When do you get into legal trouble? Running over or shooting at people is a sure way. Though imitating another company's product too closely might also already be enough. You might get away with it in the latter case if you're choosing your steps carefully, as this game teaches us. It also teaches us that with some major bravado, the former can be done without negative consequences as well.
Payback openly admits to rip off Grand Theft Auto in every way. The gameplay (accepting criminal jobs on public phones and carrying them out in a mostly brutal fashion while driving around fairly confined cities) is identical, but the similarities don't even stop there: graphical perspective, controls and even some uncommon vehicle names have been 'borrowed' as well!
In the old, golden days, video games where thematically almost exclusively catering for a single target audience: male adolescents. Logically, some fantasy themes were recurrent: saving the earth and all of humanity or even the whole universe. Those were the goals and challenges of tomorrow's family men. Gaming having grown up, yesterday's youths are now confronted with reality. Those old dreams have been tainted as childish and the games industry now also delivers realism into the formerly well kept play rooms of today. One way of doing this apparently involves simulating every single job, no matter how absurd, and also every single every day activity, no matter how trivial, in a game. Resulting in increasingly obscure products in which the original ideas can hardly be recognized anymomre. Though even in the good old days, us heroes had to take a couple of collateral damage hits and, for example, resign ourselves to the role of a simple taxi driver. The implication being boring drives from A to B, where the highlight of the day is exchanging some gossip with the passengers. Unless, of course, it was Space Taxi.
Almost everybody must have started their motorised career with toy cars, i.e. bigger or smaller models of the real ones. Names like Matchbox, Majorette or Hot Wheels will sound familiar to most. All of these cars come approximately at the same size, approximately that of a matchbox, but still, there are a couple of exceptions, like the Micro Machines: Cars specialising in extreme miniaturisation.