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5 things about GTA 2 that makes it different from the rest

Five features that distinguish GTA 2 from the rest of the series (Image via Rockstar Games)
Five features that distinguish GTA 2 from the rest of the series (Image via Rockstar Games)

Grand Theft Auto 2 is considered a watershed moment in the history of the GTA franchise and has played a major role in revolutionizing the gaming industry. The game was released at a time when open-world environments and 3D graphics were still in their infancy, and over the years, has helped change the way free-roam titles are perceived.

Released over two decades ago, GTA 2 followed in the footsteps of its predecessor before paving the way for future Grand Theft Auto titles.

This article discusses five aspects that distinguish Grand Theft Auto 2 from other titles in the series.

Note: This article is subjective and only reflects the writer's opinions.


Multiplayer mode, an exclusive map, and three other features that make GTA 2 stand out from other games in the franchise

1) Arcade-style gameplay

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Part of Grand Theft Auto's 2D Universe, GTA 2 was introduced at a time when arcade gameplay was largely popular. The game follows a top-down approach with simple arcade-style graphics and mechanics. Despite being labeled an open-world game, players can only explore the city from an aerial perspective.

Features such as walking, running, driving, and shooting were created using simple gameplay mechanics to provide the best experience possible at the time.

Each mission has various levels that require specific scores to reach. Gamers are also rewarded for creating chaos, something that was fairly popular in arcade games during the 90s.


2) 2D gameplay mixed with 3D graphics

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Although GTA 2 was a 2D game, the game designers skillfully blended 2D and 3D graphics to create the environment. While the perspective is fixed to an overhead view, the buildings and other tall objects, such as trees, light poles, and other in-game structures, are given a depth-of-field effect, creating a near-3D experience.

Rockstar Games' experimentation with depth-of-field effects in the second title eventually contributed to the immersive 3D gameplay of Grand Theft Auto 3. However, it is limited to the aforementioned tall-standing structures, with the rest of the elements being designed in simple 2D.


3) Exclusive map and city

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GTA 2 takes place in a futuristic fictional place called Anywhere City. The video gaming publisher created a somewhat symmetrical map with three districts – Downtown District, Residential District, and Industrial District.

While Rockstar is well-known for reintroducing old cities to new titles, Anywhere City was never brought back. Many Grand Theft Auto games feature places such as Vice City, San Andreas, and Liberty City, but only GTA 2 players can visit Anywhere City, making it exclusive to the title.


4) Multiplayer mode

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Many fans might not be aware that GTA 2 features a multiplayer mode. It was the last Grand Theft Auto game to feature a multiplayer mode before Grand Theft Auto 4, and Grand Theft Auto Online later reintroduced the option. The mode allows up to six players to compete by connecting via the internet, LAN, serial cable, or direct modem connection.

The game mode takes place across three small multiplayer maps featuring three districts that offer different weapons and parked car locations. However, as the internet and other communication mediums were still in their early stages at the time, connecting with friends or other players was somewhat challenging.


5) Only GTA game to have a β€œT” rating

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Grand Theft Auto 2 is the only game from the franchise with a T rating. While the rest of the titles in the series have an M rating from the Entertainment Software Rating Board, the second installment has a T rating on PlayStation 1 and Game Boy Color consoles.

The abbreviation T stands for Teen, and the ESRB website defines the rating as:

β€œContent is generally suitable for ages 13 and up. May contain violence, suggestive themes, crude humor, minimal blood, simulated gambling and/or infrequent use of strong language.”

Simply put, Grand Theft Auto 2 contains less violence and other objectionable elements than previous games in the series. While it may not have been a commercial success, the second installment in the franchise certainly played a role in carving out the success of future GTA titles.

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Edited by Dinesh Renthlei
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