Grand Theft Auto: Vice City

Overview

GTA Vice City takes place in… well, Vice City. Vice City is really supposed to represent Miami, Florida but has taken on the name Vice City instead. If you have played the last installment in the GTA series you will remember Tommy Vercetti who you will also play as in Vice City. Mr. Vercetti had just been released from fifteen years in prison and he is already to help the Forelli family with there mob disputes. As you will see in the very first cut scene Vercetti’s first exchange or deal goes bad and this is where the game starts with you trying to seek revenge.

So now you are off to seek revenge and this is where all the fun starts. If you haven’t got a chance to play GTA3 then don’t worry you won’t need to play it to understand Vice City. As you will find in Vice City like in GTA3 the first few missions are pretty plain and simple. After that the missions of Vice City become more elaborate and complex.

Gameplay

The vehicles in Vice City have had a makeover, as well as additions of some new cars, motorcycles, and even the ability to fly helicopters. To start off with a lot of the old cars in GTA3 will be found in this addition with some new vehicles. The addition of motorcycles is also a nice feature. Some of the top speeds you will get at on this game will be on the nice motorcycles, which will be one of the fastest modes of transportation but at the same time can be a deadly one. I found with the addition of the motorcycle actually brought even more exciting fast gameplay to the table.

One of the nicest new features of Vice City is the ability to use the helicopter. Although you do not receive this addition of the game until later on when you unlock the west part of Vice City where you will be flying in style. This is really the most remarkable additions and the nicest graphical portions of the game. This is really where most of the new additions of the game comes and to be perfectly honest it is a while lot of fun.

There have been a lot of weapon upgrades but for the most part you will not notice this new feature at all. This is due to the fact that you really don’t use the weapons as much, but instead for the most part I found my vehicle to be the biggest weapon. The developers have also added of a lot of melee weapons, like hammers, which you will use to bash up peoples cars and other missions. For the most part the weapons additions were excellent but for the most part they are very easy to overlooked.

One of the biggest questions and concerns I had when looking forward to Vice City was if it was going to have the same flair and excitement that GTA3 had. Well I am here to tell you that it definitely does. Driving around Vice City really could never be as fun as Rockstar has made it. Although the gameplay does act very similar to GTA3 there are still plenty of little upgrades that you won’t even recognize. Some of these additions include little graphical improvements along with some better fighting sequences.

The controls of Vice City are really the same as before, with a few new maneuvers you can do. Now by pressing the L3 button you will be able to crouch down (although you very rarely use it). Another nice new feature is the ability to jump out of a moving vehicle, which can be done pretty easily and it’s a nice addition so that in cases of emergencies you can still get out of the car.

Another very nice portion of the game has to be in the sound department of the game. To be honest with out this awesome soundtrack really keeps the game alive. If you’re not familiar with the radio stations from GTA3 there are still present in Vice City. You can choose from various radio stations in which you can listen to while you are in your vehicle. The music is full of some of the best 80’s music and really keeps the theme of the game going.

The voice acting is also a huge step ahead of GTA3. Every characters has there own voice that really sounds like you would expect them to. The voice acting is very clear and not as cheesy as before. This time around the voice acting flows very well and is also extremely impressive.

Graphics

Probably the most disappointing portion of GTA3 had to be its graphics. They were very bare and boring and for the most part well just not very good. For this type of game it would be hard to be graphically perfect but this time around there have been a lot of improvements in the graphical department but all is really not perfect in the graphics.

Rockstar Games certainly saw this flaw and has improved the graphical engine in Vice City, which boasts a much cleaner and crispier look. With the character models looking a lot better then before, as well as the vehicles being a lot more detailed and well drawn out the graphics have definitely had a nice upgrade.

The only problem that is still present in this edition of Vice City is really the slow down that happens when you get into scenes in the game where there is a lot going out, where the game will like to briefly stop and get back going again. To be honest this really doesn’t have the biggest effect on the game at all because it very rarely happens, but still this means that the titles is still not perfect.

Although later in the game when you get to fly around in Helicopters, the heart of the games graphics are shown, and it is magnificent. Everything stays pretty detailed, and for the most part everything in the game looks pretty good.

Fun Factor

This really has to be the easiest portion of the review. Is Vice City fun? Well YES! The missions are a lot more complex then they were in GTA3, which means you will get more into the character as well as the plot, which means even more fun. If you don’t find stealing cars, transporting drugs, and working for the mafia fun, or if you’re easily offended by the overall criminal theme of this game, then Vice City may not be your cup of tea. But those seeking a free-roaming game where you can do whatever you want, then by all means get this game.

Overall

Well to be honest this is easily going to be one of the best games of the year hands down. The gameplay has improved just enough to not let the game feel exactly like GTA3. The graphics have improved greatly, and the sound is even better then before. With all the new advancements with the addition of motorcycles, and helicopters this has to be one of the best games of all time. Which is why it receives the all mighty perfect score, and in my mind is (so far) the game of the year.

The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.