The best-selling PlayStation 2 game of 2001 returns with a new city, theme, and an assortment of enhanced features. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City offers the same go-anywhere style of play as its violent, M-rated predecessor but with an area twice as large as Liberty City to explore in a completely different setting.
Inspired by the look portrayed on television's stylish crime drama Miami Vice, the game takes place in the 1980s with criminals wearing pastel-colored suits, bikini-clad babes relaxing on sandy beaches, and palm tree-lined streets bustling with motorcycles, cars modeled after Ferrari Testarossas, and more. Players can now enter buildings like hotels or discos and walk through hallways to visit rooms.
Players can embark on a series of missions to build a reputation or simply explore the city, hijacking one of 120 vehicles (including motorcycles) and wreaking havoc on foot with an arsenal of 40 different weapons. The targeting mode has been refined once players leave their vehicle, with the camera taking a fixed position behind the character's shoulder and an auto-targeting system based on priority and danger level.
The change in vistas has resulted in new types of pedestrians populating the streets, including roller skaters, joggers, and different gang members. The AI has also been retooled to account for greater variety in pedestrian movement as well as gang behavior. Now gangs are designed to act independently of the player, such as fighting with citizens or stealing their cars. The police will also respond to these incidents, and may attempt to engage in high-speed pursuits with gangs as players go about their own business.
To effectively capture the mood of the 1980s, the soundtrack has been altered to fit the time period. Players will listen to an estimated nine hours of music (nearly three times the amount featured Grand Theft Auto III) across 10 radio stations. The eclectic mix features such noteworthy titles as "I Ran" by Flock of Seagulls, "The Message" by Grandmaster Flash, "You've Got Another Thing Coming" by Judas Priest, and "Out of Touch" by Hall & Oates.
The revamped sound continues on the streets, with over 8,000 lines of spoken dialogue recorded to help bring the fictional city to life. The lead character of Tommy Vercetti will also share his thoughts and musings with players in a departure from the strong but silent protagonist found in GTA III. Actor Ray Liotta provides the voice for Vercetti, and a mix of other film stars round out the cast. Vice City is the first Grand Theft Auto game released under Sony's exclusive rights to the series through October 2004.