Review by Pikachu1918
"Welcome to Vice City, 1985 . . ."
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. In a sense this is the game turned the franchise from a cult classic, to a game that everyone wanted. Since while in GTA, and GTA II, it was a top based shooter. There was no real story line, and general it was a cult game series. GTA III, it gave you a silent hero based in 2001. You suddenly were able to shoot in a 3-D environment, and had an actual story line. Well here in Vice City, they've take the formula that worked, and added more to it, so let's do it!
The idea is you're Thomas Vercetti, a man who has just done 15 years in jail for "the family", your sent down south to buy some cocaine and get it back north. Well the deal goes south, and now you owe the 'family' a load of money, and you need the cocaine. As you investigate what happened, and you get your revenge. You'll see how Tommy changes in Vice City, from a hired gun, to something more. What I like about this story line, is that it's believable. Based on what I've found of the era (mid-80's), and the character profile we get of Tommy. Since if someone were thrown into his situation, with his connections. What he becomes is plausible, pending him getting arrested or killed. As a note here to the writers, they could've gone with some very immature humour, but when it does go funny, its done with a sense of class almost.
I know some people are going to be screaming at me over this, since I gave the graphics a 9 rating over a 10. This game is five years old, and yes its aged well. I've seen modem games with worse graphics, at a higher price.Each gun, each car, even key people look unique.
However, the problem is there are gaps where you see 'blue', and sometimes the details that separate two cars is so small you need to be the developer to see it. The other problem is running though trees, half the time Tommy is hidden from you. Which means you can't see him, and you see a 'blue' outline around the leafs.
Sound & Music 11/10
This is not a joke people. I am giving this game a 11/10 for music and sound. Since this is audio perfection. One of the reasons why I bought this game was for the in game radio. Besides the fashion, the radio music & chatter help set the mood for the game. You get an idea of what it was like to be in the 1980's. Where the cold war wasn't over yet, or how rap music was brand new. This is where you're going to get the real bang for your gaming dollar. Since I admit it, there are times I just load up the game, slap on a station as I do something else on my PC.
Besides the music, you can listen to how a gun fires and you've got a good idea of what's being fired at you. Maybe you can't tell the difference between two Semi-automatics. However, if someone close to you is firing a pistol, and the guy next to him is using a shot gun. You can tell the difference, and when you're outgunned, that kind of information is handy.
Game play 8/10
I've got a few complains about the actual game engine per say. Sometimes the game lags for a few seconds when swapping radio stations, or exiting a vehicle. Other times, you can't see a 'target' circle on someone you're simpering, and when you pop off the shot it works. Who can forget that when firing from a vehicle, how there is no targeting circle. Its all guess and check. With the exception of when you're being driven by someone else.
Now the beautiful part of this engine is how you've got to account for something moving. Most games if you're moving, you aim, you fire, you hit. In This game, you need to account for the motion of yourself, or the target, and sometimes both. The controls that are used are used in almost every game so the learning curve is not a long one.
Multi player N/A
Officially for Vice City, there is no multi player mode.
Rent or Buy
This is where it comes down to the final question. Buy or rent/demo the game? Buy the game, its that simple. Yes its old, and its not as expensive as another title. For the people out there with the older PCs, this is a gem. Since its addictive game, that is well built. Since for every mission you beat, or hidden totems you find. Odds are there something you missed. I mean there is content that you can only really explore after beating the game. Which does increase the replay value.
Think of this way, this is the game that was where the franchise really started. So the people who are new to the GTA series. You will meet characters here who appear in San Andres, and in GTA IV. That is still confusing to me as a reviewer, since Vice City is also number 4. Still this is one of those action/adventure/RPG games for the ages. Yes, I do view this title could fit all three category's. Well, this is your reviewer signing off as I head for a little place on Star Island.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 06/12/08, Updated 06/20/08
Game Release: Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (US, 05/12/03)
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