Review by Ofisil

Reviewed: 06/09/09 | Updated: 03/10/11

Freeeeeedom!!! (again?)

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City is an Action\Adventure game developed by Rockstar North. I'll say it from the very beginning… this game is great but I didn't enjoy it… confused? Simple: While it has all the great things GTA 3 had and a tad more, while it looks better and has a larger world to explore it's pretty much the same game. Is that bad? In a way its not… Why bother fixing that which isn't broken but if you have spent more than 200 hours in GTA 3 then Vice City just can excite you so much. Is it a bad game? Hell no…

Story: 6.2/10
Presentation: 6.6/10

You are an Italian Mafia small fry who, after getting out of prison is given the job of meeting with a drag dealer, give him a lot of dough and get some “magic dust”. Suddenly guys with guns pop out and kill most of the people around you and you loose your money but at least escape from the massacre, BUT now the one who gave you the money is veeery angry and wants his money back! He resists breaking your skull for a while and lets you find his money in any way you can… thus the game starts. In the previous GTA games you would just go find people with available missions and that's would be it, but in Vice City the presentation is much better. First of all your character isn't the unknown criminal but has a name, talks and interacts with other people. The story develops in a much better way than the previous GTA games although nothing significant will happen. Once again you're just a guy available for all kinds of jobs and nothing more and after the first couple of missions the plot starts moving on much slower like with all GTA games. Generally I can't say I have a problem with the plot of GTA Vice City but I also wasn't fascinated by it.

Gameplay: 8/10
Replay Value: 5.5/10

I loved GTA3 so when I picked up this game I expected to enjoy it as well. From the first hour though I got extremely bored, NOT because the game is bad, but because it is extremely similar to the previous one! What you do in this game is complete various missions, like killing people, stealing stuff and generally create some mayhem while the cops are on your tail. You can steal almost every car in the game, from simple vans to fast racing cars and motorbikes to Tanks. Great controls, a nice mission variety and a very complex city to explore, so… what's new? Unfortunately the new stuff are not something special, in fact 90% of the game is just our good ol' GTA3 with better graphics! You can ride motorbikes that are very fast, you can ride helicopters and finally you can buy some certain areas. When buying an area it generates money over times and sometimes offers a save point but apart from that nothing really special. Finally Vice City is much larger and complex than Liberty City of GTA3. However Vice City still has the same problems with GTA3, the bad and unbalanced enemy AI, the somewhat boring missions, (not all of them), and most of all its too similar with GTA3 for me to handle but if you don't mind that a lot the game is good all right.

Graphics: 8.8/10
Design: 8.8/10

The whole series excels in this area and Vice City is not an exception. Once again the graphic are very good and a bit better in some areas from GTA3 although in most parts it looks the quite similar. They've improved the character models, especially on cutscenes, the lighting effects and the overall design of the city. Instead of the 90's NY-like city of GTA3 here the game world resembles a 75-80's Miami, it is far more complicated in its design especially the first part of the game, more detailed and generally better looking.

Sound: 10/10
Music: 10/10

Ahhh, the section where GTA always kicks major booty! Absolutely perfect like GTA3 and maybe even better. Great sound effects that help create an alive, breathing city. People that move around talk, shout to you when you move with your car near them, scream with fear when you hold a gun and use it, car engines sounds great, everything in general sounds great. What makes GTA special though is the radio! When entering a vehicle you have many radio stations to choose from with music ranging from 80's disco, rock and –my wish came true- a heavy metal station, to very, very, very funny chat stations, (now 2 of them available!!!). Music available isn't just some unknown artist crap, we have Michael Jackson, Ozzie, Megadeth and many more!!! Of course my favorite part of the game is being able to use your own mp3s by creating your own radio station that plays your music… ahhh, killing cops with Pavarotti was never better…

-Very entertaining and open ended
-Great graphics
-Once again excellent sound & music with more Radio Stations available

-The problems of GTA3 are still here
-A bit boring for people who have played Grand Theft Auto 3

Also Play:
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (PC, PS2, XBOX)
Grand Theft Auto 4, (PC, PS3, X360)

Overall: 8/10

GTA: Vice City is a great game on its own. Being able to steal every car available and roam the city gives you a great feeling of freedom, but if you have played GTA3 it will be a “been there, done that” kind of situation, so try before you buy…

Rating:   4.0 - Great

Product Release: Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (US, 05/12/03)

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