PSPs safely packed away, we've just had a go on the first 18–rated title for Ninty's handheld. And it's sure to make you want to revisit the console of choice for kids and the over 65s. Taking in all of Liberty City, except Alderney, the new title has a unique manga feel, with cut scenes, shown on the touchscreen, taking the graphic novel approach of captioned stills rather than animated scenes.
You play Huang Lee, the son of a Triad boss who's just been offed in Liberty City. Naturally, you spend most of your time trying to avenge his death, with a series of neat, classic GTA missions. The ones we played translated amazingly well to the DS, utilising the touchpad in ways you could never imagine.
Collect a sniper rifle and you'll need to assemble it using the stylus, before popping off your enemies from distance. Run out of weapons? Then fill bottles with petrol at the gas station using the touchscreen. The more accurate you are, the more Molotovs you'll get.
Missions have a classic GTA feel, and include everything from throwing aforementioned petrol bombs from helicopters over Happiness Island, strafing enemies with an awesome chain gun or outrunning the cops by destroying their cars, which will decrease your wanted level accordingly.
The much hyped drug dealing mini–game also made an appearance when we headed to Rockstar's HQ. Naturally, it's controversial and bound to upset those in the mainstream media. The closer you deal to CCTV cameras, the higher the profit and the higher the risk. Rather than a standalone extra, you can deal throughout, making profit and gaining a rep as you go.
Rockstar told us yesterday that they haven't pulled any punches and it's fair to say that GTA Chinatown Wars isn't for those enamoured with the intricacies of Brain Training on the DS.
GTA Chinatown Wars is out on 20 March here in the UK.