Not content with bringing two incarnations of Knight Rider to market, Davilex - the Euro publisher also responsible for London Racer and Thames Racer - has raided a 1980's archive rich with possibilities and come out with probably the most iconic cop duo of that decade. Come on, it had to be Crockett and Tubbs, didn't it? Those who are wondering why not the Scarecrow and Mrs King or TJ and Hooker (whaddya mean it was just one person!?) go to the back of the class. Your author never really went for the flash Florida twosome: how could a divorced cop afford to run a Ferrari and keep an alligator on his houseboat eh? Drug money we reckon. And ruining a perfectly good pastel-coloured jacket by always rolling up its sleeves! Daring! But that's enough perspective for now. Enough time has passed for folks of a certain age to have their collective nostalgia gland stimulated, so let's allow Davilex to work their magic once more.
Miami Vice is a fair old effort at the buddy system we're used to seeing in contemporary games, whereby players can take charge of one character and order the other one around. It's a method that works well in this instance. Stepping into the well-worn espadrilles of Sonny Crockett was never gonna be easy, but the developer has done an admirable job in this instance. Taking a third-person, floating camera perspective, players must enter the sometimes seedy, sometimes blingingly glamorous Miami underworld. Players can switch between detectives Crockett and Ricardo Tubbs in order to overcome challenges unique to the individual's skill set. Crockett moves swiftly and quietly for more covert operations, whilst Tubbs plumps for the non-subtle approach and deals in all-action situations with a shotgun to hand. Destroying the illicit empire of drug lord Ortega is the aim of the game, and the trail that leads you there is littered with fast-moving gunfights with baddies in art galleries, sumptuous beach properties and the filthy backstreets of Miami that are most certainly not featured in the tourist brochures.
It all looks really rather good. The game's audio track too is an authentic stab at catapulting you back to the decade that taste forgot - the one that wasn't the 1970's of course - and that's the value of having the blessing of Universal Studios in making this game. Authenticity's where it's at, but thank heavens the makers have deemed fit to leave out the awful Phil Collins. Oops, we may have jogged your memory a little too much there.
Costing you less than a score, Miami Vice is well worth a look, not just for gamers who like to run around shooting at bad guys, but for those who inexplicably hanker for the 80's. Whatever next from Davilex? Our vote goes to Dempsey and Makepeace. Go on Davilex, recreate the chemistry!