Review by sporkdude
"This Game Should Sleep With the Fishes."
I never seen this game on the PC, but when it came out a few years ago, it got rave reviews. So, I decided to check it out on the PS2. Uhm, I shouldn't have. It's one of the GTA 3 clones, and the worst one yet.
First off, the graphics are great for a console. The city resembles a little of Chicago of the 1930s. The gameplay is decent, the navigation is easy. There are no random search for items, backtracking, or impossible missions. The constant save points tend to limit replaying the same part of the level over and over again. The cutscenes, though sometimes are really dull and cliched, are decent enough to be watched.
Though it tried to be like GTA3, It's unlike GTA3 in that the city and the missions are not seamlessly integrated. It's basically drive to one place, and cut to the third person perspective. Not that immersive.
The driving is horrendous. Definitely not as bad as the Getaway, but really slow and dull. The police will sometimes stop you for speeding. It's really more irritating than realistic. The cars themselves are pretty clunky, though they improve somewhat later. Finally, there really is nothing fun to do while driving. They made it as dull as, well, driving across town in a station wagon. Mostly all the missions require you to drive from a bar to some other part of town, and it's really mostly the same road. There is no fun in exploring. The music is some 1930s slow classical jazz that either annoys you or puts you to sleep.
The third person perspective is fine, except for a couple of glaring glitches. When an enemy comes up close to you, the firing mechanism just entirely fails. They just ignore your shots and punch you to death or kill you with one shot. Another bug is the fact that shooting at someone is completely random. It might take one shot to kill a guy, but if you repeat the mission, it might take six head shots the next time. Vice Versa the other way. You might get blown away in one shot, while other times you'll traverse a huge mission while only losing ten percent of your health.
Finally, the continuity of the game is just wrong. Almost every mission starts off with a load time and a cutscene, and another load time. Then you have to get a gun right down the alley, this entails another cutscene. Then a car right down the stairs, which has another cutscene. Then you leave the head quarters, which triggers some more load time. Usually you have to drive to the other side of the town. The worst part is, while driving, the other half of the city triggers another load time. It takes about ten to twenty minutes to actually start the mission. About one third of my playing time was devoted to this stupidity. Really, they couldn't just have given me the car, weapon, and start me off at the correct building and saved my sanity? Really? Also, in other parts of the missions, the automatic save points and other loading times lull me into sleep. Some of the hardest parts of some missions was staying awake.
Cutscenes are good
No walkthrough needed
Automatic save helps
Missions contain useless parts
Close range firing bugs
Lack of continuity
Cannot save at any point
Time to complete: 15 hours
Difficulty: Easy to Medium
Frustration Level: Medium to High
Reviewer's Rating: 2.0 - Poor
Originally Posted: 02/27/04
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