two hours of brand new music, played across seven new radio stations. Good news for those who find the soundtrack to be an essential highlight of the GTA experience.


This is your face on drugs.

But is this GTA experience that much different to the one you get on the DS? Can Rockstar honestly say it's worth buying Chinatown Wars again for PSP? "Absolutely. In terms of what we've changed and redone, there's a bunch of new story missions, the way the mini-games work is completely different... There are enough changes between the versions for them to feel like separate entities on each platform," says the Rockstar chap. "Both have their own benefits." In fact, Mr Rockstar says he personally completed the DS game "one and a half times" already but is still thoroughly enjoying the PSP game.

Plenty of other people are likely to be enjoying it too come 23rd October, when the new version is released. There are no guarantees it'll sell any better than the DS game, though the GTA series has a better track record on PSP, with Liberty City Stories and Vice City Stories both racking up big numbers. Judging by what we've seen so far, GTA: Chinatown Wars is likely to follow suit. It's no Women's Murder Club, mind.

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