GTA: Vice City

Aron Schatz
May 30, 2003
The hottest game for the PS2 comes to the PC, does it live up to the hype?
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Do we really need an introduction for this game? I would say no, but I'll think of something to say. Vice City was the most anticipated game after GTA 3 was released. Does it live up to all the hype? Yes and it does more! This review will contain spoilers to the story, so if you don't want to know it until you do it yourself, skip right to the conclusion.


You're Tommy Vercetti, a detachment from the Mafia of Liberty City (Ehhem, GTA 3). It is the 1980's and you just got out of prison from a deal gone bad. Now you own a ton of money to some Mafia dude and he wants the payment. You must find a way to get the money.

<B>Game Play</B>:

The game starts you off with no cash and a hotel room to save your missions at. This is the 'safe house' of the game starting off. The story is more or less linear, but it feels dynamic due to the interwoven nature of each mission thread. Like in GTA 3, you get missions from people, and then in the end you either kill them or they leave.

There are many more different types of vehicles in Vice City. It is a good thing you have a few garages to keep your favorites in.

<center>Own Property</center>

There is much more than just doing missions the entire time though. This time around, you get to own property. There are two types of property you can buy. The one pictured is a business (actually, that one is a mansion), and the other type is a house. You can buy many different places in Vice City, all the places you buy will have save spots. Some of them will have garages to place your cars in them.


Even more enjoyable is the motorcycles in Vice City. This is Miami after all. There are a few different types of bikes, ranging from a scooter to a Harley. They have different names, but you'll get the idea. The motorcycle handles better than a car, but if you get hit, you'll fly off the bike. There is a nice wind effect that makes your clothes rustle will you're moving, a nice touch.


Helicopters are what really makes this game different from GTA 3. You actually have the ability to fly away from your troubles with little effort. When you have six stars and nowhere to run, look for one of these and get to a safe house. Flying it is different that a car, it uses the rotors for turning and the steering for banking only. It takes a few minutes to get used to it, but it is really fun.

<center>Planes and Sharks</center>

There is also a full winged Dodo in the game, but the thing only can take off and land in the water. That isn't exactly true, but it is tough to take off from land. The plane flies much nicer than a helicopter (speed wise) and handles like a car in the air.
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<B>Game Play con'd</B>:

The weapons in the game are simply amazing. Instead of getting the same weapon for each type slot (hand gun, machine gun, etc), there are multiple types of weapons for each slot. Will you choose a pistol or a 357 Cougar Magnum. Each gun has its strong and weak points. For instance, the pistol can fire will walking, but the 357 cannot.


The melee weapons are really the fun part. After all, who doesn't want to go around and just kicking the crap out of people? No one. The thing pictured above is the Katana (sword) slicing off a Cop's head. You have a few cutting weapons, and the chainsaw is the best. That thing rips through people.

Another new thing added to Vice City was the ability to shoot tires out. When you have three or more stars, the cops will try to pop your tires using tire spikes. And the car handles like crap when all four tires are out. Another thing is that you can kill someone in a car through a window, unlike GTA 3. They fall out dead.


Remember that we are in a city, and a city never sleeps. At night, you have hookers just waiting to give you a little something for a fee. It'll bring you up to 125 health. During the day, there is a ton of traffic and other good stuff. They really made the city come alive.


On one of the story missions, you need to steal a tank. It is not as hard as you might think, you need to kill the people inside it then just take it somewhere. The tank fires just like in GTA 3.


Here is the fun thing. The Apache. This baby is loaded with a machine gun and dual missile launchers. You can unleash hell in the city. This is the best way to do vigilante missions, that's how I got over 2 million in cash.

There are more things in Vice City that are fun. Changing clothes. If you saw half the pics in the article I was in cop's clothing. You have a few things you can change into. Clean clothes will get rid of a max of two stars.

With all this good stuff, you may not even bother to play the missions, but I suggest doing it, you need to get the apache anyway.

<B>Graphics, Sound and speed</B>:

Let's face it, without good graphics and sound, the game doesn't come alive. The graphics are basically the same as GTA 3, which is good enough for this type of game. The sound is excellent, each gun has a different sound as do crashing and ambient noises. There are a few radio stations with tons of sound bytes of classic 80's music. Lazlo is the DJ for Vrock and Fernando is making his love on the Radio.

There was a problem running the game on my system (Radeon 9500 Pro, KT333, Athlon 1800+), the game had graphical glitches all over the place making it un-run able with out the patch, so patch up if you need too. The game ran fine at 1024x768 on my Radeon 8500 and P4 1.6 Ghz, so you should have no trouble playing it.


A game designer usually finds a way to hide stuff in a game. This shot is a pool in the shape of the Rockstar logo.


My conclusion? Go out and buy it right now. Trust me on this one. Everything about this game is good. It will be the best $40-$50 you spent on a game in the past year.


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