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August 30, 2006
Scarface: The World is Yours - PS2 Preview
Release Date Publisher Developer Anticipation Players Price
30/10/2006VivendiRadical Ent.1$79.95

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Graphics are very impressive.
If you've ever seen Scarface then there are certain scenes that will live with you forever. The Chainsaw scene, the final shootout, the massive amounts of swearing - including 218 uses of the word "fuck" according to IMDB. Over the years the movie has become more and more popular and is now widely regarded as a masterpiece - another from Oliver Stone who wrote the screenplay for the 1983 movie.

It's somewhat amazing then that no one has developed a game based on the property. It has everything. Fine women, a glorious setting of Miami, drug cartels and plenty of action from start to finish. Vivendi are about to change that with Scarface: The World is Yours currently in development at Radical Entertainment.

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Targeting an enemy boat.
The 1983 movie Scarface starring Al Pacino is actually an updated version of a 1932 film. The movie, and game, follows the fortunes of a Cuban Boat Lift refugee Tony Montana and his close friend Manny Ray as they move out of the refugee camps (following an assassination) and into Miami. When there Tony soon realises the making it legitamately is not as easy as they hoped and they soon turn to selling cocaine to dealers around the world - soon becoming one of the most powerful cartel dealers in the country. But with money and power comes enemies - and for Tony a sense of paranoia.

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Going to the Babylon...
As you can imagine this game is essentially a massive third person adventure game not too dissimlar to a certain GTA series. The world is open-ended, you can drive around in a variety of vehicles, there's plenty of weapons, missions to complete and a larger overall story to keep things moving. Fortunately, unlike many other wannabe's this game actually looks like it can compete with Rockstars series, and will be load free due to streaming off the DVD. Indeed the game will take 40-60 hours to complete, but could push up to 100 hours if you take a bit of time and explore the game world properly. While Oliver Stone took no part in this game the developers brought in renowned Hollywood sciptwriter David McKenna, creator of "American History X" and "Blow" to write the dialogue in the game.

One of the neatest aspects of Scarface is that if you, as Tony, want something it will be brought to you. You're the big boy in town, so why would you have to run down to the local gunshop to pick up some weapons. Simply pick up your 1980's mobile phone, call up some friends and it will be delivered to you. Need a car? Make another call. It will certainly cut down on the amount of travelling around looking for items.

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Selling some coke...
One of the unique gameplay features is the "Balls Meter". When you enter a battle it's possible to taunt your enemies, or take them out with style. Do this enough and your "Balls Meter" will fill which puts Tony into a virtual rage mode where you enter a first person mode, take out the enemies, but also manage to fill up your health with every enemy you take out.

Warning: There are some minor spoliers in the remainder of this paragraph... One of the most interesting things about this game is that it takes place after the ending of the movie. How? Well rather then Tony Montana dying he lives on, and the game will then see Tony trying to avenge the death of his sister and his crew, and to take back his world. It's an interesting concept - it may upset some fans of the movie (think of it similar to releasing a Star Wars game where you are told that Darth isn't Luke's father), but it's good to see Vivendi taking such a risk.

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The final shootout - sort of.
Graphically Scarface is quite impressive - very impressive in fact. While Vivendi have only released screenshots in a widescreen format Vivendi Australia has confirmed that there will be a Fullscreen 4:3 mode for those with older sets. We must say that the widescreen mode looks quite sensational and will certainly tie in with the look of the movie perfectly. Characters, including Al Pacino have been modeled accurately as have many of the locations from the movie. The game is full of effects too. As well as shadows from characters the game includes dynamic lighting on all exterior lit objects; fully dynamic time-of-day with animating volumetric shadows on buildings; reflections and specular lighting on buildings, roads, and water; and beautiful reflective water with a procedural wave system.

Think that's all in the game? Well there's another key component, the audio. Vivendi are promising around 100 licensed music tracks from the likes of Grandmaster Flash, Run DMC, Judas Priest and Debbie Harry. Giorgio Moroder's classic music score will also feature in the game. If there's one disappointment in the game it's that Al Pacino has not provided new voiceovers for the game. There are soundgrabs of Al Pacino from the movie, and the legendary actor did approve a voice actor to record new dialogue, but he's not there. Several other actors have returned including Robert Loggia who played Frank Lopez, Steven Bauer who starred as Manny Ribera, and Al Israel who appeared as Hector the Toad.

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Another of the many vehicles.
As well as that the game has an extremely strong supporting cast including the likes of James Woods (Casino); Robert Davi (Die Hard); Michael Rapaport (Beautiful Girls, The War at Home); rapper/actor Ice T (Law & Order: SVU); Oliver Platt (The Ice Harvest); Jay Mohr (Jerry Maguire); Miguel Sandoval (Jurassic Park, Medium); Daniel Dae Kim (Lost); Willa Holland (The O.C.); Roma Maffia (Nip/Tuck); Robert LaSardo (Nip/Tuck); Brenda Strong (Desperate Housewives); NASCAR champion Dale Earnhardt, Jr.; Cheech Marin (From Dusk ĎTil Dawn); Ricky Gervais (The Office); Michael York (Austin Powers films); Michael Rooker (Slither); Tommy Chong (Cheech & Chong movies); Jason Mewes (Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back); Anthony Anderson (Hustle & Flow); Rick Yune (Die Another Day); Wilmer Valderrama (That 70s Show); Entourageís Kevin Dillon and Jerry Ferrara; Richard Roundtree (Shaft); Tiny Lister (Next Friday); Bai Ling (Lords of Dogtown); Bam Margera (Viva La Bam); Cree Summer (Drawn Together); rapper N.O.R.E.; Tommy Lee; Cypress Hillís B. Real and Sen Dog; and Elliott Gould (Oceanís Eleven & Twelve).

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I must give credit to Vivendi for not rushing Scarface: The World is Yours onto store shelves. While it was originally targeted for a Christmas 2005 release, and then delayed until 2006 we now have a November 30 2006 release date demonstrating that the company realises just how important this title is to them. This extra years development has certainly given the title another level of spit and polish with the game world looking much more refined then previously. The only slight disappointment is Al Pacino not providing new voiceovers, but he has had quite a large input into the game. Expect a late October release in Australia.