on 27 December 2005
Every once in a while a video game will come out and change the face of computer gaming. In 1996, the arrival of Super Mario 64 in glorious 3D became the benchmark for all consoles today. Several years later, Rockstar came back with a vengeance with Grand Theft Auto III. Not only did it transform the old Playstation game into 3D, but it gave a much bigger plot and provided a lot more variety. By the time the sequel 'Vice City' came out, everything about gameplay had changed forever.
Based around Miami Vice, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City has some of the most colourful scenary to date. It also introduced Ray Liotta (Goodfellas) to a younger generation as the voice for main character Tommy Vercetti. But the main thing it did was it took the original concept of GTAIII and expanded into a gigantic city complete with drug addicts, criminals, gang warfare and all other kinds of creeps.
Rather than the basic mission after mission like its predecessor, Vice City requires you to buy property in order to access later missions. Buying property means access to jobs like The Taxi Firm, The Ice Cream Factory or collecting specific motors for your garage. But for the very early stages, you do the basic 'hit and run' jobs for Vice City's big people.
Apart from the atmosphere and graphics being built up a notch, the music and sound was superbly chosen for the 80's theme of the game. With classic 80's stars like Human League, Bryan Adams and Blondie, it gave the game a whole new dimension. Also when Ray Liotta speaks, he does it with a masterstroke, and who better to play a wiseguy?
I have not mentioned the plot of the game since a lot of people may already know about it, but however the end of the game is well worth getting to. Never had a game been so gigantic in its exploration, so beautiful in its looks and the freedom to do whatever you wanted (to certain extent since the cops are still around) made this a game well worth buying.
When classic games are made, they're cemented in history, and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City broke the mould.
on 13 November 2002
After the huge success of GTA III, you'd think there would be little else to follow up on.. well you'd be wrong. Vice City is gaming perfection in every sense, complete freedom, improved visuals, a kickass authentic 80'soundtrack and a huge number of tasks to complete.
The story line is also much more involving than that of its predecessor, with the central character, Tommy Vercetti actually speaking, and not only that, but he is voice by Ray Liotta (Goodfellas, Blow). There are a few other nice cameos in the game, such as porn actress Candy Suxxx being voiced by Jenna Jameson, and real estate tycoon Avery Carrington voiced by Burt Reynolds (Boogie Nights). A rather obsure cameo is that of the lead singer of the fictional rock group Love Fist, who is voiced by Kevin McKidd, who some may remember as Tommy in Trainspotting.
The influences from 80's films and other media are very strong indeed, one of the more memorable ones for me being Diaz's mansion looking like that of Tony Montana's in Scarface.. right down to his office.
This game has everything you'd expect from GTA and more, there's the usual killing, drug dealing and running errands for big players but also a lot more "obscure" missions, including the purchasing of property and setting up it's assets.
One of the best things about this game is the inclusion of motorbikes, planes and helicopters, all fully functional and loads of fun.
All in all, Rockstar have really pushed the boat out here, smashing all video game conceptions to create a game that places you in a real living, breathing city.. and unlike GTA III, you can enter many of it's buildings. If you loved GTA III or even if you've never played it, this is a must have for the PS2, a true classic.
on 21 June 2006
I loved this game so much I have gone and got a second copy, mine has stopped working!
I love the feeling that an entire world lives within the game and you can always just steal a car and ride, listen to the radio and take in Vice City's many sites.
Tommy Vercetti - excellantly cast as Ray Liotta of Goodfellas fame gets out of the slammer and goes back to his turf. He gets sent to Vice City to get him out of the way because really, they don't want him around anymore and they certainly don't want to answer his questions about why he got jailed.
You can ride bikes, take cars, helicopter fly over the city, go through districts with different cultures and work for many gangs. Bikers, Columbians cops even, accompanied by a sound track that beats the heck out of any other game I've played. A radio with enough variation to keep everyone happy as they do their drive-bys and cruise looking at women.
And the talk shows! Classy touch.
The game play is smooth and with barely a bug to be seen flows from day to night and back again with the city in sync, Vice City at night is amazing, you also get weather variations and the impact of that, in the rain, bikes tend to skid more and you fall off.
It's that kind of attention to detail that means the game never grows tiresome. The hidden jumps to be done with all manner of vehicles and the taxi/paramedic, etc missions mean the game really is so open ended.
It's been three years and I'm still exploring Vice City.
on 12 November 2002
Everybody loved "Grand Theft Auto 3", right? Except maybe the Daily Mail. GTA3 was the ultimate in stress relief after a hard day at the office... simply boot it up, steal a car or break out the sniper rifle, and have fun. Vice City is a worthy sequel, make no mistake.
But I take issue with the notion that this game is bigger than GTA3: It really doesn't seem it. It has taken me just under a week to complete the entire game, and whereas GTA3 seemed to go on forever, Vice City sort of... stops.
Of course, thats if you're following the basic storyline. Small enhancements like being able to buy businesses (Ranging from a Porno Studio to an Ice Cream truck) and the extra missions that they give to you is a welcome addition, as is the extra police-dodging tactic of changing clothes when you're on the run. Then add the extra vehicles into the mix - especially the Bikes - and the challenge of getting 100% complete on this game, and you have a winner.
If that was all, this game would be very good. What makes it great is the whole feel of the game, aided greatly by easily the best soundtrack to a game, ever.
The 80's themed music is awesome, to say the least. Nearly all original songs spread across numerous radio stations... the first song that I heard upon stealing my first car in the game was "Billie Jean" by Michael Jackson. There's nothing better than driving to a showdown with Grandmaster Flash's "The Message" blaring out through your speakers, or taking part in a drive-by as Spandau Ballet's "Gold" plays on.
Then add in the voice talent for the games well-defined characters: Ray Liotta, Luis Guzman, Dennis Hopper, Burt Reynolds, Lawrence Taylor, Tom Sizemore... to name a few.
I can't stress this enough: This game is the most fun you will have in a video game all year.
on 3 January 2003
If you played GTA 3, you'll know how this game works. GTA Vice City adds so much to it, but it's the little things for me that make the game so enjoyable. So now you can buy property, drive motorcycles and fly helicopters, enter various buildings, but there's so much more. Like in some vehicles you will find a passenger as well as a driver, leading to possibilties of stealing the car and the passenger, then driving the car off a pier making sure you dive out in time. Washington Beach is tidal, becoming totally submerged. You can rob shops; throw petrol bombs into crowded nightclubs; smash up cars and blow their tyres out; partake in events at the Hyman Memorial Stadium and blood may even splatter on the screen during rampages involving machete's. Yes, this game is even more explicit then the last.
The missions are also a lot more enjoyable, simply because of their variation. I've only played about 20 or so missions so far but already I have had to kill a pizza delivery boy on a scooter, acquire a tank while the driver pops off to buy some dohnuts, watch over an exchange and chase the theives, break into a mansion by shooting all the guards from a helicpter; interupt a funeral and even kill a guy enjoying a round of golf. The missions certainly keep you on your toes.
My opinion of the 80's has drastically changed since playing this game, before I saw it as a time of embarrassing fashion and terrible music. But the soundtrack to Vice City is huge and outstanding, featuring Michael Jackson, Blondie, The Human League, Frankie goes to Hollywood, Lionel Richie, Bryan Adams, Run DMC, Iron Maiden and loads more. Lazlow also features again, this time on the Rock station. Now I am proud of the decade I was born in.
The characters are hilarious to, you play as Tommy Vercetti who will often say things like "I'm just borrowing it" while stealing a car. Diaz is probably the best, with his fits of rage causing extensive damage to his mansion. Donald Love even features as a four-eyed geek learning the ropes.
This game has to played to be believed, so what are you waiting for?
on 11 November 2002
Could it be ? Two words, without doubt. The combination of freedom of movement and evolving plot line even goes as far as to outshine it's predecessor GTA III on almost all levels. The graphics are smoother, the sound obviously better with an 80's soundtrack with something for everyone, the storyline is gripping and the gameplay is awesome.
The improvements include the addition of 3 types of bike, which handle incredibly, the use of interiors of buildings, which adds to the overall feeling of as close an approximation of freedom of movement as you will get and the ability to purchase domiciles and businesses as you go along giving another dimension to an already winning format.
Added weapons include a knife, hatchet, screwdriver, hammer, golf club and Kitana sword allowing you to despatch your foes in even more brutal ways than before. Some of these can even be used to smash up cars - ideal for tension relief after a hard day.
I've never played any game quite like this, and I guarantee you'll be glued to this one for months. A must buy - eve if you already have GTA III.
on 15 November 2002
If you've ever played GTA III, then you've probably already got this. If you haven't, then let me try and convince you to get it...
The game is huge. And I mean huge with a capital HU. You can follow the various missions, gaining $$$ to buy property, and work towards completing the game, causing mayhem as you go, or you can work off stress by creating havoc around Vice city. Carjacking, mugging, robbery, murder, assault and battery- do it all to the pathetic cyber-citizens of the town. Drive like a maniac, ride like a hooligan, take a flight around the city in your helicopter, do whatever the hell you like. Then do a mission, then cause some more mayhem. That's the beauty of this game: the missions are there when you want them, but you don't have to do them if you don't want to. There's usually several different tasks to be done at any one time, so if you're a little stuck, go try a different one and come back later and try it again.
Add an all- star cast doing the voices (Ray Liotta, Burt Reynolds, Dennis Hopper, Debbie Harry, Lee Majors and Jenna Jameson among others), and you've got a riot of a game. Buy it. Buy it NOW. Then spend the following few weeks wondering where all those lost hours went.
I just hope they've got another sequel in the pipeline.
Long live GTA!
on 8 November 2002
Vice City, easily the game of the year! This game is a big improvement over the phenomenal GTA3.
With new weapons ranging from knifes, bats, golf clubs, samurai swords, screwdrivers, hammers,pistols, shotguns, machine guns, sniper rifles, rocket launchers and countless explosives, just about every weapon you could possibly want to maim, kill and fight your way to the top of the city.
Set in Miami in the corrupt 80's, Vice City brings a whole new meaning to the words 'Grand Theft Auto', with well over a hundred different vehicles ranging from 4 or 5 different Motorbikes, tons of models of cars, boats and even helicopters!
The scene is set, you play Tommy Vercetti (voiced over by the magnificent RAY LIOTTA!), a chisel jawed gangster on return from a long prison sentence and returning to Liberty City. Tommy's boss, Sonny Forelli sends him to Vice City to land a huge narcotics deal, unfortunately for Tommy things fall apart and he is stuck in this bustling necropolis with every gang and unfriendly citizen tracking him down.
This game is easily better than the huge GTA3 and a must have for anybody who owns a PS2. Happy Maiming.
on 20 February 2003
GTA3 on the PS2 was a superb game, and Vice City improves on it in almost every respect. The game is set in Florida in 1986, and captures the feel of this very well - including a load of pink neon, seven radio stations of 80s music and pastel suits rolled up to the elbows. There are even sports-car-driving vice cops who come after you for your crimes.
Overall, the theme is "More". There are more vehicles - you can now ride motorbikes and fly planes and helicopters. There are more unique jumps to do, more types of side mission, more radio stations, and more ways to pursue your criminal career - including buying various properties which generate cash for you.
The game itself is almost completely free-form - many of the missions are not timed and very few of them place restrictions on how they are completed, so there are a number of possible ways to complete several of them.
The radio stations have always been a signature feature of GTA games, and Vice City is no different. Nine radio stations in total, seven music stations and two talk stations, deliver a wide variety of 80s-flavoured content, including the usual hilarious commercials.
On top of this, an impressive array of voice talent has been recruited for the game, including Ray Liotta, Dennis Hopper, and Burt Reynolds.
The game is 18-rated for a reason, of course - violent crime, cocaine and strippers do not a children's story make. But if you ever wanted to mow down street gangs in your fancy sports car with Motley Crue blaring and the Florida sun shining down, then this is without doubt the ideal game for you.
on 17 June 2007
I would like to point out that this is not me being biased towards this game and also that I have played most of the games that are similar including the other gta's in the series.
This game is without doubt the best game I have ever and I think will ever play in my life. Every fibre of its construction from the cars and bikes to the funky and brilliant weapons. This game is set in 80's America where you are Tommy vercetti seeking revenge in the big city (as well as little cash and destruction on the side!). This game has so many missions and sides that it is bound to keep you entertained. I found that this was the only game that I can still play over and ever. My bordem threshold for this game is extensive and I think that I will continue to play this game when I am in my ageing years! Please don't think that you might as well buy San Andreas rather than this because you will be missing out on playing this truly magnificent game. The reason I think that separates this game fro its contenders is its fantastic radio stations that have so much to offer in terms of comedy and great 80's music. This game was a landmark for the ps2 and it will remain to be so. I could not recommend this game enough to anyone who feels compelled to get in a car and have the police in hot pursuit or simply walk around the city with a minigun and cause havoc. There is no other game that I have played that has ever reached this standard in terms of game play and pure ongoing enjoyment.