Review by Canadian Guy

"A very good game"

Well, after the long wait, VC is finally here. After quickly finishing a criminology test, I rushed to my EB to get the game. The store was packed of course, I grabbed my copy and rushed home (those damn buses sure are slow when you're in a hurry). I put the game in and watched the intro, I was very impressed by the graphics, the voice acting is top notch as well. I was ready to play and then, when I started to play as Tommy, something hit me: HE WALKS LIKE IF HE WAS CONSTIPATED! Such a shame...... Anyway, it's only a detail after all, not much to worry about.

VISUALS: Well it's the same engine that was used in GTA3, so it gets the job done. However, this time you can see much farther in the horizon which does a great job in immersing yourself into Vice City (you'll se when you get on a plane or helicopter). The characters are also better looking than in the previous game: Tommy's shaved beard, his finger on the trigger, his eyes and so on (I don't know if it's me, but Tommy doesn't look like his wearing any socks with his suit, that's really lame)..... Of course this level of detail is only given to the main characters, the average person looks good, but also walk like they were constipated. The cars look great (the Infernus is really nice), the water is simply amazing (at least when compared to the on in GTA3) and so on.... So the only gripe I have is the way people walk, it really looks weird, maybe it wouldn't be such a problem if THE Dude (GTA3 guy) didn't have a nice way of walking IMO.
BTW, in answer to a FAQ: no, the chainsaw and katana don't chop of limbs.

AUDIO: Seeing as the radio was such a marvelous addition in GTA3, Rockstar decided to make it even longer: 9 hours of music! There are now 2 talk shows: Kchat and VCPR or something like that, they're both really funny (but not as subtle as Chatterbox). Lazlow is still around on Vrock where he is a DJ who tries too hard to be cool and rebellious, he just isn't funny like he was on Chatterbox, but it isn't his role anymore so whatever. There are many other station: pop station (Flash), Emotion (love songs with Fernando from Fernando's new beginnings!), Wildstyle (weird 80's techno/rap/hip-hop) and a couple of others to which I don't really listen. The voice acting is really good, although some guys really try to hard IMO (Diaz is a good example IMO), but it isn't annoying so no need to worry. People still talk to you on the street, but this time Tommy will talk back! It gives the ''hero'' more personality, more lively. The gun shots are nice, but some of the heavier weapons (M-60 for example) really make a puny noise for their caliber.

GAMEPLAY: This is where every GTA game shines (and most good games in general too). In case you didn't know, GTA stands for Grand Theft Auto (a real police term for car stealing), and the game reflects it's title very well: you can jack any car you want (unless it's locked like most police cars) by pressing a button. However, this time, they've brought back the motorcycles! I have found four types: the scooter, the cross, the harley-davidson and the fast yamaha (or suzuki?). I love motorcycles and having them back is pure joy to me. Like in the first GTA, you'll be sent flying if you hit something while going to fast, or if you screw up during a wheelie (yes, you can do them by simply pulling back on the stick, I don't know how to do a front one yet though) this will result in a loss of health (or armor if you have some, 50 being the worst I've lost in one wipeout). I've only played with one flying vehicle, and it wasn't a good experience: the RC helicopter is very hard to control, but it's only in one mission. You can also jump off a motorcycle or out of car while it's still running, so know you don't have to stop to get of the burning car! Jumping out of a car will result in a minor loss of health however (the most I've lost is like 5 HP). I heard hookers are still around but I haven't found any as of yet, but no matter, they were only funny the first time in GTA3. The missions are also a lot more fun this time, they aren't as simple as they were before, one mission has you trying to steal a tank from the army, it's up to you to find out how to make the army unlock the tank though! The mission flow is also a lot more chaotic, cinematics will occur frequently during a mission, giving you new objectives and so on; some missions will even have you using an M-60 from a helicopter to take out a bunch of thugs who dug themselves into three buildings! There still are some vehicle specific missions: vigilante, paramedic and taxi driver are back. But there is also pizza delivery boy mode: in this mode you will be like Paperboy (shame on you if you don't know what I'm talking about!), except that you throw pizzas instead of the morning paper! On a final note you can now buy buildings to use as your hideouts since the first one you have doesn't have a garage! Amongst the buildings you can purchase there's a stripclub, a porn movie studio, the docks and many more I haven't found yet. Of course when you buy a business, you start to get an income. Speaking of money, it's a lot more important now (at least at the start), you don't get as much money as you did in the previous GTA (you don't get money from blowing stuff up for example) and weapons cost a lot more, so you'll want to be careful when taking a dangerous job (this adds to the feeling of the game IMO).
On a side note the controls are similar to GTA3 except that you can crouch now, crouching will result in a better aim and the possibility of taking cover in a gun fight. I don't know if it's me, but I find the cars to have a better handling than the ones in GTA3 in general (you don't have horrible cars like the Mañana was before).

Well I think that covers it all, I didn't give the game a 10 because it isn't perfect: Tommy walks like he had a stick up his butt, that's not something you enjoy looking at when you walk around (something I did a t in GTA3), and the setting: the 80's. Surprisingly the music isn't horrible as it was (they really made good pics in the artists), but some tracks are really bad (a couple of songs on Vrock make me want to cry).
So if you liked any GTA game get this game, however if you didn't like the third game (your loss) don't even consider getting this game (again though, your loss).

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 10/30/02, Updated 10/30/02

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