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Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, often referred to as GTA: VC, VC or just Vice City, is a game developed by Rockstar North and Published by Rockstar Games and Take2 Interactive

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for the Playstation 2, PC and the Xbox. It is a sequal to the successful Grand Theft Auto III.

OverviewEdit

In Vice City, you play as Tommy Vercetti, who a Mafia hitman released from prison after serving 15 years for killing 11 men. The leader of the organization for whom he used to work, Sonny Forelli, fears that Tommy's presence in Liberty City will heighten tensions and bring unwanted attention upon his organization's criminal activities. To prevent this, Sonny ostensibly "promotes" Tommy and sends him to Vice City to act as their buyer for a series of cocaine deals. During Tommy's first meeting with the drug dealers, an ambush by an unknown party results in the death of Tommy's bodyguards, Harry and Lee, and the dealer, Peter Vance. Tommy narrowly escapes with his life, but he loses both the Forelli's money and the cocaine.


After the ambush, Tommy returns to his hotel room and phones Forelli to inform him of the outcome of the deal. Tommy promises to retrieve the money and the cocaine and kill whoever was responsible for the ambush. Tommy meets up again with Forelli's lawyer Ken Rosenberg, who leads Tommy to contact a mid-level drug dealer and ex-military Colonel named Cortez. Cortez expresses regret about Tommy's bad deal and promises that his own lines of investigations are being made. Tommy also meets Cortez's daughter Mercedes.


Towards the end of the game,the Forelli Family finds out that Tommy has taken over crime in Vice City without sending a cut to Sonny as required. Sonny sends collectors to force money out of Tommy's assets, but you dispose of them. An angered Sonny Forelli arrives in Vice City with a small army of mafioso and street thugs, intent on taking their tribute by force. When Sonny and his henchmen arrive at the Vercetti Estate, Tommy attempts to give them their tribute in counterfeit money. However, Lance, having come to resent Tommy's substantial share of their profits, betrays Tommy and tells the Forelli's the money is counterfeit and allies with them. In the game's climax Lance, Sonny, and Sonny's henchmen raid Tommy's Mansion.


You first chases and kills Lance on the rooftop helipad (in the mission Keep your friends close), then storms downstairs where you face off with Sonny Forelli. During the gunfight Sonny reveals he is the one who set Tommy up fifteen years before, causing him to kill the eleven men who were expecting him. You eventually kills Sonny as well. With his enemies vanquished, Tommy establishes himself as the undisputed crime kingpin of Vice City, with Ken Rosenberg, who has worked with Tommy throughout the events of the game, as his right-hand man.

LocationEdit

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The game is set in fictional Vice City, which is based on Miami, Florida. The game's look, particularly the clothing and vehicles, reflect its 1980s setting.


SettingEdit

Many themes are borrowed from the major films Scarface and Carlito's Way, along with the hit 1980s television series Miami Vice. Vice City also pays tribute to much of 1980s culture in the cars, music, fashion, landmarks, and characters featured in the game.


The final fight scene in the mission "Keep Your Friends Close" is an example of a theme taken from the film Scareface.


CharactersEdit

Vice City features dozens of characters, many appearing in cutscenes. The voice-talent includes Ray Liotta as protagonist Tommy Vercetti, Tom Sizemore as Sonny Forelli, Robert Davi as Colonel Juan García Cortez and William Fichtner as Ken Rosenberg.

Although the main character is not the same as the one in Grand Theft Auto III, Vice City contains a few characters from GTA III at an earlier point in their lives. Donald Love, a business tycoon in GTA III, makes an appearance as an apprentice to real estate mogul Avery Carrington. The one-armed Phil Cassidy from GTA III appears in Vice City as well, and one mission even explains when and how he lost his arm.

Several of GTA III’s radio hosts can also be heard in Vice City: Lazlow, who was the host of Chatterbox, the talk radio station in GTA III, is the DJ for the hard-rock station, V-Rock, in Vice City (he mentioned in passing in GTA III that he used to be a DJ on a rock station). Toni, the burned-out, female disc jockey of Flashback 95.6, the 1980s music radio station in GTA III, also appears as a young, club-hopping DJ in Vice City's pop music station, Flash FM. Finally, Fernando, a self-glorifying procurer of women who appeared on Lazlow's show in GTA III, runs Emotion 98.3. Also naturist Barry Stark, a caller for Chatterbox in GTA III, appears as a guest on VCPR in Vice City.

GameplayEdit

Because Vice City was built upon Grand Theft Auto III, the game follows a largely similar gameplay design and interface with GTA III with several tweaks and improvements compaired to GTA III. The gameplay is very open-ended, a characteristic of the Grand Theft Auto franchise; although missions must be completed to complete the storyline and unlock new areas of the city, the player is able to drive around and visit different parts of the city at his/her leisure and otherwise, do whatever they wish if not currently in the middle of a mission. Various items such as hidden weapons and packages are also scattered throughout the landscape, as it has been with previous GTA titles.

Players can steal vehicles, (cars, boats, motorcycles, and even helicopters) partake in drive-by shootings, robberies, and generally create chaos. However, doing so tends to generate unwanted and potentially fatal attention from the police (or, in extreme cases, the FBI and even the National Guard). Police behavior is mostly similar to Grand Theft Auto III, although police units will now wield night sticks, deploy spike strips to puncture the tires of the player's car, as well as SWAT teams from flying police helicopters and the aforementioned undercover police units, à la-Miami Vice. Police attention can be neutralized in a variety of ways.

A new addition in the game is the ability of the player to purchase a number of properties distributed across the city. Some of these are additional hideouts (essentially locations where weapons can be collected and the game saved). There are also a variety of businesses called "assets" which the player can buy. These include a film studio, a dance club, a strip club, a taxi company, an "ice-cream delivery business" (acting as a front company), a boatyard, a printing works, and a car showroom. Each commercial property has a number of missions attached to it, such as eliminating the competition or stealing equipment. Once all the missions for a given property are complete, the property will begin to generate an ongoing income, which the increasingly-prosperous Vercetti may periodically collect.

Various gangs make frequent appearances in the game, some of whom are integral to story events. These gangs typically have a positive or negative opinion of the player and act accordingly by following the player or shooting at him. Shootouts between members of rival gangs can occur spontaneously and several missions involve organized fights between opposing gangs.

Optional side-missions are once again included, giving the player the opportunity to make pizza deliveries, drive injured people to a hospital with an ambulance, extinguish fires with a fire truck, deliver passengers in a taxi, and be a vigilante, using a police vehicle to kill criminals. Monetary rewards and occasional gameplay advantages (e.g. increased health and armor capacity and infinite sprinting) are awarded for completing different difficulty levels of these activities. Different sums of money are awarded for landing trick jumps in motorcycles or fast cars depending on the number of flips and height achieved.

WeaponsEdit

The weapons system used in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City is derivative of those from its predecessors, but has been significantly expanded. Compared to 12 forms of weapons from Grand Theft Auto III, Vice City features a total of 35 weapons divided into 10 classes (classified by portability, firepower or function), with the player allowed to carry only one weapon from each class. Each class presents a set of weapons with each presenting their own strengths and weaknesses, such as weight, damage and efficiency. For example, when a player has semi-automatic pistol in hand (which inflicts lower damage, but has a higher firing rate and larger magazine capacity) and encounters ammunition for a Colt Python (which inflicts a large amount of damage, but is weak in firing rate and more frequent reloading), he or she can only choose to replace the automatic with the revolver or choose not to replace the automatic. Because of this, the player is only allowed to carry up to 10 weapons at once while being allowed to pick specific weapons from each class.

The weapons, which range from a variety of mêlée weapons and firearms become available to the player as he or she completes more and more missions. Guns (such as pistols, rifles, thrown weapons and heavy weapons) may be purchased at firearm store Ammu-Nation or obtained via a weapons dealer, and other types of weapons (such as baseball bats, hammers and chainsaws) can be bought at various hardware stores. There are also heavy-duty weapons such as flamethrowers and rocket launchers. These can be found in various corners of the city. Another quirk is the inclusion of a camera, which is used in only one mission to capture pictures. There are certain mistakes like the Colt Python ejecting the spent casings, the M1911A1 holding 17 rounds and the icon for the MAC-10 being a Micro-Uzi.

Various ports of Vice City present different variations of weapons, for example; the PS2 version of GTA Vice City is the only version to feature tear-gas.


SoundtrackEdit

Vice City includes a large collection of licensed music from 1986 and before that can be listened to on many of the ingame radio stations when the player is driving in a vehicle Each station covers a particular music genre, such as rap music (Wildstyle), rock (V-Rock) and pop music (WAVE 103, Flash FM). The tracks are for the most part works from various real-life artists, such as Megadeth, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Ozzy Osbourne and Michael Jackson. Additionally, a talk station (KCHAT) and a public radio debate show Pressing Issues (VCPR) are included. The radio stations and the game's storyline also feature a fictional heavy metal band called Love Fist. The multi-CD soundtrack to the game was an instant best-seller.

In addition to music and interviews, the stations also include satirical commercials, such as the Degenatron, a fictional video game console, A parody of the Atari 2600. The commercials and the game setting are consistent: Degenatron advertisements appear on billboards, and ads air for stores in which the player can actually buy things, such as Ammu-Nation. Months before the release of Vice City, Rockstar Games created a Degenatron "fansite", which allowed users to actually play the "emulated" games.


Reception and salesEdit

Awards

GameSpot's Best and Worst 2002

Best Music on Playstation 2, Best Action Adventure Game on Playstation 2, Game of the Year on Playstation 2.

IGN's Best of 2002

Best Adventure Game for PlayStation 2 (Editor's Choice and Reader's Choice), Special Achievement for Sound (Reader's Choice),[15] Best Game of the Year for PlayStation 2 (Editor's Choice and Reader's Choice).

BAFTA Video Games Awards

Best Design, Best PC Game, Best Action Game, Sunday Times Reader Award for Games, Best Playstation 2 Game, Best Sound.

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City was released to extremely positive reviews from critics and fans alike. The game received ratings of 9.7/10 from IGN, 9.6/10 from GameSpot, 5/5 from GamePro, and 10/10 from Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine. The game has a score of 95 out of 100 on the review compiling website Metacritic making Vice City the sixth highest rated PlayStation 2 game on the site. Critics praised the game for its open-ended action and entertaining re-creation of 1980s culture.

As of March 26, 2008, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City has sold 17.5 million units according to Take-Two Interactive.

ControversyEdit

Like Grand Theft Auto III, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City has been labeled as violent and explicit is considered highly controversial by many special interest groups some of whom suggest that parental supervision is necessary when young people play this game, since children were never the game's intended audience. The ESRB rated this game "M" for Mature. In Australia, it was slightly modified to comply with current Australian censorship laws; the ability to pick-up prostitutes was disabled, allowing the game to be given an MA15+ rating by the OFLC. In the UK, Vice City received an "18" certificate from the BBFC. In November 2003, Cuban and Haitian groups in Florida targeted the title. They accused the game of inviting people to harm immigrants from those two nations. The groups' claims of racism and incitement to genocide attracted a good deal of public attention towards Vice City. Rockstar Games issued a press release stating that they understood the concern of Cubans and Haitians, but also believed those groups were blowing the issue out of proportion. Under further pressure, including threats from New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to "do everything we possibly can" if Rockstar did not comply, Take-Two (the game's publisher) did agree to remove several lines of dialogue. This seems to have largely satisfied the groups who raised the complaints, although the case was then referred to a state court, downgraded from the initial decision to refer the case to a federal court. In 2004, a new version of the game was released, removing and changing those lines of dialogue.

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In February 2005, a lawsuit was brought upon the makers and distributors of the Grand Theft Auto series claiming the games caused a teenager to shoot and kill three members of the Alabama police force. The shooting took place in June 2003 when Devin Moore, 17 years old at the time, was brought in for questioning to a Fayette police station regarding a stolen vehicle. Moore then grabbed a pistol from one of the police officers and shot and killed him along with another officer and dispatcher before fleeing in a police car. One of Moore's attorneys, Jack Thompson, claimed it was GTA's graphic nature — with his constant playing time — that caused Moore to commit the murders, and Moore's family agrees. Damages are being sought from the Jasper branches of GameStop and Wal-Mart, the stores from which GTA III and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, respectively, were purchased and also from the games' publisher Take-Two Interactive, and the PlayStation 2 manufacturer Sony Computer Entertainment. The case is currently being heard by the same judge who presided over Moore's criminal trial, in which he was sentenced to death for his actions.

In September 2006, Jack Thompson brought another lawsuit, claiming that Cody Posey played the game obsessively before murdering his father, stepmother, and stepsister on a ranch in Hondo, New Mexico. The suit was filed on behalf of the victims' families. During the criminal trial, Posey's defense team argued he was abused by his father, and tormented by his stepmother. Posey was also taking Zoloft at the time of the killings. The suit alleged that were it not for his obsessive playing of Vice City, the murders would not have taken place. Named in the suit were Cody Posey, Rockstar Games, Take-Two Interactive, and Sony. The suit asked for US$600 million in damages.

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