Review by PirateNipple
"How can you possibly improve upon perfection?"
When I heard about Grand Theft Auto: Vice City back in late June, I immediately freaked. I absolutely loved Grand Theft Auto III and I was certainly ready for some more of it. I searched around all over the net for every last bit of information I could find, and what I discovered was that I couldn't wait another minute.
Now, the game is finally here. It received over 4 million preorders, and with good reason. It had a whole load of hype. This hype turned out to be true: the game is pure gold. In a nutshell: it's everything good about GTA3, but with a whole lot more, and set in a 1980's Miami-like location. Want more? Ok, but be warned that I'm trying not to reveal anything about the story line.
If you haven't played GTA3, then you're missing out. It gave you the freedom to do almost anything you want while roaming throughout an absolutely huge city. Jack a car, run down some people, evade the cops, participate in some really intense high-speed pursuits, and have a blast doing it. Now, you get to do it in the '80's. Sound like fun? All the cars, all the buildings, and all the outfits look and feel like they came right out of the '80's. And now, you can ride around on motorcycles!
A basic description of the story could be something along the lines of a man who just got out of a 15 year stretch in jail is ready to start up his ''career'' again. Sounds ''fun'', doesn't it? It gets a little bit more complicated than that, but a game like this doesn't need a story at all.
Simply put: Improved over GTA3. I think they look great. Could they be better? Of course they could, but with how good they are, I don't think anyone is going to have much of a problem with them as they are. Sometimes they may appear ''blurry'', but you can turn off this in the option menu (apparently it makes the game look better on a bigger TV screen, or so I hear).
On an equal level with GTA3. One big improvement is the fact that the game features real songs now! In their full versions, too! You can now listen to Michael Jackson as you cruise down the sidewalk running over people. Also, the lead character talks now, thanks to actor Ray Liotta (Goodfellas).
If you spend even one tenth of the time playing Vice City that I spent on GTA3, you're in for a wild ride. There's a TON to do. You can cruise the city in search of all 100 elusive Hidden Packages (yes, they're back), flying off of ramps to discover the game's Insane Jumps (There's more than the 20 that GTA3 featured), new Rampages (you have a limited amount of time to kill a certain number of a certain group of people), and just drive, drive, drive and probably not get tired of it. The game keeps track of all of your vital stats (How far you've driven, how many people you've ''wasted'' (GTA's translation of the word ''killed'') and also stores some more interesting stats for you (How far you've driven in a golf cart, boats exploded, etc.). My personal favorite stat is the ''Total number of wanted stars collected'', keeping track of just how many times your wanted level has gone up over the course of the entire game. For those of you wondering, the game keeps track of much more than GTA3 did (at least 2 times as much, but I searched and did not find a ''Number of missions passed'' stat anywhere…).
In my opinion, this is Game of the Year, hands down. If you liked GTA3, you'll love Vice City. There's absolutely no doubt in my mind. Buy it now. You probably won't need another game for months.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 10/29/02, Updated 10/29/02
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