Grand Theft Auto: Vice City - PC

Also known as: GTA3: Miami

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Also for: PS2, Xbox
Viewed: 3D Third-person, floating camera Genre:
Adventure: Free Roaming
Combat Game
Media: CD Arcade origin:No
Developer: Rockstar North Soft. Co.: Rockstar
Publishers: Rockstar (GB/US)
Released: 13 May 2003 (US)
16 May 2003 (GB)
Ratings: BBFC 18, ESRB Mature 17+ (M)
Accessories: Mouse, Keyboard


It is the 1980's and you are dressed like a character from Footloose or The Wedding Singer. However, the world you inhabit is not exactly pastel-shaded. There's just one character to take control of in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and, true to the nature of the series, he's a bad guy. A bad guy who wants to go straight, yes, but a bad guy nonetheless. The leading man, Tommy Vercetti, just wants a quiet life, and on his release from a long stint in jail, is sent by his old boss Sonny Forelli, to Liberty City to lay low for a while. Unfortunately, things soon go pear-shaped for Tommy as he finds himself penniless, merchandise-less, and hunted by his former boss. Assorted gangsters, corrupt politicians and biker gangs add to the conundrum. The only thing to do is go on the rampage.

Assuming control of the unfortunate Tommy, it's down to you to take up mission after mission, which will take you through the huge sprawl that is Vice City. It's a wide open environment with hundreds of interior and exterior locations and incredible details, full of inhabitants who interact with you and with one another. The non-linear gameplay means that you really can go anywhere you want and do almost anything you want to. From pistol-whipping innocents to nicking a heavily-armed chopper, Vice City is yours for the taking.

Rockstar's decision to set the game in the decade that good taste forgot means that those who would rather forget the soul-lite of Hall and Oates and the digital delay drenched pomp of Cutting Crew are in for a non-treat. There are some horrifically evocative songs on the soundtrack to GTA: Vice City, but there are diamonds amongst the dirt too. What you listen to in-game is dependant on what kind of vehicle you commandeer. The cars and bikes, etc. are all 80's shaped, meaning players of a certain age (just over 18, of course) may wonder what the bloomin' heck they're driving. For those of us of advanced years, it's a trip down memory lane we might not have thought of taking if not for Rockstar's creative thinking.

So, slip on a pair of espadrilles, don those Aviator shades, and prepare for havoc down Vice City way. Released the same week as Enter the Matrix and its vision of a dark, forbidding future, GTA: Vice City lets you look back on brighter times, and with just as much violent activity to enjoy.