Grand Theft Auto: Vice City

February 12, 2006

First, let my start off by saying that [i]Vice City[/i] is what [i]GTA3[/i] for the PC should have been. This game is a blast. There are so many good points. For those of you who have played [i]GTA3[/i], you’d be surprised that [i]Vice City[/i] actually feels like a new game and not just an upgrade. This game has an actual storyline that really pulls you into it. Then add in that it runs better than [i]GTA3[/i] because of better programming, and that’s enough to prompt someone to buy it right then. Did I mention that the game runs nice and smooth? I had it at double the resolution of [i]GTA3[/i] and it ran twice as well.

I think a big improvement this time around was that there were various new vehicles. There were many more boats this time around. They also had choppers, small planes, and of course bikes. You just can’t beat the bikes. I can’t think of the number of hours I wasted doing tricks on bikes, and I thought it was cool as hell that I could pull off that move Tom Cruise did in MI2. You know, the whole stop while pivoting and shooting at the same time. Of course it’s no easy task, but it is possible. The choppers fly nicely as well, although it’s a little tough with the keyboard and mouse. I actually think that a joystick would have helped in the case of choppers, but with everything else I prefer the keyboard and mouse. Speaking of new things, there’s a plethora of weapons to choose from. There are different classes and you can have one weapon of each class at the same time. Some of these weapons are sweet, and others are oldies but goodies. Either way, they are great. This reminds me… another great new thing is the two, that’s right, two talk radio stations. After my 30 hours of game time before I beat it, those two stations were just about all I listened to and I’m still not tired of them.

Of course, every game has its downsides. For instance, the FBI seems slower and stupider than in the prior incarnation of GTA. The regular street cops bust me quite often when I have a one star rating. One just comes around the car, I’m not paying attention, and I’m busted. Also, on the fastest bike, if you get on it while a cop is right there, it’s near impossible to speed off without him busting you. Rather annoying. Then take the city itself for instance. Most of it looks the same making it a little harder to learn the layout of the place. Along with that, it’s incredibly flat. Now, I know this is based in Florida and all which is flat, but really, there is such a lack of any sort of hills it gets rather boring in that respect.

Even with those negatives, there still are plenty of positives, and I can’t get over the upgrades in this game. Of course, one of my favorite changes is that you can blow out tires of your vehicle or others. This is far more realistic and makes getting away with a high wanted level rather tough. It’s really bad if you’re on a bike and your tires get flattened. Pure insanity.

Still, this game is quite fun, even after logging over 100 hours into [i]GTA3[/i] before owning [i]Vice City[/i]. I played through and after about 30 hours beat [i]Vice City[/i] with a 60% completion rating. Not too bad really. There are so many things you can do like in [i]GTA3[/i] when it comes to roaming around and just having fun, but there is a very solid storyline as well that [i]GTA3[/i] was completely lacking. The storyline in [i]Vice City[/i] is what really kept me going. I wanted to see what was going to happen next, and the voice acting I loved because of that. I especially loved that Tommy Vercetti talked in this game. Nothing wrong with the quiet badass thing, but it’s just nice to have the main character have… well… more character.

Overall, even though this is essentially just an upgrade to another game, it played very well, added a lot of new things that we didn’t have before, and really held its own. I think for sheer fun factor this game has earned a high rating, but it’s still not a perfect game, so it certainly will not receive a perfect score. Still, I give it a respectable score. This game was a blast, and I really think the only thing that can make the next game in this franchise as great as this one would be multiplayer. We can only hope.

Score: 5/5

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