Review by era76
"Definitely worth a try."
Although Vice City is more than a year old already, the game's enhanced solid criminal and gangster gameplay from GTA3 makes it still one of the best third-person shooters ever.
Instead of being someone who has no name and voice, you will assume the role of Tommy Vercetti, a gangster who has been recently released from prison after being in it for 15 years. His boss, Sonny Forelli, has decided to send him to Vice City to do a drug deal for him. Unfortanely durig the deal, a group of unknown people dressed in black agent suits gun down the place where the deal took place, and Tommy Vercetti barely survived the gunfire and managed to escape. As Sonny knew this, he gets mad at Tommy and expects him to bring back the money he lost for him. However, in the end, you will never know who where those guys in black who ruined the deal, which is kind of a let down. To sum it up, the story was not bad for a criminal game.
The graphics look very decent and have improved a lot since GTA3. The most beautiful part of the game is the evening sunset and sky, it just looks...plain beautiful. Secondly comes to the character designs, espacially their faces, during the cut scenes, you can see that they are very well created. Third comes to the vehicles, each being rather realistic looking, even though most of them aren't real cars, and they tend to give off light reflections in the daylight. Very eye-catching. Lastly, there are the buildings and terrain, which are the least beautiful of all, but still very good looking. However, the game tends to have graphical glitches, espacially when you are driving down streets, the textures on the buildings and vehicles in sight will suddenly go missing and you have to wait for a while before the textures show up again on where they should be. Also, another annoying glitch is that sometimes lamposts, fences, and fire-hydrants will become invisible, when suddenly they will pop up again. This causes a major problem when you are driving and can crash suddenly into an invisible fence or, most of the time, lamposts which can cause you to lose in racing missions. But other than that there is nothing else to complain about the graphics.
The most significant thing about the sound in Vice City is the sound. It comes with a great soundtrack of 80s music. When you sit in a vehicle, except for certain emergency vehicles, there will be 9 radio stations, with 7 of them playing different sorts of songs/music(which are all from REAL LIFE!)and the remaining 2 being talk shows. Each station lasts for about a whopping 2 hours. The music and songs are all very nice to listen to, despite unoriginal, and when there's no music, there are commercials which are equally great to listen to. What's more, to reflect realism, the soundtracks are no later than the game's set year, 1986. And, if you're in an emergency vehicle like an ambulance/police car etc, you get to listen to police personnel talking on the radios. Quite well recorded too.
As for other sounds, we'll begin with the voice acting. The voice acting is relatively well done, espacially Ray Liotta who voiced the main character, Tommy Vercetti. Other main characters were voiced relatively well too. As for civilian, gang and cop taunts and pain yells, they were also not bad, and sound more interesting than the taunts of the same type in GTA3. Other sounds like vehicle engine and horn sounds and weapon firing sounds sounded very realistic also.
The gameplay has improved vastly from GTA3. The city, based of Miami, looks more bright and beautiful than Liberty City from GTA3, yet it still has the needed features to make it fit for being a crime hub. What about weapons? Well, there are now 35 of them. Each of the weapons are now seperated into 9 sorts, which are fists, melee weapons, pistols, sjotguns, SMGs, assault rifles, heavy weapons(rocket launchers and miniguns) and sniper rifles. However, you can only carry 9 weapons at a time(one of each sort) as opposed to all 12 in GTA3. But that's not too bad though. There are also many, many more vehicles, which apart from cars, includes motorcycles, helicopters and remote control(RC) vehicles. The AI for the gangs, civilians and cops are now better too. And, just like in GTA3, you can wreck havoc at anytime, anywhere and attract the police. The missions, however, still work like in GTA3, you step into a glowing circle at spots to trigger missions to start. The missions though seems to offer more variety and fun. As for save points, there are now more than just 3, although you get only one at the start, the rest needs you to purchase them. The new hideouts also come in different types, some have garages and others don't, but some hideouts, or more apropriately, properties, contain missions. Speaking of money, you now also get much less from doing missions and killing civilians, but that's OK though, at least to me. At least the weapons at the tool and gun stores are cheaper now. There are also more interior loactions to enter throughout the city. An example are stores, which may be small, but you can rob them for money and...of course, attention from the police. On the downside, the damage physics on the cars are quite unrealistic just like in GTA3, which is kinda dissapointing. Finally, a feature that I always expect, the game can be modified, with new vehicles, weapons, exterior locations etc.
In conclusion, this game is excellent as nobody should be missing it.
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 06/10/04
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