Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
Grand Theft Auto is one, if not the most successful video game franchises in the world. Everyone has played or at least heard of the series, for better or for worse. And while Grand Theft Auto V is one of the most successful games in the world, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City is still one of the most popular titles in the series.
The key to success
The open-world mechanics in the GTA series is one of its most popular aspects. But not only it's about the open world, but it's also about the freedom it allows. The player can do anything they want whether it is to drive around town, explore the map, or maybe blowing cars up and escaping from the police.
Crazy car chases, action scenes, and even military level destruction. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City was one of the biggest upgrades for the series. Coming directly after Grand Theft Auto 3, this title took everything to the next level.
In an '80s setting, Rockstar brought us this amazing experience full of everything that made the '80s cool. The nightclubs, the sexy women, the music, the cars, and even the pizza. Every little detail screams the '80s in this game.
It was a refreshing experience to see such an amazing story, with well-written characters and cool missions into a game that offers you all the freedom you could ask for. Even the voice acting was excellent in this title, the main character is voiced by Ray Liotta, the real Ray Liotta from Goodfellas!
Download Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
Selling over six million copies and gaining huge acclaim for its open-ended shooting 'n' driving gameplay, Grand Theft Auto III could only be called a phenomenon. Developer DMA Design - recently renamed Rockstar North - has now created GTA: Vice City, a glorious celebration of kitsch '80s culture replete with cool cars, sexy women, drug gangs and poodle rock.
Vice City follows the exploits of lead character Tommy Vercetti - voiced by Goodfellas actor Ray Liotta - as he begins his rise to the top of the criminal tree. There are far more vehicles than before, including the long-anticipated addition of motorcycles, which let you zip in and out of traffic and throw you off painfully if you crash. You can also steal various boats, remote-controlled vehicles and best-of-all, helicopters, which give you fantastic views of Vice City as well as allowing you to slice people up with the deadly spinning blades.
Vice City also manages to improve on the mission variety in GTA3, even adding indoor locations such as cheesy nightclubs. You'll still be able to complete the taxi, police and ambulance missions of the previous game, along with the all-new pizza deliveries. Other highlights include a murderous rampage with a buggy on a golf course, protecting your crew in a Haitian drug deal and brutally carving through traitorous gang members with a chainsaw. Another smart addition is the taxi that waits outside a police station or hospital, always ready to take you back to the last mission if you're busted or wasted.
Graphically, Rockstar has perfectly captured the 1986 Miami Vice look, with neon-lit buildings on streets lined with palm trees. Characters wear clothes from the period, so you'll see pedestrians with Relax" T-shirts and gangsters sporting pastel shirts and white jackets with the sleeves rolled up. Add to that a magnificent collection of seven comedy radio stations playing more than 80 classic tunes from the period and you have an ultraviolent sequel that's set to surpass the original in every way. In a word: fresh.
After stealing cars, killing police and blowing up rival gangs in GTA III you've been festering in maximum security for a few years. Stupidly, the authorities believe you've been rehabilitated and let you back into Liberty City. Fearing reprisals, your boss Sonny Forelli sends you to Vice City, but it turns out to be a set-up. Penniless and on your own it's time to start taking on new missions and generally tearing the place a new arsehole...
What's The Big Deal?
GTA III is one of our favourite games of all time, not to mention killing off the argument about linear vs freeform games in a single stroke. It was both, with brilliant gameplay, anarchic humour and a vast city that appeared to live its own life. You can expect more of the same from Vice City, along with new vehicles, a larger playing area and some seriously whacked-out shirts.
It's Easy To look back and laugh, but the '80s were truly screwed. I remember watching the transformation of gay-bashing lager-swilling thugs into style icons with pink cardigans, no socks and, most disturbing of all, back-perms. They still fought and they still drank, they just looked like freaks, and if the blame can be pointed anywhere it's got to be at the door of Miami Vice, an MTV-style cop show hybrid that made Jan Hammer a household name.
Undeniably cool, it was also slick and heavily stylised. One of the show's rules was no bricks, no reds and no browns', an edict ignored by game designers ever since. But with sunshine, drugs and alligators called Elvis in the mix, it seems like the perfect show to build a game around, and who better to do so than Rockstar Games? For the past six months they've been doing their research into the misguided glitz and glamour of the era (even going so far as to contact fan site miamivice.com for fashion tips), for a top-secret project now officially unveiled as Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.
Picking up where GTA III left off, you've just been released from maximum security, back onto the streets of Liberty City. Your boss, Sonny Forelli, thinks it's best if you take a vacation and ships you down to Vice City, which Rockstar promises is going to be two and a half times bigger than Liberty City with three times as many pedestrians, inhabitable interiors such as shopping malls and nightclubs, and more than 100 vehicles (compared to the 40 you could jack in GTA III), with the introduction of motorbikes and roller-blading chicks.
It might sound like a party but unfortunately it turns out to be a set-up, leaving you homeless and penniless, and you'll have to take on three times as many missions as you had to complete to get to the top of Liberty City. Luckily in-car entertainment is a big part of the game again, with around 10 hours of radio chat and music. You can expect to hear up to 90 licensed tracks from the '80s, along with new spiel from the DJ chat kings, which is as good a reason to buy Wee City as the game itself. If you didn't play the last game (there are a few of you out there, apparently) you'll have to take our word for it that the radio talk shows are genuinely hilarious and actually prompted us to drive into a quiet lay-by just to have a listen. When was the last time a game made you laugh for the right reasons?
Of course the real question is when is the damn thing going to be released? Due to ship on PS2 in November, we're convinced we're not going to have to put up with the same sort of wait we had to endure for GTA3 .but don't expect to see it on the shelves this side of Christmas.
Mr Mister's rock anthem Broken Wings is currently playing on an eternal loop inside my brain as I write this review. That's the effect that Rockstar's awesome 18-rated crim-sim has when you play it -total immersion in a believable city, set to a soundtrack of the best 1980s chart hits and cult classics. Put simply, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City is one of the greatest videogames ever made, and now in another celebration of that decade of excess, us lucky PC gamers can play the definitive 12-inch remix version. Vice City basically takes what was so good about last year's action blockbuster GTA III and improves it even more, doubling the size of the Liberty Citi playing area, introducing fantastic new vehicles handle differently, offering greater variety of missions an allowing you to buy and enter property and businesses.
Much has been discussed already about Grand Theft Auto Ill's open-plan design that offers players the freedom to express themselves in whatever violent/funny/nasty/silly ways they want, as well as completing missions for clients - Vice City expands on that tradition with even more mad stuff to do. Carjacking - dragging innocent people out of their vehicle and stealing it - was always the backbone of the series and now in addition to the new types of cars, tanks, buses, trucks, boats and planes, budding thieves can also take control of helicopters and motorbikes.
Helicopters are opened up to you after completing certain missions and are a real treat, allowing you to take off from your private helipad on the roof of your newly-acquired mansion and enjoy spectacular views of Vice City from the air. However, it's more fun of course, to cause absolute mayhem, so we can highly recommend smashing them into random vehicles or landing them clumsily in the middle of crowded shopping centres, and watch as the fast-moving blades chop innocent shoppers into human pate. Hilarious.
Yep, the handling of all the vehicles is superb, but special mention has to be made of the new motorbikes and scooters, which feel just perfect when you're screeching around corners and zig-zagging between other road users at frightening speed. You can cleverly move Tommy's bodyweight on any twowheeler, so leaning back while accelerating pulls wheelies and tipping forward stands him up, plus you can also carry a weapon and shoot at people around you as well as carry passengers on the back during jobs - very cool. However, you now have to be wary of hitting anything, as you can be thrown violently off the bike and into the air, causing health damage when you and your passenger tumble along the tarmac and smack into buildings and vehicles.
As with GTA III, the way you earn more cash to buy ever more exotic and lethal weaponry - and now in Vice City, businesses and property - is to complete missions for various clients. Missions are triggered by looking at your map in the bottom left-hand corner of the screen, deciding which person you wish to work for and searching them out - a shimmering pinkish glow on - screen at a location signifying a cut-scene and a commission for a job.
Missions begin with basic hoodlum stuff, such as roughing up jury members, but eventually lead onto jobs that include tricky multiple tasks such as luring policemen into a garage, stealing their clothes and infiltrating a gangland raid to set off explosives. Along the way you'll meet dodgy characters like property magnate Avery Carrington, playboy and smuggler Colonel Juan Cortez, a Scottish rock group called Love Fist and dirty movie producer Steve Scott.
Each of the missions demonstrates Wee City's great imagination and creativity when it comes to game design, meaning you really don't know what type of fun you'll be having next. Highlights include a 'Nam-styie first-person helicopter raid on an enemy's house, a radio-controlled plane bombing run on some drug dealer's boats, a manic chase around a golf course on golf carts and a Hell's Angel-style motorbike race.
After completing a successful mission you're rewarded with an immensely satisfying music sting and a lump of cash to stick under your mattress. As you increase your money stack, you can eventually start buying up property in Vice City for your own crooked little empire, investing in bigger and more extravagant bachelor pads, and businesses such as the strip joint Pole Position.
Some properties - such as the Cherry Popper Ice Cream Company - end up being a front for a drugs business, where you can earn dosh by selling your special 99s to the public or by dropping by and collecting profits from the premises every few days. Other businesses, such as InterGlobal Films, unlock new missions and ways to increase your grip on the town - and include people such as "movie actress" Candy Suxxx, played in the game by real-life porn lady Jenna Jameson.
And that's not all. Tommy can also enjoy the myriad of other side-missions and objectives in Vice City, including pizza delivery boy, taxi driver, ambulance driver, fireman and vigilante. To help achieve all these objectives, Vice City is packing more heat than ever, with a host of weaponry organised into categories, so you can only carry one of each type in your total cache of nine.
New weapons include the horrible chainsaw that rips through people splashing the screen with blood, and a samurai sword that can lop heads off with one sharp swish. You can again fire certain guns from vehicles (including bikes) for drive-by shootings, but in addition you can also now tactically hit targets through car windows and blast tyres sending vehicles careering out of control - a technique that's used in the game by police with "stingers".
The GTA police force certainly hasn't mellowed since the last game - in fact, you have to be more vigilant of your "Wanted" rating, signified again by six stars in the top-right of the screen. As you commit crimes, the more stars you light up, the more aggressive the law enforcement officers will become. Get to three stars and they send the police helicopter after you - six stars, and the army will pay a visit in a tank. As in GTA III, if you get busted, you're taken to the nearest police station and have all your weapons confiscated, before your dodgy lawyer has time to spring you from jail.
Naughty But Vice
Avoiding the authorities is almost a mini-game in itself. If you are frustrated and can't complete a mission, why not go on a good old-fashioned killing spree around the city for fun? Steal a motorbike, drive it into a crowd of people and smash it up. Buy an Uzi and start indiscriminately spraying the neighbourhoods with bullets, before stealing an ambulance when it arrives and squishing as many innocent roller-skaters as you can.
Vice City is literally bursting with laugh-out-loud surprises and genuine great gaming moments. You can search out the many areas for spectacular vehicle jumps again, as in the last GTA, complete with slo-mo camera angles and Insane Stunt Bonuses, plus there are 100 hidden packages to discover and psychopathic Rampage missions. Then there's the dirt bike tracks, the different clothing for Tommy, the lap dances where you can watch girls jiggle about while your money goes down, as well as the old trick of picking up the naughty ladies of the night and heading to a secluded spot for a bit of the other. There's just so much stuff in there - you'll be playing Vice City for months as it has at least 50-60 hours of standard gameplay.
The Al of NPCs and other vehicles is sometimes a little suspect, with cops suddenly stopping looking for you and pedestrians jumping into the path of your vehicle in an apparent suicide attempt. However, it's good enough to create a feeling of being in a large city and there are more random events now, so cars will beep at you, people can shout abuse or ask questions, gangland shootouts will suddenly break out and traffic accidents occur.
Rockstar has really polished the graphics in the PC version of Vice City, and although you'll need a hefty machine for the best results, we had a 1280x960 setting (double the resolution of the PlayStation 2 version) with 50-60fps that looked stunning, with sunlight reflected realistically off cars, and a beautiful neon glow lit up buildings at night. There was some pop-up (cars appearing out of nowhere etc), and character animation is a little creaky, but this is being very picky - it's akin to criticising The Beatles' White Album for having a bit of a plain cover.
Vice City provides a rich environment where you can indulge every dark fantasy you've ever had, as well as enjoying some of the best level design and genius mission ideas ever featured in a game. Rockstar obviously knows its pop culture - there are many references to other films and TV shows, especially Miami Vice and the classic 1980s movie Scarface (the Giorgio Moroder soundtrack of which has already been raided for GTA III, trivia fans).
As we've experienced two GTA games in two years, you can actually forget how daring the whole franchise is: bad language, police murders, prostitution, illegal narcotics, porno movies, bloody chainsaw killings, scathing social criticism, political corruption, the sanctioned destruction of innocent people's property and possessions, and an amoral playable character. But after all that. Rockstar's latest is just damn good fun and a must-buy even if you have GTA III. Vice City is a title that has defined a generation - a videogame that's hugely entertaining and cool as f..k.
The Lights dim and Mr. Mister's Broken Wings thumps into action as a man in a sharp suit plunges his flared nostrils into a pile of coke so big it would have cost Daniella Westbrook more than her septum. Cut to a couple of bouffanted blondes In pink skirts on roller skates, and back to Nice Guy Eddie explaining that he doesn't know who's dead, who's alive, who's caught and who's not. The action switches to more drugs, violent shootings, more roller skates and a few more lines of the finest Peruvian.
If you asked most developers to name the inspiration behind their latest game, they'd go slightly red, look down at their feet and mutter something about a teacher back in school who gave them shelter in the computer labs from the bullies who made their lunchtimes hell. But this is different. This is Rockstar and I'm in their New York headquarters to check out how the latest game in the Grand Theft Auto series, Vice City, is coming along. Sometimes, life is sweet.
(I Just) Died In Your Arms
As is becoming the norm, Vice City has been out on PlayStation 2 since Christmas, but if you've got any sense you've kept yourself well away from it. I had to force myself into a quick three-hour razz around just so that I didn't come across as a clueless tallywhacker in New York, but even that was enough to convince me there's only one version of the game worth playing. Vice City might be identical in content between the two platforms, but visually they couldn't be further apart. The best analogy is pirate films. You can't wait for Star Wars 3 to hit the cinemas over here, so you buy a grainy DVD copy filmed from a digital camera perched in some obese American's bulging crotch. And in doing so effectively ruin the experience you could've had if you'd been patient.
You might not think visuals are that important, but the revamped DX9 engine adds to the experience immeasurably. This is something I discovered as soon as the game was fired up on a huge presentation screen by Devin Winterbottom, Vice City's product manager, leaving me struggling to maintain my cool in the face of one of the most stunning games I've ever seen. The official line on why the game gets released on PC after PS2 is that the developers have to go back in and buff the city up until it's gleaming (though we suspect the truth might have something to do with a company called Sony, and the word 'exclusive').
Either way, Devin looks as proud as any father clutching his newborn as he runs us through the visuals: "Oh yeah. The new engine is a definite evolution over GTA III. It's all DX 9 stuff, and we've gone back in and re-done I all the textures, he says.
Switching from day to night, the game suddenly explodes in a mass of neon shop fronts and street lamps. Pedestrians ditch their swimmers for suits and smart party clobber. Standing in the middle of the road, an oncoming motorbike blinds me with its headlights. Dazzlingly bright at the core, the light diffuses round the edges creating an amazingly lifelike effect - the first of hundreds of subtle effects I was going to get unnaturally excited about as I played through the game on the enormous screen they had rigged up.
Kids In America
The next thing that grabbed me by the balls was the draw distance. Unlike the PS2 version, Vice City on the PC stretches almost to the horizon. If you can't see something clearly, it's more likely that it's your eyes that are defective. And to make the most out of all this, you can use your mouse to look around and take in every little nuance. Something Devin points to in highlighting differences between playing the game on either platform: When you're a console gamer you're always looking at what's ahead of you. You never take the time to look around you, look behind you.
Which means you won't get to see some of the pedestrian antics the team has been lovingly slaving over. Antics made all the more amusing and convincing by Rockstar's decision to motion capture the movements of professional stage actors. All the pedestrians have their own mannerisms, and things they do and say. And, where Grand Theft Auto III is like the dirtiest, worst place on earth, Vice City is like a sun-kissed vacation spot. The pedestrians reflect that, walking around in bathing suits, or roller skating in tight pink spandex and headbands. Right on cue, a skater who wouldn't have looked out of place in the WWE in the mid '80s tries to skate round us only to fall on his pert, pink arse. As he gingerly gets to his feet, the room dissolves in hysterical laughter, much as it would if we'd seen his slapstick fall in the real world. It's great demoing the game, because the same thing never happens twice.
And The Beat Goes On
But the improvements in Vice City aren't just cosmetic. Rockstar might not be giving Vice City full sequel status, but there's enough new to make it a huge evolution from the last game. First off, where Liberty City might as well have been a cardboard film set, giving the appearance of a city without anywhere for you to go except the streets, Vice City lets you move around inside buildings, and even buy your own properties when you get enough cash. You can't go in any building you want (we presume they're saving this for the online version of the game, when, or indeed, if, it comes to fruition - see the Gangbang boxout below for more info) but the various hotels, discos and shopping malls help extend the illusion of the city, and provide some pretty funky backdrops for the shady deals and gunfights you get into through the course of the game.
And this is no lazy add-on. The two entities co-exist, which means that although there's a short loading time when you move from outside to indoors, everything carries on in the city as if you were still out there. So any pedestrians hanging around outside will still be there doing their thang when you come back out. And any cops on your tail might not give up the chase just because you've ducked inside a building - a quick peek out of the window should tell you if this is the case.
The next tick on the checklist is the addition of new vehicles, most notably helicopters and motorbikes. There are six flyable helicopters in the game (plus a radio-controlled model), and although they take a bit of getting used to, they're nowhere near as hard to fly as the Dodo from GTA III. You can land on secluded rooftops for an afternoon's sniping, or use your blades to chop up a group of pensioners enjoying a round of golf. You'll also see choppers if your wanted rating gets too high, though these will be the ones the SWAT teams sent to bring you in are abseiling down from - if you're quick enough, a burst from your uzi or sniper shot to the pilot can take them down.
But the addition of motorbikes is an even more significant change to the way the game plays. Ranging from the ultratrendy, but ultimately ultra-slow Faggio scooter, up to the classic Hariey-types, the first thing you notice is how well they handle. You can pull wheelies (and fall off the back if you get a bit carried away, as I did), and do some serious damage to yourself if you crash, with your body flying through the air and coming down in a crunch of bone and tarmac. But the coolest thing is that you can also shoot while you're riding, a feature that alters the skew of the previous game, enabling you to shoot left, right, or directly ahead. Other changes include the ability to shoot out tyres, causing vehicles to slew, or shoot through windscreens to take out the driver. Play it right and you can take the head off a driver with a well-aimed shot (yep, it's more violent than GTA 3) and then watch in glee as the car crashes and the decapitated torso flops out. Sick? Sue me. Of course, all of this means that you're not as safe as you used to be in a vehicle, as Devin was quick to point out. In GTA III, when you in a car you felt pretty invincible, but now cops can shoot your tyres out or turn on tyre spikes, so things are a bit tougher.
Running With The Night
In a less specific sense, Vice City seems to have more of an adult feel to it - not that there's more unnecessary language or content. I might only have had five or so hours to get acquainted with the game, but right from the off you get the feeling Rockstar has been watching all the right films. In jail since Liberty City went tits up, you've been sent up to Vice City by the The Forelli brothers to scout out the new turf and see if you can start making money. The only problem is that within seconds of the game kicking off you're involved in a drug deal that goes very sour. You lose the drugs, you lose the money, and your boss, Sonny Forelli, is not a happy chappy as you find out in one of the first cinematic cut-scenes.
Tommy: We were set up. The deal was an ambush.
Sonny: You'd better be kidding me. Tell me you've still got the money.
Tommy: No Sonny, I don't have the money.
Sonny (turning a bit psychotic): That was my money Tommy.
Mine! Mine! You'd better not be screwing me Tommy, because you know I don't like to be screwed with."
Tommy: Hey Sonny. You've got my personal assurance I'm going to get you your money back. And the drugs. And I'll mail you the dicks of those responsible.
Sonny: "Hey, I already know that. If it was anybody else you'd be dead already. But because it's you, I'm going to let you handle this."
A fairly typical exchange, but it took a while to click that this is the first time in a GTA game that you've heard your character (Tommy Vercetti, voiced by Ray Liotta) actually speak. One of the few criticisms we had about the last game was that your character was a bit of a dick, just moving from boss to boss, taking orders without displaying any personality. That's all changed now, and you start the game as a playa - someone who commands respect and is well known throughout the criminal fraternity, all of whom you're introduced to early on, Goodfellas-style.
And The Beat Goes On
As for the way the game plays, it's Grand Theft Auto III, but buffed, polished and improved. The freeform nature and mission structure is the same, but using feedback from people like you, Rockstar has opted for bigger missions where you feel like you're doing more than just taking something from A to B.
The feedback we got from people about mission structure was that they liked the multi-tiered missions in GTA III, such as the Bomb The Base level," says Devin. We wanted to do more of this in Vice City, so the missions are longer and more involving." To illustrate, he launches into a mission which starts off with you on a roof, protecting a drug deal. When it inevitably goes wrong you have to jump on a bike and chase the gunman, firing and riding as you go. And what about bugs? The room falls silent for a moment, so I explain that Grand Theft Auto III suffered from the PC nightmare of having about 675,000 different combinations of hardware. We didn't actually have any problems with the game, but going on the forums around the time of release a lot of you did. Devin replies candidly: We learnt from GTA III. We're going to spend more time testing on as many different systems as we can.
And to the cries of 'but it's just more of the same', I'd reply that when it's this good, what's the problem? In essence the game might be the same, but the improvements are real. It's GTA III, polished to perfection and wrapped up in the same unique humour, a fantastic '80s soundtrack (which gives instant lie to the claim that Rockstar is targeting children with its sick games), better visuals, new vehicles and weapons (including a chainsaw!) and a playing area that's more than twice as large as Liberty City. Can you tell that I'm just a wee bit excited?
The follow up to one of the most popular console games of all time has finally hit the streets and there is happiness in videogame land like never before. Rockstar took the foundation of Grand Theft Auto III and expanded upon almost every facet of the game. For all of the GTA III junkies who thought they found videogame nirvana, Vice City will take you to a new level of euphoria.
Vice City manages to meld a great story, serious action, and limitless gameplay to produce one of the best games of all time. Trying to describe Vice City is a bit difficult because how you choose to play the game really revolves around the individual player. You can follow a very linear path and complete only the direct missions but in doing so, you will miss out on a majority of the game. One of the main aspects that make Vice City so great is the sense of freedom you have. You can drive around the city, listening to tunes on your favorite 80's radio station, checking out the sites. You can jump in a taxi and make some extra cash driving people around. You can explore all of the hidden nooks and crannies looking for weapons or other secrets to help out on your missions. The choice is completely yours and how fun it is.
Rockstar easily could have half-assed this game and made it a straight port of GTA III dressed up in 80's clothing and it would have sold through the roof, but thankfully, they thought better of it and put some time into making this game outshine its predecessor. The game never feels old or repetitive thanks to well thought out missions and story lines. GTA III suffered a bit from missions that felt redundant but that isn't the case here. You will find yourself speeding off to the next mission area just to see what is coming next.
What would Grand Theft Auto be without vehicles? The inclusion of motorbikes, boats, planes and helicopters all add to the fun. I found myself looking for new vehicles to jack just so I could take them for a spin. The vehicle handling is another area where the game received some attention and while it still isn't perfect, it is better.
My only complaint, albeit minor, was that the targeting system was difficult, particularly in a crowd. When things got frantic, locking on to your target could be a chore. Other than that, this game is so much fun you will have to pry yourself away from the TV just to go to bed. This review has only scratched the surface of the game so I invite all of the readers to use the reader review section to add their favorite (or least favorite) parts of the game. So if you will excuse me, I have a bus to steal and some pedestrians to run down.
A definite contender for the best game of the year, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City makes its appearance on the PC after much success on the PS2. Starting with a mob deal that goes wrong, you, Tommy Vercetti, are left as one of the few survivors. Needless to say your boss is less than thrilled to discover that you dropped the money behind but finds enough love in his heart to not kill you immediately. Looking to get back in his good graces and not end up with cement shoes as flotation devices, you set out to recover the cash and dish out some payback.
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City is an adventure game with a heavy dose of action. Although it uses many of the gameplay aspects found in Grand Theft Auto 3, you will notice a number of improvements and new additions that clearly set it apart. Using the third person view primarily, you'll still be able to explore levels, drive a number of vehicles, and use a variety of weapons. In addition, you'll find the vehicles more numerous including motorcycles, boats, and helicopters, the levels significantly larger, and the story line more engrossing and well developed.
Other areas, although improved, still don't work quite right. The targeting system for instance is still difficult to use especially when multiple targets are present. The camera angle can be annoying as well, giving close views of walls and other things. Since the rest of the game is done well however, most will find these issues minor and won't distract from the game much.
As for the graphics, they could have been better but are still above average. The hands that look like squash are distracting but there is enough detail in the rest of the game to look past it. They also get away with other minor graphical blemishes due to a great physics engine. Driving the various vehicles around town is a blast as they each handle differently, accurately portraying a sense of both weight and size that most games never achieve. Rounding out the experience, the audio is in a class of its own with an immense amount of music, great sound effects, and solid voice acting from actors like Ray Liotta.
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City brings back the success of Grand Theft Auto III with enough new improvements to keep the game from feeling stale. Fans of the Grand Theft Auto series won't be disappointed as Rockstar Games once again combines mature themes with solid gameplay aspects for a highly entertaining and long lasting experience.