A Spanish gaming magazine has published an in-depth look at Rockstar’s upcoming Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars, which will apparently make use of nearly the entire Grand Theft Auto IV map.
Contrary to the assumption that Chinatown Wars would be confined to the Chinatown district, the magazine article claims that the Liberty City boroughs of Dukes, Bohan, Broker and Algonquin will all appear in the DS version of Grand Theft Auto, with only the GTA IV location of Alderney left out. The game will feature a GPS-style map that will direct players along the quickest legal route between points and also track new discoveries like gas stations and other landmarks.
The split-screen display will feature in-game action on the upper screen, while the lower screen will provide the GPS, PDA, radio and other game controls. And as reported earlier, the game will feature a controversial drug-dealing component, similar to the old Dope Wars games, which is described as “a good way to make money in the game.” One more unique feature: Gamers can hail taxis to move around in the city by whistling into the DS microphone.
Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars is still a few months away from release – it’s scheduled to come out in spring 2009 – but I think it’s safe to say the game is going to draw considerable attention, and criticism, as it nears launch. Grand Theft Auto is one of the most notorious “mature” videogame franchises on the market, while the DS is widely considered first and foremost a kids’ gaming system. Putting the two together with an economic simulation based on cornering the narcotics market? Yeah, that’s going to raise some eyebrows.