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GTA Vice City Overview

GTA Vice City Overview



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ESRB ~ Mature 17+ (M) (intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language.)
Players ~ 1 (no online multiplayer)
Publisher ~ Rockstar Games (Parent Company TAKE-TWO INTERACTIVE)
Developer ~ Rockstar North
Vice City's predecessor, GTA3, was what we, and many others, would classify as a "damn good game". Sites raved about it. It picked up more awards than [enter something that gets lots of awards]. There's no doubting the impact GTA3 had on both the console and PC games market. But we can, and do, still criticise our beloved gaming masterpiece. GTA3 had its faults - minor faults - but enough for us to yearn for a sequel to fix the niggles. GTA3 was like your new-born baby who develops unfortunate bucked-teeth - we loved it to bits, but next-time, damnit, that kinds gonna get some early dentistry work.
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And we didn't have to wait long for the next game to come our way. Vice City was hyped as a whole new game, not just a sequel, and we were promised it would blow our minds. And boy, did it do that! Below we give a summary of the major improvements that Vice City provided over its predecessors in the series.

The Usual

As expected with a sequel, the usual 'bigger-better' statistics apply to the game. Here's the list;
  • Nine hours of CD quality music - that's over ninety tracks (GTA3 had 3 hours)
  • Miami (Vice) is 2-3 times the size of the whole of Liberty City.
  • 8000 voice-over effects (GTA3 had 2000)
  • 20 Hollywood actors cast as characters
  • A total of 40 weapons (including a Machette) (GTA3 had 15)
  • 120 vehicles (GTA3 had 50)
  • Fully flyable helicopters
  • Multiple motorcycles used by the public and the player, varying in speed and durability

The Visuals

A big criticism of the original. Grand Theft Auto 3 was built around the Renderware engine. Rockstar programmers really tweaked this rather limited engine to its limits - and what they produced was quite remarkable for what the Renderware engine was actually cut out to do. However, many complained this wasn't good enough - blocky textures and nasty popups plagued both the PS2 and PC version.
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Since then, the Renderware engine has been vastly improved. And look at the screenshots, the improvement in Vice City is clearly visible. Textures are in a higher resolution and the framerate has been increased. The lighting system of the Renderware engine was also re-vamped, enabling real-time shadowing and reflections. The world is generally much more colourful, too!
Various other visual tweaks were made to the game. The camera was tweaked to aid movement on-foot - the camera fixes to an over-the-sholder view to easy targetting. Character models were also given a new lease of life, now sporting much more detailed features overall.

The Gameplay

Set in the 80s, we were promised a whole new storyline based around our new hero, Tommy Vercetti, prior to the game's release. And, unlike GTA3, the character speaks - vocalised through the talents of Hollywood's Ray Liotta (famous for the superb gangster flicks Goodfellas and Muppets From Space).
A whole host of added features were added to enhance gameplay. The game has more indepth missions - rather than the rather mundane pickup > drop off > kill procedings of GTA3, much more engrossing tasks should be set.
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Tweaks

One big revamp in Vice City is the auto-targetting system. PS2 users were often infuriated by the auto-targetting in GTA3, which would often target completely the wrong person at a critical time. The new method in Vice City selects the victim based on priority (rather than proximity) - so when you're having a gang shoot-out you won't find yourself targetting a ped.
Crap-loads of extras were also added - boats are much more heavily featured, and the handling for boats was re-written; gangs are more interactive, with enhanced AI; police respond to other crimes and don't just go after you (finally! - this has been at the top of our request list sinse GTA1); peds are now much more active - we've got tennis players, joggers and roller skaters (a must for the '80s); General AI for peds was improved; motor-cycles also feature.


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