Underrated Gem: The Beauty Of Smuggler’s Run

Harry Kettle

With the Smuggler’s Run update bringing many fans back to the streets of Grand Theft Auto V, we thought it was only fair to open the eyes of readers around the world to the wonders of the original Smuggler’s Run game from way back in 2000.

Having also been published by Rockstar, it’s no wonder that this Smuggler’s Run was such a success, but the reasons behind its popularity go way beyond who was behind the game itself.

For those of you who aren’t in the know, you played the role of a smuggler throughout the course of the gameplay with a series of different vehicles at your fingertips. At the risk of sounding obvious, you smuggle assorted cargo through a variety of levels with the aim being to successfully complete your missions whilst simultaneously avoiding the authorities.

With three different modes to choose from Smuggler’s Run was the original alternative to classic racer games, and that’s not only because of the frustrating arrow function that would sometimes lead you in the completely opposite direction to where you needed to go. Seriously, if you think Satnavs are frustrating, you’ve seen nothing yet.

The increasing difficulty of the challenges made it a frustrating play for many gamers both young and old, but the second that they saw the coloured mist in their sight they came running on back.

In many ways, this can be considered a tech demo for GTA San Andreas, with developers realising that they could make a bucket load of money so long as they were able to expand the universe.

It’s great that SR has that legacy, but it’s also a shame that nobody really knows where the creativity stemmed from. Hell, even GTA creators themselves will probably admit to preferring the unique gameplay of Smuggler’s as opposed to the paint by numbers nature of the Auto series.

The career mode of the game keeps the majority of folk occupied throughout the first few days, having to manoeuvre through forest, desert and snow in order to fend off the CIA and rival gangs. With 34 missions in total, it wasn’t something you were going to complete in one night – which may be why some people didn’t have as much love for it.

When completing Smuggler’s Mission you find yourself binging the Turf War mode, with your one goal being to dismantle the opposition in an attempt to smuggle cargo through a level of your choice. Oh, and did we mention that most people decided to ignore all of this great gameplay and just utilised the Joyriding function instead?

There was nothing this game didn’t accomplish in terms of the goals a title at that stage should have, and despite the success of the sequel, it couldn’t hold a candle to the original (as always).

This latest GTA add-on is fun and all, but if you’re looking for a tactical and simple to play the classic then digging out your PS2 in search of Smuggler’s Run may be the way to go. Oh, and this goes without saying, but the graphics were sensational for their time.

Be safe out there, fellow smugglers.

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