Review by CrazyDude

"Gaming Bliss… All over again"

Grand Theft Auto 3… I can remember when I first got that game. It was like gaming bliss. I thought I would never see a game as good as it. Well, I have been proven wrong. Vice City is just as good as it, if not better. As soon as I got it, I rushed home from the mall and ripped the packaging right off, and it was worth every cent. Fun gameplay and open-ended exploration really let you get into the game, although it isn’t for the faint of heart, offended by constant use of bad language, or those opposed to media violence. Allow me to get into more detail.

Graphics 8/10: Graphics have never been the strong point of the Grand Theft Auto games. Hell, it was only recently it made the jump from 2D top down to 3D with the release of Grand Theft Auto 3, and that was nothing special. Although the graphics have been improved VASTLY over GTA3, don’t expect graphics on par with Gran Turismo 3. The game has nice, bright colors, giving you the feeling that you are in an island paradise, and you pretty much are, and there is a new effect, which can either be nice or bothersome depending on the way you look at it. Fluids will splatter onto the camera, slightly blurring the area they hit, just like real raindrops. Now, I say fluids because it’s not only water that can splash. With a little fancy chainsaw work, you’ll be seeing red drops all over the camera, but if you get annoyed by this, there is no way to turn it off. I personally think that this lends a little bit more feeling to the game. Draw distance does seem to be a tad bit limited, but they manage to cram a lot into the area around you, which kind of makes you forget you can’t see more than about 10 yards in front of you.

Sound 8/10: This game has amazing voice acting, which actually includes the main character this time, (the main character in GTA3 was voiceless) and the ingame radio stations, which actually feature real, licensed music this time around, will keep you busy for a long time. The sounds of tires squealing, gunshots all around you, and the chatter of the citizens in Vice City all lend this game the unique feeling people have grown to love in the GTA series. All of the guns seem to sound different, and the only thing that seems recycled at times are the car engine sounds. This game is just as pleasing to the ears as it is to the eyes.

Story 10/10: I am not good at explaining a game’s story without ruining too much, but I will say that this game has to have one of the most engrossing, if sick at times, storyline in any one-player game I have ever played.

Gameplay 10/10: Another category where this game really shines. Everything seems to run flawlessly, and fit together snugly like a puzzle. You are playing the game in Vice City, which oddly seems like Miami. While hear, you do many different missions for crime bosses, and try to stay out of trouble with the law (or get into trouble with the law if you are that type). The island is a few different sections, and in a word, the whole area for the game is HUGE. And this isn’t even counting the indoor areas. In this game, you can actually go in buildings, and buy new safe houses, giving more use to money in this game, solving a major complaint of GTA3, that there wasn’t enough to do with your money, and lending a more involved feel to the game. Some people may complain that the first safe house doesn’t have a garage, but you’ll be able to get one with a garage soon enough. Speaking of which, money plays a bigger part in this game than in Grand Theft Auto 3, as on top of guns, you have to buy safe houses, and the like. This game just seems more involved than GTA3, and that’s a good thing.

Replay Value 10/10: This is a game that can be played OVER AND OVER again and never get boring for at least a year. There are many little details that a lot of people miss their first time through, and the main story should give you at least a good 50 hours of gameplay, and unless you rush right through, it should take you a couple of months to beat this game.

GrossOut Factor 10/10: I felt that I had to include this category. If you are squeamish, this is NOT the game for you. Dead bodies, blood, and the ability to decapitate your victims are just some of the highlights. When you run people over, you sometimes get a satisfying SQUISH noise, and bloodcurdling screams are the norm. There is a lot of offensive language in this game, not really sexual innuendo like GTA3, but straight out. If that’s a turn off for you, then there’s another reason not to get this game. Trust me, if you are one of the types that is scared at the sight of blood, DO NOT get this game.

Rent/Buy: If you can take the violence, and don’t really need a multiplayer experience in every game you own, this game is a definite buy.

Overall Rating: 10/10

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 11/02/02, Updated 11/02/02

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