My first true gaming experience would have to have been the original GTA. My cousin thought it would be cool to lend me a few of his old games back in the summer of '01 and of course, being a rebellious teen nightmare, I thought the best game to play would be GTA. Boy was I right. A normal weekend back then consisted of spending time at a mate's playing footy, going to parties, or going to town. But this weekend in particular involved me spending my entire weekend running around an urban metropolis stealing cars, shooting hookers and escaping from cops. This quickly progressed to the one and only Mafia: City of Lost Heaven. And by god that was a good game. I can't be the only one who remembers restarting that goddamn race atleast a dozen times before realising that setting it to easy had no penalty other than to your self-satisfaction. The next logical choice in my major gaming selection was GTA: Vice City. However, due to a large amount of study I never got to complete the storyline. As I started to branch out I soon discovered the joys of this newfangled online thingy they called runescape. Sure enough I got addicted. It didn't take me long to realise, however, that my choice of name pretending to be a girl had no effect on the teen nerds as they were all too interested in getting +1 strength.
My favourite games of today are GTA: San Andreas, Crysis, Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, and Mafia II. Is it not obvious the influence of my early gaming days? I think of it as an evolution, if you will. Although the logical step from runescape would've been World of Warcraft instead of Oblivion, but I promised myself never to get involved in such an addictive adventure. Crysis came along simply because my jaw dropped whenever a tree was felled to a couple of rifle rounds. Overall, however, I have stuck with my guns in the GTA and MAFIA franchise.
P.S. Special mentions must go to these games:
- The Movies
- Roller Coaster Tycoon 2 & 3
- Need for Speed (all, excl. Shift, Shift 2 and Prostreet)
Which, although they were fun as hell, they weren't really influential.