Publisher Zoo Digital is set to publish a GBA version of late Amiga title Payback in Europe this autumn - bringing the GTA-style free roaming gameplay of the title to the handheld, and quite possibly beating Rockstar's own GBA version in the process.
Developed by Apex Designs, Payback borrowed much of its structure from DMA Design's (now Rockstar North) first two Grand Theft Auto games, which offered a top down view of the city, but added a number of technical and gameplay innovations.
The game promises ten free-roaming city environments, the ability to hijack vehicles ranging from a full range of road vehicles to remote controlled cars and helicopters, and a wide variety of different missions - including a "Rampage" mode which generates new missions on the fly, which should improve the longevity of the game.
The game will stretch the GBA's abilities to quite a degree - although it retains the top-down view which will be familiar to players of the early GTA titles, it also includes a full 3D engine with lighting effects and a day/night cycle for the cities, and it scores one up on the modern incarnations of the Grand Theft Auto series by including four-player link-up modes.
While all of this might seem like quite wholesale borrowing from Rockstar's franchise, apparently neither Rockstar/DMA nor parent company Take Two raised any objection to the original release of the title on the Amiga in 2001.