GTA United Review | Lots of Potential, Frustrating Experience
When I first found out about the Grand Theft Auto United mod for San Andreas, I was so excited. Finally I could live my dream of playing across multiple GTA cities. I was thinking about all the possibilities, like swapping between multiple characters, doing missions across the different cities, the list goes on. The story, however, changes when you do some more reading and actually use the mod.
First of all, the mod replaces the San Andreas map with Liberty City and Vice City. I repeat, there is no San Andreas map. I did not know that when I first used the mod and found out the hard way. To be fair, this is clearly stated on their website, however, it is disappointing to not be able to play on all three maps.
Only two missions are available. Just two! You do not get to play any missions from the original San Andreas, Vice City or Liberty City game, but all you have available are two simple missions. The first mission is so easy that if done right you can finish the mission in mere seconds (if you land on the rooftop after parachuting). The second mission is a frustrating mess. I failed the mission multiple times because of a lack of instructions, then when I had to pick up the money that the bad guys dropped, I had to do it by staying INSIDE my vehicle and driving through the cash. Climbing out of the vehicle and retrieving the money made the mission unbeatable and you have restart the whole tedious process again. After dabbling with custom mission design I can tell you creating them is not easy and it takes a lot of work and dedication, but it is really satisfying at the end of the day. I have created two custom missions for the mod so far and plan to do four more. Playing my first two missions has made the mod a heck of a lot more enjoyable and perhaps will make it available down the line.
It’s freaking amazing to travel between cities. The first time I got in a plane and travelled from Vice City to Liberty City was exhilarating and I was so excited about all the possibilities. However, having to use a plane/boat to travel between cities all the time gets annoying real quick and eats so much of your time. It would have been better if the modders included a bridge to connect Vice City to Liberty City or had some sort of fast travel option available.
The streets are alive. There are far more cars driving on the road and civilians on the streets than in the original Vice City and Liberty City games. This makes for a really enjoyable experience. Furthermore, there’s a lot of bad drivers on the roads, but I actually like it. Vice City and Liberty City did not have enough of that.
Many buildings have been made enterable, but this is just limited mostly to fast food parlours, the strip club, the club and ammu-nation shops, as well as a few other places. There are also a couple of apartments for rent across the cities.
Taxi, police and ambulance missions are available on both cities, as well as races and a stadium show. This gives you a little more to do across the cities and gives you additional ways to earn income (seeing as there are so few).
There are no gangs in any of the cities. Not from the original games or San Andreas. Furthermore, CJ cannot have any girlfriends with this mod.
Driving honestly felt enhanced to me. I enjoyed driving more than in the original games. Maybe the driving mechanics wasn’t altered but somehow fits better with these two maps. Either case, it was fun to race down the streets of Vice City and Liberty City.
All in all I think this mod has a whole lot of potential and I know the modders are not done updating GTA United. I can see this being a fantastic experience down the line, especially when they do find a way to incorporate the San Andreas map into the mod as well. Unfortunately, right now the mod gives you a bare-bones experience of GTA, can get really frustrating, and with very little to do, gets boring quite quickly. If you are not planning on creating custom GTA United missions, then I do not suggest using this mod.
As it stands right now, I give this mod and the experience I had a 6 out of 10. If I did not play my own custom missions it would have gone down to 4 out of 10.
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