GTA3: Hidden Packages

So now I’m playing GTA3 in earnest, attempting to make progress and saving the game when I do. I’ve completed several missions for Luigi, one for Joey, and one for a stranger who called a payphone, as well as found 7 of 100 “hidden packages”.

I’m not sure yet if I’m going to try to find all 100 hidden packages. It certainly appeals to me as a completist, but I never completed equivalent tasks in the first two GTAs. On the other hand, it’s kind of different here. The previous games, with their unvarying top-down perspective, were more like 2D games. Not that they were really 2D: there was definitely a height factor, no less so than in GTA3. But the fixed perspective made it possible to hide things only in the same ways that 2D games hide their secrets: by putting them offscreen (or outside of where the screen will normally be), by concealing them with foreground scenery that blocks the player’s view (and thus the player’s view of the player character when getting them), by putting them under objects that the player has to destroy, or, most commonly in these particular games, by putting them in plain sight but behind a barrier, with a difficult-to-find route past the barrier. The first two of these techniques depend on properties of the 2D third-person view: if you could see through the PC’s eyes, things that are offscreen or behind the foreground would be in plain sight. Thus, they seem artificial, and can even break immersion by drawing attention to properties of the game engine that are not properties of the game world. When games started going 3D, one of the big revelations was that secrets could now be hidden in more natural ways, because the moving camera allowed things to be in plain sight from some locations but not others. Thus, in GTA3, it seems like most of the hidden packages can be found by walking behind or inside structures that you otherwise don’t have much motivation to explore that thoroughly.

This last point is one of the main reasons for having collectibles in a game in the first place: to encourage the player to explore the environment thoroughly, maximizing what they see of the designers’ carefully-sculpted world. Every significant landmark in GTA3 seems to have exactly one secret package as a reward for visiting that landmark. If this is consistently true, then it should be easier to find them all than in the first two games, where they were just kind of scattered at random.

3 Comments so far

  1. raimyre on 18 Jun 2008

    i want to know wheres all the 100 packages are all at on gta 3

  2. Carl Muckenhoupt on 19 Jun 2008

    I haven’t gotten them all myself. I’m still stuck at 98, and likely to remain there for a while, because I’m not actively playing GTA3 right now.

    Try here. That’s the first google hit for ‘GTA3 “hidden packages”‘, and it looks pretty good at a glance.

  3. Mr. GTA on 27 Dec 2008

    It seems kinda obvious to say that you should check in places that you would never think to go but if you havent found them all you can Google search “maps for all hidden packages in GTA 3” and one of the links will give you the maps. Because I am Mr. GTA I have where all the hidden packages are imprinted in my mind so its not an issue for me. I would explain in detail where they are but I would rather play the game than explain it but the Google search info i gave should help you in your search. By the way you will eventually get the M-16 at the safehouses with enough hidden packages found.

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