Review by someguy2003

Reviewed: 08/19/03

Get a Life. Get Vice.

What do you do if you’re told to get a life? As far as you knew you were still breathing and already had one. Either the person that told you this means you have to sort out whatever is wrong with your life or, more suitably for you, buy a Playstation 2 and with it buy Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. If its predecessor, Grand Theft Auto 3, was your, and most of the British public’s, favourite Playstation 2 game of all time then Vice City will definitely be the equivalent of a second life to you and everyone else. Your life filled with ultra violence! Your life in Miami. In the 80’s!
Everything that made Grand Theft Auto 3 great has been multiplied to the EXTREME in the bigger, bolder, beautiful Vice City. The British gaming public fell head over heels with the go anywhere, do anything feel the game so Rockstar made Vice City twice as big as Liberty City as well as twice as lesiureable. We were all fans of the random, mindless violence GTA3 bought us so Rockstar flooded the sequel with stacks more guns, blades and explosives. They listened to what the public had to say, they worked on what the public wanted. Now they have created a game as close to real life as any game has ever gone. Only way more exciting.
It’s 1987. You ARE Tommy Vercetti. An ex drug dealer who has done his time behind bars and has been thrown out into the chaotic, crime filled, Vice City to get back the money he owes to the Forelli brothers. He’s witty, he’s ruggedly handsome, he’s strong and he’s soon going to be the richest man in town. He’s the man you dreamed of becoming when you were 6 years old or, for the girls, the man you dream of marrying and settling down with when you’re 30. And YOU decide which of the unteen million things available that he’ll be doing today.
Sure, Tommy has got people to meet, money to retrieve but maybe you’re feeling funky and want to take him for a quick dance at the Malibu club or shopping for a clean new outfit instead. No Problem. Feeling lazy? Get yourself a boat, take it out to sea and see where the tide takes you while you relax listening to one of the 9 licensed radio stations. Feeling horny even? Pick up a whore of the streets or even pay a visit to the strip club and have one of the girls perform a sexy dance before your very eyes.
Most normal people playing Vice City find themselves feeling evil and rather than dance at the Malibu Club decide it would be funner to murder all the dancers there. And most of their trips to the strip club involve a dancer, the knife you just bought at the tool shop and a whole lot of blood. Torturing random pedestrians is fun, easy and never gets old. Tommy has access to it all from screwdrivers to rocket launchers and plenty more in between. Mow them down in a stolen limousine, snipe off their heads from the top of the ice cream factory. Stab, shoot, explode, hit, chop, kick, drown. Vice City bellows CHOICE but once your done causing havoc in a tank, exploring in a helicopter, tuning your keepy up skills etc. than you’ll notice your loyar is patiently waiting to give you a mission. The first of many to get your money back and take over the city that defines disorder.

In his attempt to retrieve the Forelli’s money. Tommy Vercetti meets all sorts of people, makes friends and enemies. The plot takes lots of twists and Tommy usually finds himself in sub-plots working for rival gangs all in the name of cold, hard cash. You’ll need to buy property to save your game and the property missions allow business like the Print Works and the Film Studio to start making money ready for you to collect whenever you want once you’ve done what it takes for your business to start earning it. There’s usually at least 2 or 3 people to visit who want a job done and of course it’s your choice who you feel like working for first. As far as video game plots go Vice City is awarded a healthy 8/10.

With all the new stuff that Tommy is able to do, the variety of the missions have increased. Within the many many missions you’ll need to win a boat race for the annoying, arrogant but exceptionally loaded Ricardo Diaz, snipe some heads for the hypnotisingly calm Auntie Poulet or blow up the local coffee shop simply to get noticed. There are no major faults with the gameplay. The shooting system is quick and simple, exactly how you’ll want it when you’ve a bunch of Cubans chasing you down the street. Each vehicle handles differently. You’ll be wanting to pick up a sports car rather than a rickety old van. Motorbikes are faster than cars but you’ll fly off and hurt yourself if you crash.
If I have to moan, it would have to be about the police AI. They really are your typical doughnut scoffing idiots. Sometimes running around in circles is enough to avoid the angry coppers. But, then again, who wants to be arrested every other minute of your hell bent rampage of the city? It takes a while for the police to take you seriously. The more havoc you cause the higher you wanted rating will become and no matter how hard you try you will get busted eventually, even if it takes a couple of army tanks to stop you in your tracks. There’s little that beats a police chase through a crowded street. You’ll feel like the king of the world if with a swift and a dodge you find yourself away from the chasing pack of cops. Only for you to turn the corner and be obliterated by a couple of SWAT Vans and finished off by a police chopper. It really can get quite frantic if you’re a naughty boy. Sure they’re dumb. But once they’re onto you they hunt in HUGE packs which therefore makes Vice a much stricter city than that of GTA3’s Liberty!
Pedestrians won’t always stand for being treated like punchbags or vehicle models. They’ll fight back and sometimes even be armed. Each and every civilian has a mind and a heart. Treat them how you wish. They’ll do the same to you. The gameplay recieves 9/10.

No longer are we situated in the mean, moody streets of Liberty City. As you begin your life in the beautiful Vice City, take a moment to watch the sun rise and brighten all of your surroundings. Magnificent. Even when it rains, little raindrops appear on the screen. Hours could be spent exploring the detail put into every corner of Vice City. Admire Tommy’s shirt blow in the wind as you burst down a freeway, the sea water spray up behind you as you stream along the shore of Washington Beach, the huge explosions created after lobbing a grenade into a traffic pile up. It’s obvious that Rockstar have wanted to make Vice City as fun to watch as it is to play after deciding against a multiplayer mode.
The large amounts of pedestrians on the screen limits their detail but Rockstar have done incredibly well to improve the graphics while still keeping the same amount of those loveable pedestrians nervously walking the streets. The graphics receive an 8/10.

The highlight of Vice City for many is stealing a car for the first time and hearing “Billie Jean” by Michael Jackson on the radio. Rockstar have crammed 7 radio stations with around 100 songs from 1980’s artists such as Blondie, Luther Vandross, Ozzy Osbourne, Lionel Richie and so many more as well as 2 new hilarious chat stations. A drive by on a gang of cubans is made all the more sweeter with Cutting Crew’s “Died in your arms” playing in the radio of your flash sports car.
Each and every pedestrian has a large dialogue depending on how you treat them. Tommy talks too and will tell the police, friends, enemies and complete strangers what he thinks of them! Hilarious! 10/10 for the sound.

Completing the game 100% is a mammoth of tasks which includes completing the hardest levels of the ambulance, police car, taxi and pizza boy missions. You’ll need to search far and wide to find and complete every rampage, unique jump ramp and all of the 100 hidden packages littered around Vice City. Even if you manage 100% you’ll still get a kick out of police chases, torturing those poor pedestrians and causing absolute havoc wherever and however you feel like. Lifespan recieves the much desired 10/10

In conclusion Grand Theft Auto: Vice City is the game that defines the Playstation 2. The unbelievable amount of choice, and freedom to do whatever you want really does make Vice City almost like a second life. Make money, Get laid, Kill People. Enjoy. Oh, did I mention there’s a stunt track, and a racing arena, and a tiger striped taxi and oh just buy the game NOW. This list lasts for ages and I want to go play myself you selfish, selfish people.

Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

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