In real life, hijacking motor vehicles just leads to trouble. It's the name of the game, however, with the GRAND THEFT AUTO series. Taking place in the 1980s, this installment has you stealing more than 120 unique era-appropriate vehicles. You'll have in excess of 40 weapons at your disposal to handle the dirty work, and there are more than nine hours of music to listen to on your collection of stolen car stereos. Actor Ray Liotta lends his voice acting, and there are more than 8,000 lines of dialogue to keep the story moving.ESRB rating
||Blood and Gore, Strong Language, Strong Sexual Con
The best-selling PlayStation 2 game of 2001 returns with a new city, theme, and an assortment of enhanced features. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City offers the same go-anywhere style of play as its violent, M-rated predecessor but with an area twice as large as Liberty City to explore in a completely different setting.
Inspired by the look portrayed on television's stylish crime drama Miami Vice, the game takes place in the 1980s with criminals wearing pastel-colored suits, bikini-clad babes relaxing on sandy beaches, and palm tree-lined streets bustling with motorcycles, cars modeled after Ferrari Testarossas, and more. Players can now enter buildings like hotels or discos and walk through hallways to visit rooms.
Players can embark on a series of missions to build a reputation or simply explore the city, hijacking one of 120 vehicles (including motorcycles) and wreaking havoc on foot with an arsenal of 40 different weapons. The targeting mode has been refined once players leave their vehicle, with the camera taking a fixed position behind the character's shoulder and an auto-targeting system based on priority and danger level.
The change in vistas has resulted in new types of pedestrians populating the streets, including roller skaters, joggers, and different gang members. The AI has also been retooled to account for greater variety in pedestrian movement as well as gang behavior. Now gangs are designed to act independently of the player, such as fighting with citizens or stealing their cars. The police will also respond to these incidents, and may attempt to engage in high-speed pursuits with gangs as players go about their own business.
To effectively capture the mood of the 1980s, the soundtrack has been altered to fit the time period. Players will listen to an estimated nine hours of music (nearly three times the amount featured Grand Theft Auto III) across 10 radio stations. The eclectic mix features such noteworthy titles as "I Ran" by Flock of Seagulls, "The Message" by Grandmaster Flash, "You've Got Another Thing Coming" by Judas Priest, and "Out of Touch" by Hall & Oates.
The revamped sound continues on the streets, with over 8,000 lines of spoken dialogue recorded to help bring the fictional city to life. The lead character of Tommy Vercetti will also share his thoughts and musings with players in a departure from the strong but silent protagonist found in GTA III. Actor Ray Liotta provides the voice for Vercetti, and a mix of other film stars round out the cast. Vice City is the first Grand Theft Auto game released under Sony's exclusive rights to the series through October 2004.
Other releases of this product
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to see them all.Editorial review
How big is this game? Even publicists for other games
end up talking about Vice City
when they call our office, babbling in the same helplessly intoxicated way that afflicts everyone who plays it. The achievement of Vice City
(which, as everyone knows by now, is set in the 1980s and offers an all-new, Miami Vice
-inspired story) is not only that it manages to live up to an absurd level of expectation, but that it takes the game places that fans of its predecessor Grand Theft Auto 3
never dreamed of, and that it achieves this astonishing level of innovation without losing anything that made GTA3
the bestselling PS2 game of all time.
After a brilliant homage to the era of the Commodore 64 in the opening credits, the first thing you'll notice is the improved graphics, which are smoother and more detailed, and--with effects like neon lights reflected on rain-slick streets, and intense Florida sunlight--have a lush, tropical look that immediately gives you a strong sense of place. The architecture is more fabulous by tenfold, with art deco buildings, high-rise hotels, and believably seedy back alleys. The control scheme is essentially the same as in GTA3, but the cars handle much better, and in pedestrian mode there is a new crouch move. You will have access to fast, great-handling cars right away, as opposed to GTA3 which made you unlock the second island before you could get your hands on any respectable wheels. This game has such riches to offer that there is no need to be chintzy with the vehicles.
Cops are more vigilant this time--minor offenses like whacking innocent bystanders will more often than not get you a two-star wanted level--and are harder to elude (though they still can't seem to climb stairs or negotiate sharp turns). So while free-roaming exploration is as fun as ever, there is more incentive to perform the missions instead of randomly raising hell. Not that that's a bad thing: even lazy criminals like myself (in GTA3, I would rather toss hand grenades into traffic than follow orders from some rude Mafia boss) will be quickly caught up in the vivid characters and hilarious, fascinating story, in which you play an acid-washed-jeans-wearing thug named Tommy Vercetti. Where in GTA3 missions were blocky, schematic affairs only nominally connected to the story, this time tasks move the story briskly along and deftly blend cinematics and game action. For example, there is a scene of a character throwing Tommy a gun, at which point you are suddenly thrown back into the action and must make an instant decision about whom to trust and what to do.
There are more, and more detailed, indoor environments, including a hotel, police station, and mall (a slight downside to this is that some of the more elaborate indoor environments require load times). The layout of the city, with tons of backyards, narrow alleys, and fire escapes, encourages creativity when eluding pursuit, as does greater access to rooftops. Get your motorcycle up the fire escape and a whole new world of action is possible, including... well, use your imagination.
This overview barely scratches the surface of the Vice City experience, its colorful explosion of music, clothes, combat, and brilliant voice acting, not to mention the plot twist midway through the game that changes the very nature of the game itself. Though it was the outrageous, amoral violence that got all the press, the essential genius of GTA3 was its intoxicating blend of script and open-ended action. In Vice City this is--to use a clichÃ© that is for once apropos--taken to a whole new level. --David Stoesz
- Astonishing, innovative gameplay
- Godlike attention to detail
- Opportunity to drive on the beach at midnight listening to the Human League's "Fascination"
Follow-up to Grand Theft Auto 3;All-new game;Set in the 80s;Power, glamour, and corruption;More freedom of movement than ever before.