Review by Stunn

"A little overhyped, but still a good game"

This is the game. The game that parents dread their kids playing, the game where violence is encouraged, and gives you a taste of what it's like to be bad. This game, which you know by now, is the fourth game in the Grand Theft Auto series, it's Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.

The story starts out simple then gets more complex and a little bit more innovative later on in the game. You play as Tommy Vecetti. The Cubans lied and took your money and what was supposed to be your ''coke''. So you need to get that money back... and hey, why not take over Vice City while you're at it?

The graphics are pretty nice. They're not jaw dropping, but they are not bad. There are slight improvements on the graphics over the Playstation 2 version. Nothing special.

There are nice sun flare effects, which sometimes blinds the whole screen during sunsets. The water effects are not amazing, but they get the job done. The buildings are pretty diverse, and when in a helicopter, it's nice to be able to view done at the ground without any problems. All the cars look smooth and shiny. Well, it doesn't matter how cool they look; they're probably going to be smashed up. Now you can take bats and smash car windows, which you couldn't do before. It's a lot of fun smashing a car and scaring the daylights out of the person in it, probably scaring them for life.

There are some problems with the graphics, however. The people still look blocky, like on the PS2. It's tolerable, but I would have expected more from the PC version. In a helicopter, when flying over water, there are visible rocks that looks like it was done fast. It doesn't look like it fits in correctly, it looks like they're floating, which bugs me. If you've played Metal Gear Solid 2, on the first level it rains and leaves water droplets on the screen. It's a cool effect. This game tries to do that, but instead of drops, there are bubbles on the screen. It looks real bad. Also, killing someone with a chainsaw will leave blood bubbles on the screen. It's a good idea, but why make bubbles? It should look more like raindrops on the car window on a rainy day.

The audio is one of the best in a game, and makes Vice City truly shine. When hopping in a car, there are radio stations that you can listen to. There you can hear a range of 80s songs, which is a break from the modern stuff games play now. There are commercials that try to be humorous, but fail to. It's nice to listen to them. Cars sound different from one another, and the sound effects are ok... Guns sound pretty nice, and the voice acting is really good. Rockstar North didn't just randomly pick people and hoped for the best, there seems to be some effort on the voice acting. They say the 'S' word too much. It's ok to say it once in awhile, but not most of the time. I play this game with headphones, just so the younger people in my household won't hear anything they shouldn't hear.
There are only a few problems in the audio department. When jumping, the landing sound is always the same, no matter where you land. The constant thumping noise didn't bug me at first, but after I noticed it, it started to become a little bit annoying. Also, by the ocean at the beach there are places where water is shallow enough to walk in it. There is no sound effect for walking in water, or driving over it for that matter. When drowning, there is a splash before Tommy drowns. In *some* pools, there is some water sound effects, in other there is none. I think that takes away from the experience.

There is a lot to do in this game. Stealing cars is rarely a mission, but that's the most thing a person would do while playing this game. The cars are kind of repetitive, but there is some diversity. There is now buy-able property. Properties usually include a garage, maybe a helicopter, and a new place to save. It doesn't take away your old save point, you'll just have multiple save points, which is really nice when something important pops up and you have to go. There are a lot of weapons. You can carry one melee weapon, one medium weapon, and one heavy weapon. At first glance, that does seem limited, but after playing the game, it works out great.

One of the great aspects of this game is replay value. The game may frustrate some gamers, but it should be a breeze for others. Being frustrated with a game and bored with it makes you get tired of the game fast. But this game lets you take a break from it all. Instead of doing the mission you can search for 100 hidden packages, which gives you rewards. You can go on a killing spree, and try to escape the cops, which have really good AI. Tired of killing people? Save them by being the ambulance driver. You can always help take a bite out of crime by being a police man, or steal a firetruck and start fires. You can even deliver pizza, and take people places in a taxicab. I don't find any of those fun, but I bet some people will.

So, that's all for now.
Should you buy this game? Yeah, why not? It's fun to the end, and then it's fun some more.

So much to do
Easy to learn
Stealing and killing has never been so fun
Cheats are easy to remember, but you don't cheat do you?
Cops fun to piss off
A lot of replay value

The graphics could have been better compared to the PS2
It can be a little bit frustrating at times
The stripers' faces can stop clocks
More cars, it needs a lot more cars

I was going to give this game a 7/10, but I couldn't think of the problems I had with it before. You will need a good graphic card for this game, when looking at minimum requirements for the game, (which you should always do with PC games) makes sure your computer is better than the requirements, not the same. It *will* make a difference, unless you're willing to live with the slowdowns.

Final Score: 8/10
Go buy it now... or if you can't wait long enough for a price drop.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 05/21/03, Updated 05/21/03

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