Rockstar games also came out with State Of Emergency, which has basicly the exact feel of using weapons in GTA3 but there aren't any cars in the game, I got bored with it after about 20min. of playing...
SoE is a niche game. There are people (like myself) who get into GTA1 or 2 (3 not so much, you can look at my other post regarding this game on why) and just cause mass chaos.
For hours on end.
It might be a cartharsis, I might be sick in the head, but the point is SoE definetly does not appeal to the masses. Rockstar has made a couple games like that, actually - either you love 'em or you hate 'em.