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The Four Worst Grand Theft Auto Missions of All Time

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The release of Grand Theft Auto V has taken the world by storm today, and while it is a great day for fans of the venerable crime series, it is important to not forget the franchise’s past. The Grand Theft Auto games have always done most things right – engaging stories and characters, living sandbox worlds, and great vehicle designs have always been the hallmarks of the series – but there have been a few things that the GTA games have simply gotten wrong. Despite being known for their often-tremendous mission design, virtually every Grand Theft Auto game has not been without a few dud missions here and there. Take a break from GTAV, and take a look at the four worst missions found within the Grand Theft Auto titles to date.

4) The Driver – Grand Theft Auto: Vice City:

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The pulsating electronic music and drug-fueled rush of Vice City’s streets made the 80’s come back to life once more in the PS2 classic. An improvement over Grand Theft Auto 3 in many ways, Vice City quickly skyrocketed to the top of many gamers’ favorite games list shortly after its release. For as amazing as the game was, one mission in Vice City quickly became the bane of those who played the game after its release – ‘The Driver’.

One of the Malibu Club missions found in Vice City’s Vice Point, ‘The Driver’ had Tommy Vercetti racing against HIlary King in order to secure his talents as a getaway driver. The mission set-up doesn’t sound too out of the norm for a Grand Theft Auto title, afterall, racing has always been a part of the series, but ‘The Driver’ has Tommy starting the race in the infamous lead-sled that is the Sentinel. Unfortunately for Tommy, his opponent Hilary races him in a Sabre Turbo, which all too often meant that players met certain defeat during the race. Many players sought out different means of completing the missions – often resulting in seeking out a faster car and parking it near the race’s start.

Why Tommy and company would want to hire a getaway driver that one of the crew can drive faster than remains confusing to this day.

3) Air Raid – Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas:

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Zero’s missions are almost always unanimously agreed upon as the worst in San Andreas. Forcing protagonist CJ to take to the skies in an RC plane is decidedly different than the usual thuggish behavior most every other mission requires of players. In ‘Air Raid’ CJ had to use Zero’s RC plane to defend the transmitters above Zero’s store. Having an RC Baron outfitted with a minigun should make ‘Air Raid’ a cake walk, but this all too often tends to be anything but the truth.

Thanks largely in part due to poor steering mechanics and insanely small targets, players learned quickly to rue the simple mention of the phrase ‘Air Raid’. The $3,000 dollar reward CJ receives after completing the mission seems a paltry sum for the amount of work required.

2) Supply Lines…- Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas:

supply lines

Another Zero mission, ‘Supply Lines…’ took everything that was terrible about ‘Air Raid’ and added new elements of awful. CJ must now fly one of Zero’s RC planes across San Fierro, seeking out the various delivery couriers of his rival Berkley.

While ‘Air Raid’ was tough because of the flying mechanics, ‘Supply Lines…’ forced players to take to the streets. Seeking out the delivery trucks was a feat in and of its self, but managing the RC plane’s fuel, navigating the streets, and still destroying the trucks seems more like an impossible task than anything.

1) Wrong Side of the Tracks – Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas:

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Another San Andreas specialty, ‘Wrong Side of the Tracks’ takes place fairly early into the game’s story. CJ once again is tasked with a difficult feat – chasing down Vagos gang members who are on a speeding train. With Big Smoke on the back of CJ’s newly acquired dirtbike, ‘Wrong Side of the Track’ was often anything but fun. Every attempt seemed for the longest time to end with the train escaping players’ grasp, forcing them to haul their dirtbike all the way back from the countryside to the mission’s start.

Oddly enough, the mission isn’t as hard as it was often made out to be – just frustrating. The mission’s name, ‘Wrong Side of the Tracks’ is in fact the conceit in terms of succeeding. Staying all the way to the right of the train tracks allows Big Smoke to take better shots. Provided that CJ can maintain this path, ‘Wrong Side of the Tracks’ is much more manageable.

Granted, there are dozens of other methods for completing this missions. Those who struggled with it long enough often turn to spawning a jetpack in order to rain gunfire down from the skies.

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Raymond Porreca

The author Raymond Porreca

Raised on classic role-playing games, Ray's eternal quest for the next great game has led to him playing everything he can get his hands on. With a passion for every facet of the video game industry, Ray aims to keep readers informed and entertained with every word he writes.