Just over five months after it was revealed at Nintendo's E3 press conference, Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars finally has a release date. In North America, the DS debut of Rockstar Games' multi-multiplatinum series will ship on March 17, St. Patrick's Day. In Europe, it will arrive in stores on March 20.
Chinatown Wars has not yet been rated in any territory. However, in a recent interview with Edge magazine, Rockstar's vice president, Sam Houser, said that Chinatown Wars will be courting an M for Mature rating in the US. "It can't be softened to make it family-friendly--that's not the game we're making," explained Houser. "[Nintendo] didn't want us to make a GTA for kids, and we weren't interested in making a game we wouldn't normally make."
By the sound of it, Chinatown Wars will be a hard M indeed. Though it sports cartoon-like cel-shaded graphics, Chinatown Wars will feature such age-unsuitable activities as drug peddling, carjacking, and armed mayhem. Unlike previous portable GTA offerings, it will include 3D isometric graphics and stylus-based minigames to let players hotwire cars and tattoo themselves. It will also re-create much of the same open-world Liberty City as its console cousin, Grand Theft Auto IV.
For more details on Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars, check out GameSpot's previous coverage.