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games > grand theft auto: vice city

grand theft auto: vice city

This is gonna sound pretty shallow, but one of the major things that really makes VC an awesome game is the incredible tunes. Music was a huge part of my life as a kid in the '80s-I used to spend hours and hours just listening to the radio-so in Vice City, I often found myself just jumping in a car and cruisin' around town, singing along to songs from my youth. Of course, the game itself ain't too shabby, either.

As big as GTA3 is, Vice City dwarfs it in almost every way. The city is absolutely huge and so full of back alleys and interesting locations that just touring around is fun enough. And with so many different styles of vehicles and bikes, it's neat to find out what each set of wheels is capable of-especially while learning how to do tricks on a motorcycle or piloting a helicopter. Trust me, flying over Vice City for the first time and realizing its sheer size is humbling.

But the best part of the game is easily the new, more interesting missions. Even though GTA3 was fun, its missions were usually just small variations on a few different themes. By the end of it you could tell you were just doing the same things over and over again. Well, no more! The missions you'll play in Vice City are almost always fresh. Be it flying over the city distributing porn flyers, smashing windows in a local mall or delivering cocaine to a drug lord, you'll never get bored in this town. Take my favorite mission, for example: My buddy Lance and I were charged with protecting a drug dealer who suspected an ambush from a group of buyers. Sure enough, right after my compadre and I positioned ourselves on overlooking fire escapes, the dealer got swarmed. I took a few punks out with my sniper rifle as they exited their cars. Then as another van pulled up, I plugged the radiator a few times and blew it sky high before the slime inside could even open the doors. But it wasn't over. Two guys on dirt bikes came out of nowhere and made off with the cash. The ensuing chase played like a scene straight out of an action-packed gangster flick.

To be honest, however, when I first heard that the main character of Vice City would not be the nameless, voiceless type of hero from the previous title, I worried that it'd make the game harder to get into since my character wasn't really "me" anymore. But the story is so well conceived and superbly acted by people like Ray Liotta, Dennis Hopper and Miss Cleo (yay!), you get totally drawn into the plot.

What is the plot, you ask? Well, I'm not spoiling it for anyone who hasn't played the game yet, but suffice to say, you won't always be some lowly mob pissant. In fact, the thing that puts VC over the top is your ability to buy property later in the game, growing your assets along with your reputation. It's not a huge deal, but it keeps Vice from being just a simple update to GTA3.

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