There can't be any more sure-fire a hit in the gaming world than Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
. Grandma may not approve, but the 143 million people who bought GTA III
will be chomping at the bit for this follow-up. Not quite a full-blown sequel, but far more than the average lazy mission disk, Vice City
relocates the action of the previous game from the New York-esque Liberty City to the Miami-influenced metropolis of the title. And clearly as soon as someone mentioned Miami the developers immediately thought of Miami Vice
, because they've gone and set the whole thing in 1986 with an incredible soundtrack featuring everyone from Michael Jackson to Sigue Sigue Sputnik.
As the game starts you take control of Tommy Vercetti (voiced by Goodfellas star Ray Liotta) who gets involved in a bungled drug deal and must set himself up from scratch as a crime boss. Unlike in GTA III, you're not restricted to being a small-time hood any more; the game now allows you to purchase property (porn studios, strip clubs, cab companies and so on) and run extortion rackets, which cleverly widens the scope of the game while keeping the controls and gameplay pretty much the same. Which means that you still spend the majority of your time driving cars very dangerously and shooting and maiming anyone that happens to get in your way. Indeed, in most respects the game is very similar to its predecessor--the graphics, for example, are improved but hardly groundbreaking--though there are numerous minor additions, most notably the chance to ride motorbikes--which is particularly satisfying--and fly proper aircraft.
Vice City can't be recommended unreservedly though: if you're intending to buy this game for someone under 18, you really should think again, as it's violent, filled with sex and swearing, and is totally and utterly immoral. Which is why it's guaranteed to sell and sell. --David Jenkins
"Remains a formidable experience." -- Edge
"Undeniably the best thing ever to come out of the Eighties, and one of the greatest console games ever. 10/10." -- Official PlayStation 2 Magazine
From the decade of big hair, excess and pastel suits comes a story of one man's rise to the top of the criminal pile. Vice City is a huge urban sprawl ranging from the beach to the swamps and the glitz to the ghetto and is the most varied, complete and alive digital city ever created. Combining non-linear gameplay with a character-driven narrative, you arrive in a town brimming with delights and degradation and are given the opportunity to take it over as you choose. Pop stars, real-estate developers, politicians, trailer trash: everyone is moving to Vice City to find out what makes it the number one growth city in America. But, as you'll quickly find out, trust is still the rarest of commodities.
Vice City offers vehicular pleasures to suit every taste. For the speed enthusiast, there are high-performance cars and motorbikes. For the sportsman, a powerboat or a golf buggy lets you enjoy the great outdoors. For those that need that sense of freedom and escape, why not charter a helicopter and see the beauty of Vice City from the air?
As the party capital of America, you would expect your ears to be seduced by a host of sultry melodies and pumping beats, but you'll be amazed as you sweep the through Vice City's FM dial. Tune into some driving rock, some crucial electro or maybe you want to slow down with some sweet soul--and there'll always be some great romantic anthems if you want to really take your mind off things. For the action man or the outdoors type, there're tons of fun things to do and adventures to be had. For the secretive or creepy type, Vice City is full of surprises; a place where you'll constantly be surprised by the vivacious, fun-loving types who live there and the things you can discover.
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (PS2).