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Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (Video Game Review)

It's been 10 years since developer and publisher Rockstar Games changed the gaming industry forever with the release of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City in 2002. The Grand Theft Auto series spawned the open world shooter genre, and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City continued this rich tradition with the best iteration of the play style at the time that has now become the foundation of nearly every new release in the industry. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City took players to 1980s Vice City--a recreation inspired by the sunny beach city of Miami that featured numerous pop culture references front and center during key missions of the game including Miami Vice and Scarface. The result was a title that fans would love and cherish for many years to come, but it is also one that has aged as well as you'd think during its lifetime. Now, Rockstar Games has brought back the classic in a new download for iOS and Android just in time for the game's 10th Anniversary celebration.

Long time fans will remember Grand Theft Auto: Vice City as the game that introduced players to the protagonist named Tommy Vercetti. Tommy is a tough as nails mafia member who has just been released from his 15 year sentence in prison and is heading to the sunny shores of Vice City to continue his work with a new partner in crime. Tommy meets many colorful characters along the way that are all voice acted really well in a game that was ahead of its time, and most players know what to expect here. Complete missions from various characters located throughout the city, shoot plenty of bad guys and wrap it up with an epic conclusion to the storyline. Even though the game's graphics and controls may not be the best in the new release for mobile, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City's storyline is still top notch and a good enough reason to download the newest version of the game.

For the new release, Rockstar has made many improvements over the classic title, but the game still manages to fall flat on a few different accounts. The graphics have been improved to include high definition graphics and reworked characters models that looks far superior to the original release, but the game still looks a bit aged, obviously. Getting around the city is still roughly the same as is has always been, but with its move to mobile comes a new control scheme for Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. This time around you'll be able to fully customize the way you play the game however as you move around and resize buttons to fit your preferences. The game also includes a nifty auto-aim mechanic that allows Tommy to easily mow downs mobs of enemies to avoid player frustration at the sacrifice of the difficulty some of the game's missions used to feature. Other new features in the mobile version of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City includes customizable soundtracks and new loading screens that still pop up too often and are too slow to make players feel completely comfortable in colorful 80s world.

If you're a big fan of the Grand Theft Auto series, you'll find it difficult to pass on Grand Theft Auto: Vice City for $4.99 on your mobile device, and with good reason. The game is one of the all-time great releases and was one of the best games around in 2002. While the game still has problems and is a bit rough around the edges, players will find that the game is still a blast to play, even on a much smaller screen than what they've grown accustomed to. It's nice to see a company give back to the fans with a high quality port available at such a low price, and it helps that Grand Theft Auto: Vice City is still a really fun game to play 10 years after the game's initial release. Whether you're a long time fan of the series, enjoy open world shooters or are simply looking for a video games industry history lesson, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City on iOS and Android is a game fans should pick up this holiday season.

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City is now available for PlayStation 2, Xbox, PC, Mac, Android & iOS. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City is rated M by the ESRB for Blood and Gore, Strong Language, Strong Sexual Content & Violence. For more information on the game, check out the official Grand Theft Auto: Vice City website.

Game Features:
  • Single Player
  • Customizable Controls
  • Auto-Aim Feature
  • Reworked Character Models
  • High Definition Graphics

  • Game Information:
    Developer & Publisher: Rockstar Games
    Platforms: PlayStation 2, Xbox, PC, Mac, Android & iOS (reviewed)
    Release Date: December 18, 2012 for Android & December 16, 2012 for iOS

    Score: 7 out of 10
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