Wednesday, September 3, 2014

My History with the GTA series. Part 3: Back in Time in Vice City.

A new place, a new time. Fresh off the plane and into Vice City. Everything looked better, fresher and the controls were marginally better than GTA 3. Tommy Vercetti is about to take over the islands of Vice City, and then the world! Well, really only Vice city.

Vice City was undoubtedly based on Miami Vice and the 1983 film Scarface. The first thing I noticed about GTA Vice City was the unmistakably 80's theme going on, which I liked quite a bit. From the 80's fashion trends to the soundtrack that was filled with unforgettable top 10 hits from that era, everything screamed 1980's. Everything that the 1980's offered is present and, just like the 1980's, filled to the brim with excess!

More so than GTA 3, Vice City felt like a living, breathing city environment, rife with beachgoers and partygoers alike. It also offered a lot more than GTA 3, while doing so in what felt like a much smaller space. Vice City offered a very well themed variety of vehicles, this time including helicopters, motorcycles and, even though you still couldn't swim, boats. There were also more things to keep you busy, such as the events you could take part in at the stadium, or you just out exploring the new city landscape and many hidden areas.

The unrefined insanity of cops trying to murder you over slight infractions, as well as pedestrians having a deer in the headlights moment just before you plowed into them, carried over from GTA 3. Some cars carried over as well, but the handling was upgraded to be more manageable. Even though cars were fun to drive, I felt that helicopters were where it was truly at. Helicopters gave me the ability to climb high above the city and see the city from a completely new vantage point than ever before.

Vice City sucked me in (no pun intended) and kept me busy far longer than GTA 3. After all the missions were done, there was still so much left to be done in the islands of Vice City. So many little places to explore, vehicles to drive, little areas to see and different events to accomplish. Vice City also had a plethora of assets for Tommy to purchase such as a used car dealership, an ice cream company, among others, which helped fill his bank account.

Once everything was seen, found, tested and the money was rolling in hand over fist, there wasn't much left to do other than find the little hidden Easter eggs that Rockstar had left within the game. After achieving 100% I still loved to find myself a Voodoo and play around with the hydraulics, run people over in the tiger striped Taxi cab and continue on with the various events at the stadium. But even with all the fun I had in Vice City, after everything was said and done it felt empty, and I knew it was time to move on. Moving on to the early 1990s in a new place called San Andreas.

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