…and back to it. Here are Parts 1, 2 and 3.

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After loading the game up again, I try to get back to ‘The Getaway.’ It’s a tough mission and it’s not a mission I want to leave on the backburner. Unfortunately, Liberty City’s most social criminal Joey is in bed, so I nip over to Tony (him or his mum are always available to give me┬ámissions) and take on his next mission ‘Salvatore’s Called A Meeting.’ It’s a relatively simple mission where you pick up Luigi, Joey (so he does go out after 2pm!) and Tony for a meeting with crime boss Salvatore and avoid a Triad ambush. It opens up Salvatore’s missions which will eventually lead to my nemesis, ‘Bomb Da Base Pt II.’ That mission is the furthest I’ve ever got, right at the end of the missions on the first island and I know it’s going to be a nightmare as it involves shooting people accurately….

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With Joey still washing his hair/shopping/updating his diary, I decide to take on Salvatore’s first mission ‘Chaperone’, taking his trophy wife Maria out for the evening. Maria naturally wants to score some drugs and go to a rave, so I wait around in the car until the police bust the rave. I drive Maria home, upon which Maria confirms she likes me. Having been involved in many crimes in the space of an hour for her benefit (namely helping her buy drugs and running over people escaping the police at the rave), I can see why she’s fond of me.

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With Maria safe and sound at home…high on Spank probably, but safe and sound…it’s time to try ‘The Getaway’ again. I’m awful at this mission. I struggle every time, even with the fundamental details. The above picture is the aftermath of me stealing a Moonbeam. I though it was big enough, but the bank robbers turned their noses up at it and I failed the mission straight away. Come on – I could have found another car!!! You’ve planned an highly illegal act, got weapons, arranged a driver and are willing to go to prison/die a painful death….and you pull out because you might not have enough leg room and a drink holder??? I lose my temper and the ensuring tantrum sees the police gun me down. I hate this mission…

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Luckily, I’m able to get a more reliable vehicle on my next go at ‘The Getaway.’ Well, it was more reliable until I crashed it repeatedly on the way. Seriously, I need to stop making this mission so hard on myself. The ensuring bank job goes badly as the van’s remaining durability is that of a chocolate fireguard. The police just look at the van and it explodes, sending me back to the hospital.

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I return to Joey to try ‘The Getaway’ again…seriously, Joey do some overtime or something – you’re part of a crime family not a postman! I head over to Tony again and complete the ‘Triads and Tribulations’ mission. Basically, Tony leaves you a note asking you to kill three Triad warlords. The Triads have got wise to my tactic of running people over and starting hiding behind things I can’t drive through, like bollards and walls. Seriously, if crime figures take their nickname from how they kill people, mine would be ‘The Learner Driver’ or ‘The Learner’ for short. Luckily, I remember that R1 allows you to aim at people and I use this to gun down the Triads and complete the mission.

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Straight back to Tony…his next mission ‘Blow Fish’ requires me to drive a bin lorry rigged with a bomb into the Triad’s fish factory. I take a few goes to complete this mission…mainly because I can’t drive the bin lorry out of 8-Ball’s yard. I keep getting lost and lose valuable seconds. The other issue is the Triads take ages to open the gates to their factory, leaving me with little time to park the bin lorry in the factory car park. There are a few attempts where I run out of time just as I’m parking the bin lorry. Eventually, I manage to get out of 8-Ball’s yard quickly and the Triads remember how their gates work, allowing me to finish the mission.

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I race back to Joey’s and get there at 5:50pm…I decide to wait outside impatiently, tapping my toe like Sonic use to in the 16-Bit games. Joey gives me the mission and I head off. Pick up all the robbers, get to the bank, commit the crime and speed away from the police….straight into a dead end. I’m surrounded by police straight away and before I know it, the van has exploded and it’s back to square one. A morose walk around Liberty City follows as I decide to sulk.

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I head back to Joey’s, but it’s out of office hours so I head to Salvatore who gives me the mission ‘Cutting The Grass.’ Basically, Curly Bob, the bartender at Luigi’s club is spending lots of money and Salvatore is suspicious. The mission entails following Curly Bob’s taxi without getting clocked, then whacking him after he meets up with the Spanish gang members. Problem is, Curly Bob has a Spook-o-meter that fills up when he realises he’s being followed. Curly Bob must be paranoid as he starts to panic unless you are 5 miles behind him. I take a few goes and finally manage to trail him to the docks, where Curly Bob has his meeting. The second he’s finished, I run him over, complete the mission…then my van blows up?!? Running over Bob has destroyed my van somehow, wasted me (I couldn’t get out in time) and forced me to replay the mission. It’s bedtime too (I’m a dad of two so like Joey, my working day starts around 6:00am) so I haven’t time to replay the mission.

I’m angry…my thoughts can be summed up in one screenshot…

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