Return To Home Page
Click Here To Purchase Item from DStore
December 24, 2002
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City - Preview
Release Date Publisher Developer Anticipation Players Price
13/12/2002RockstarRockstar North1$99.95

Click To Enlarge Image
Check out the great lighting.
After a year on the shelves the original Grand Theft Auto 3 is still regarded by many as the best game on the Playstation 2, and still appears in the best selling charts despite never being reduced in price. Although the title was never reviewed here on Future Gamez I can't disagree with those who believe that the title is groundbreaking. At this years E3 show Rockstar announced this game, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. Not an add-on, but a full sequel to the hit game (although it's not a direct sequel either), and best of all it's a Playstation 2 exclusive. Get those Dual Shock 2 controllers ready (well one of them) as this game is due out in late November. The game has a pretty good storyline, as you would expect.

Click To Enlarge Image
Preparing for some action.
Having just made it back onto the streets of Liberty City after a long stretch in maximum security, Tommy Vercetti is sent to Vice City by his old boss, Sonny Forelli. They were understandably nervous about his re-appearance in Liberty City, so a trip down south seemed like a good idea. But all does not go smoothly upon his arrival in the glamorous, hedonistic metropolis of Vice City. He's set up and is left with no money and no merchandise. Sonny wants his money back, but the biker gangs, Cuban gangsters, and corrupt politicians stand in his way. Most of Vice City seems to want Tommy dead. His only answer is to fight back and take over the city himself.

Click To Enlarge Image
Yet more cops.
Vice City is a huge urban sprawl ranging from the beach to the swamps and the glitz to the ghetto, and is the most varied, complete and alive digital city ever created. Combining non-linear gameplay with a character driven narrative, you arrive in a town brimming with delights and degradation and are given the opportunity to take it over as you choose. One of the biggest inclusions in Vice City is the ability to now go inside the buildings to chase down people or just look around. The number of weapons has increase from about 15 in last years game to 30 in this one while the targeting system has also been refined and upgraded.

As a major gateway to South America and the Caribbean and attracting migrants, Vice City is brimming with diverse characters, so there's a friend for everyone. It is a sociable place and the new guy in town is sure to meet all manner of friendly people in the sunshine capital of America. Athletes, pop stars, real estate developers, politicians, trailer trash, everyone is moving to Vice City to find out what makes it the number one growth city in America. But, as Tommy quickly finds out, trust is still the rarest of commodities.

Click To Enlarge Image
Looks like somewhere to check out.
Vice City offers vehicular pleasures to suit every taste. In fact, the developers are promising around 120 different modes of transport in the game. For the speed enthusiast, there are high-performance cars and motorbikes. For the sportsman, a powerboat or a golf buggy lets you enjoy the great outdoors. For those that need that sense of freedom and escape, why not charter a helicopter and see the beauty of Vice City from the air? One of the things you will notice about the surrounding screenshots is the increase in details. Apparently the developers have optimised the engine so it now calculates and draws only what you can see whereas last years game drew everything, which took up much of the GPU's power. The game also runs at a higher resolution and the artists have approached the game in a slightly different manner with bolder outlines on the cars and buildings to give them more shape and definition.

Click To Enlarge Image
Now that's a hot car.
As the party capital of America, you would expect your ears to be seduced by a host of sultry melodies and pumping beats, but the city is truly rocking. You'll be AMAZED as you sweep through Vice City's FM dial. If you are feeling like trouble, you can tune into some driving rock, or some crucial electro, or maybe you want to slow down with some sweet soul, and there will always be some great romantic anthems if you want to really take your mind off things.

With a release set for late November in Australia, and worldwide pre-orders of over 5 million units, there is certainly a lot of pressure on the developers to get this game right. With so much praise for the previous game this one has a lot to live up to, but Rockstar North know what they are doing, and this game looks so much better better. This game should be at the top of everyone's Christmas list. Oh, if you're concerned about the game being edited in Australia like the 7 seconds removed from Grand Theft Auto III you can rest easy as the Official Australian Playstation site are reporting that the game will be uncut upon release - although this is still to be confirmed by the OFLC and Take 2 Interactive. (Note: As with the original game 7 seconds have been removed from this title).