GTA Chinatown Wars is one of the most underrated games in the series, and these five features certainly help prove that case.
GTA Chinatown Wars is proof that GTA can work perfectly on mobile devices. The features found in GTA Chinatown Wars work phenomenally with the system it's on without feeling antiquated. Whether it's features that take advantage of the handheld device itself or features that focus on quality of life, GTA Chinatown Wars is an excellent game in its own right.
Surprisingly, many of these features are straight-up absent from later GTA titles. It's understandable why something like a top-down perspective would get axed, but some of the other features also being axed feels unfortunate. As a result, many of these features are unique to GTA Chinatown Wars, which only serves to make the game stand out more compared to the rest of the series.
Five great features in GTA Chinatown Wars
#5 - Minigames on the touchscreen
This is more related to the Nintendo DS version of GTA Chinatown Wars than the other versions. It's incredibly minor, especially since the minigames can be completed quickly without much thought. However, it adds a sense of realism to the game, as the players can feel like they're doing something as opposed to just pushing a button for that action.
Some minigames take place in missions, where the player has to complete them to advance to the next stage. It's a fun novelty that helps diversify missions, especially since some GTA games can feel a little too monotonous in regards to their mission design. Of course, the hot-wiring minigame is also worth mentioning, as it's both quick and pretty cool to do.
#4 - Replaying missions
GTA 4: The Ballad of Gay Tony allowed players to replay missions without seeing the cutscenes associated with them. GTA Vice City Stories allows players to view mission cutscenes without replaying the actual mission. Fortunately, GTA Chinatown Wars combines both of these features for an amazing experience.
All of the good features in relation to GTA Chinatown Wars' missions can be replayed. They can still see the iconic cutscenes from the game, which allows a player to relive the game fully. Replaying missions is easy in GTA Chinatown Wars as well, for players just have to go to a safehouse and use the whiteboard there.
#3 - Restarting missions instantly
One of the worst parts about older GTA titles is that when a player fails a mission, they have to go back to the mission marker to start over. Some games are lucky enough to have Taxi Rides for convenience, but other games force the player to take the long walk of shame back to the start. GTA Chinatown Wars doesn't just circumvent this problem, it even allows players to "Trip Skip" for far away objectives.
It's a minor yet highly convenient feature that is worth praising. It's hardly a matter in GTA more frustrating than constantly failing a mission and being forced to waste time just to try another attempt. Fortunately, GTA Chinatown Wars alleviated this problem. The fact that it's an instant restart is even better than taking a Taxi Ride, as it saves the player's time.
#2 - Altered Wanted Level system
Wanted Levels are sometimes the bane of a player's existence in a GTA game. Surprisingly, GTA Chinatown Wars tackles it in a more arcade-esque manner. One way to get rid of the game's pesky cops is to ram into their vehicles, thus disabling them from pursuing the player. It's a simple feature, but it makes GTA Chinatown Wars feel unique and fresh compared to the other games in the series.
Sometimes, GTA 4 and GTA 5 feel too slow in how the player can normally evade law enforcement. Likewise, always relying on a bribe or Pay 'n' Spray in the earlier GTA titles could be inconvenient. GTA Chinatown War's system of evading police is pretty neat, especially since it still has the above two features implemented in the game.
#1 - Drug dealing
Although drug dealing is the most controversial aspect of GTA Chinatown Wars, it is arguably the definitive and unique feature that defines the game. As the name implies, the player is allowed to buy and sell drugs to earn a profit. Smart players will buy drugs from one region, and sell them in another region for a higher profit. However, it isn't just the act of making a profit that makes this feature so fun in GTA Chinatown Wars.
Six drugs are available for the player to deal in, with those six being heroin, coke, ecstasy, acid, weed, and downers. The players don't just sell it to random pedestrians like in GTA Vice City; rather, they're dealing drugs with various gangs within Liberty City. Some gangs are more likely to purchase one type of drug over another, so it's a surprisingly deep feature for something that seems so minor at first glance.
Note: This article reflects the writer’s personal views.