Grand Theft Auto: Vice City takes place in the 1980s, an era influenced by the neon art style of Miami, in a sandbox action adventure game.
The story of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City sends you into the past as Tommy Vercetti. Originally from Liberty City, he is sent to Vice City after being released from prison. While in Vice City, he is given the task to complete a deal for another mafia family. The deal falls apart when Tommy is ambushed and has to find out who was behind the attack to retrieve the money and goods.
The main plot of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City requires you to follow the story of Tommy, but the various side missions add other smaller plot lines into the story. Throughout the game, you will take on various missions requiring different sets of skills, but ultimately ends in someone's death.
Originally released on PlayStation 2 in 2002, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City's release in 2012 on mobile highlights the 10th anniversary of the game. Visuals in the game were updated with improved character models and additional lighting effects. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City looks more detailed than the original release, but the humanoid character models still exist. The models for people have a similar look to the release of Grand Theft Auto III, but character models are improved.
The world looks very similar to the original release with the world of Vice City showing its Miami influence. Expect a lot of bright colors, Art Deco architecture, and many different types of vehicles from the 1980s. Of course, they do not use real car brands, but they are recognizable.
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City includes effects like vehicle damage, blood splatter, and destructible environments. For a re-release, the game holds up well to other mobile games but not current console titles.
If you played Grand Theft Auto: Vice City previously, there is not going to be many surprises; but the smaller enhancements create a better representation of the game world.
As a sandbox game, you are given freedom to do anything you want. Progressing through the missions opens up new areas in Vice City as well as giving you the ability to purchase better weapons. The game contains the same story as the original and includes the many hours of voiceover work that makes Grand Theft Auto: Vice City feel alive.
Missions are not linear so you can take them in any order you choose, but Grand Theft Auto: Vice City's storyline will only open a few missions at a time so eventually you will have to complete all the missions for a specific plot before moving on. But you can always take a break and just drive around Vice City.
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City's controls lack the precision of a physical controller. While they are more fine-tuned than Grand Theft Auto III, using a virtual joystick is still unreliable and on-screen buttons for various controls takes time to get used to. One of the problems is that the buttons are so close together, you may end up running instead of attacking.
On-foot sections for travel work well, but in combat it is one of the most frustrating parts of the game. You can tap on a person to manually lock or the game will lock on the closest person. But when you are trying to aim for an object in the environment, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City struggles to understand what you're aiming at.
Driving also has the same problem. Most of the time, it feels like you are driving on ice in any car. You slide around and hitting other cars and spinning out, even when you are driving slowly. Handling is loose and taking sharp turns is impossible. Motorcycles actually perform better in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, but you are a lot more vulnerable to attack.
Even though the content of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City is still amazing, the controls make everything frustrating and more difficult than necessary.
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City has an amazing amount of professional voice acting and features the same huge library of music from the 80s along with Rockstar's hilarious radio ads. The characters are memorable because so many of the voice actors bring their best to animate the characters in the game.
Music plays a big part of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and the huge number of songs differ depending on the radio station you are listening to. On iOS you can use custom iTunes playlists to play your own music.
Secondary sounds like minor characters speech or environmental noise is present, making each moment in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City a memorable experience.
Still a classic
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City is an amazing game for mobile. It brings the original game back from 2002 and presents it in its entirety, complete with better graphics, great music, and professional voice acting. All of that comes at a cost though because the game is extremely large. With a download around 1 GB, you will need a newer device to play the game.
The content of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City is amazing, but the game is still held back by the unreliable controls that frustrate.
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City is a must-have for fans of the series, but its controls let it down.