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Vice City, 1984. Opportunity abounds in a city emerging from the swamps, its growth fueled by the violent power struggle in a lucrative drug trade. Construction is everywhere as a shining metropolis rises from foundations of crime and betrayal.
Wiki: Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories is an action-adventure game developed in a collaboration between Rockstar Leeds and Rockstar North, and published by Rockstar Games. The tenth instalment in the Grand Theft Auto series, the game was initially released as a PlayStation Portable exclusive in October 2006. A PlayStation 2 port was released in March 2007. Set within the fictional Vice City (based on Miami) in 1984, the game is a prequel to 2002’s Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (set in 1986) and follows the exploits of ex-soldier Victor “Vic” Vance, a minor character originally featured in said game. The story centres around Vic’s attempts to build up a criminal empire alongside his brother Lance, coming into conflict with rival gangs, drug lords and other enemies.
Rockstar Leeds; Rockstar North
Grand Theft Auto
Action; Open-world; Third-person shooter
What do gamers think about Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories?
Stories serves as a prequel to the original Vice City, following the life of Vic Vance, Lance’s brother, who becomes involved in the drug trade in the namesake city.
The game spans several years, beginning in the early 1980s with Vic serving in the US Army as a Corporal before being framed, stripped of his title, and falling deeper into the criminal underground.
The plot is a standard tale of criminal behaviour that, to be honest, I didn’t notice while playing. That’s not to say it’s horrible; you’ll encounter lots of interesting characters and missions (picking up drug shipments at the pier while avoiding the DEA, escaping an abandoned power plant, etc.).
The Grand Theft Auto series has always featured a diverse cast of insane people, and this is no exception – expect anything from crooked Army sergeants to scary Cuban drug lords, and even Phil Collins himself, in a humorous appearance that works surprisingly well.
Lance Vance (returning from Vice City and being as insane as ever) and Reni, a transgender film director who assists Vic with a few key contacts, were two of my favourite cast members.
Interacting with them is arguably the most enjoyable aspect of the story, since there will be plenty of profanity-laced humour to keep things interesting.
Full Walkthrough: Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories
Another important aspect of the franchise is satire, which is well-represented here. Everything is over-the-top, whether it’s the ludicrous business names (“Hardcore Pawn”) or the idiotic things said by the radio hosts, and it all made me laugh out loud on a regular basis.
The game’s ability to approach serious topics in such a lighthearted manner is impressive, and a testimony to Rockstar’s writers at the time.
Vice City is, without a doubt, the show’s star. It’s set years before the PS2 game, and it’s more crime-ridden, with some new components (trailer parks, fairgrounds), but its fictitious version of Miami is equally as beautiful as ever.
You’ll travel through sun-drenched beaches, through neon-lit downtown streets, and around mansions and greenery in the suburbs, all while blaring some fantastic licensed 80’s music — just driving around this beautiful region is an adventure in and of itself.
Ending Note on Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories
Vice City Stories is an engaging open-world adventure that’s worth playing. It’s a stunning handheld experience that’s every bit as wonderful as its console counterparts. The scenario is fantastic, the cast of characters is unforgettable, and the game is jam-packed with content — it’s the complete package, and it’s just as amazing now as it was 12 years ago.