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Grand Theft Auto: Vice City

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SpeakerSymbolLogo
Quotation Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Main Theme QuotationReverse
Grand Theft Auto Vice City Main Theme
"The depth of this game is unparalleled; there are hordes of side quests and missions and cool little easter eggs. You need to follow the main story in order to open up the whole city and gain access to property acquisition, but you can still spend hours just wandering around getting into trouble."
―Ben Silverman, Game Revolution.
GAME
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
GTA Vice City Box Art
DeveloperRockstar North
PublisherRockstar Games
EngineRenderWare
Release datesPS2

Flag of the United States Flag of Canada 27th October 2002
Flag of the United Kingdom Flag of the European Union 8th November 2002
Flag of Australia Flag of New Zealand 8th November 2002
Flag of Japan (bordered) 20th May 2004
PC
Flag of the United States Flag of Canada 12th May 2003
Flag of the United Kingdom Flag of the European Union 15th May 2003
Flag of Australia Flag of New Zealand 20th May 2003
Flag of Japan (bordered) 25th September 2003
Xbox
Flag of the United States Flag of Canada 11th April 2003
Flag of the United Kingdom Flag of the European Union 2nd January 2004
Flag of Australia Flag of New Zealand 2nd January 2004
Flag of Japan (bordered) 29th July 2004
iOS
6th December 2012
Android
6th December 2012

PlatformsPlayStation 2
Xbox
Personal Computer
iOS Devices
Android Devices
Ratings

ESRB: M
BBFC: 18
OFLC: MA 15+
OFLC (NZ): R18
USK: 16+
aDeSe: +18
VET/SFB: 18 (Square)
DJCTQ: 18

ProtagonistTommy Vercetti
LocationVice City
Year1986

Grand Theft Auto series
chronology of events

2D Universe

1961London 1961
1969London 1969
1997Grand Theft Auto
2013Grand Theft Auto 2


3D Universe

1984Vice City Stories
1986Vice City
1992San Andreas
1998Liberty City Stories
2000Advance
2001Grand Theft Auto III


HD Universe

2008Grand Theft Auto IV
         – The Lost and Damned
         – The Ballad of Gay Tony
2009Chinatown Wars
2013Grand Theft Auto Online
2013Grand Theft Auto V

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (also referred to as GTA Vice City, Vice City and GTAVC), is the second game in the GTA III Era. Although it was released after Grand Theft Auto III, it was set 15 years earlier.

GTA Vice City is set in Vice City, Florida (USA) in 1986, and concerns the exploits of protagonist Tommy Vercetti as he rises to become Vice City's major criminal power. The game's events follow on from Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories.

Designed by Rockstar North and published by Rockstar Games, it debuted in North America on October 27, 2002 for PlayStation 2 and quickly became the best-selling video game of the year. As of July 2006, GTA Vice City is, in the American market, the best-selling PlayStation 2 game of all time. GTA Vice City also appeared on the Japanese magazine Famitsu's readers' list of 100 all-time favorite videogames in 2006. Following this success, GTA Vice City saw releases in Europe, Australia and Japan, and became available on PC and Xbox. Later, Rockstar Vienna packaged the game with its predecessor, GTA III, and sold it as the Grand Theft Auto: Double Pack for Xbox, and finally it debuted for iOS and Android December 6, 2012 as a celebration of its 10-year anniversary

It uses a tweaked version of the Renderware game engine used by GTA III, and similarly presents a huge cityscape, fully populated with buildings (from hotels to skyscrapers), vehicles (cars, motorcycles, boats, helicopters, and planes) and people.

Storyline

TommyVercetti-GTAVC

GTA Vice City's protagonist, Tommy Vercetti

From the official site:

"Welcome to Vice City. Welcome to the 1980s.
Having just made it back onto the streets of Liberty City after a long stretch in maximum security prison, Tommy Vercetti is sent to Vice City by his old boss, Sonny Forelli. They were understandably nervous about his re-appearance in Liberty City, so a trip down south seemed like a good idea. But all does not go smoothly upon his arrival in the glamorous, hedonistic metropolis of Vice City. He's set up and is left with no money and no merchandise. Sonny wants his money back, but the biker gangs, Cuban gangsters, and corrupt politicians stand in his way. Most if not all of Vice City seems to want Tommy dead. His only answer is to fight back and take over the city himself."
From the decade of big hair, excess and pastel suits comes a story of one man's rise to the top of the criminal pile as Grand Theft Auto returns to the PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system this October. Vice City is a huge urban sprawl ranging from the beach to the swamps and the glitz to the ghetto, and is the most varied, complete and alive digital city ever created. Combining non-linear gameplay with a character driven narrative, you arrive in a town brimming with delights and degradation and are given the opportunity to take it over as you choose.
As a major gateway to South America and the Caribbean and attracting migrants, Vice City is brimming with diverse characters, so there's a friend for everyone. It is a sociable place and the new guy in town is sure to meet all manner of friendly people in the sunshine capital of America. Athletes, pop stars, real estate developers, politicians, trailer trash, everyone is moving to Vice City to find out what makes it the number one growth city in America. But, as Tommy quickly finds out, trust has been overtaken by drug lords, gang violence, and the police.  
Vice City offers vehicular pleasures to suit every taste. For the speed enthusiast, there's high-performance cars and motorbikes. For the sportsman, a powerboat or a golf buggy lets you enjoy the great outdoors. For those that need that sense of freedom and escape, why not charter a helicopter and see the beauty of Vice City from the air?
As the party capital of America, you would expect your ears to be seduced by a host of sultry melodies and pumping beats, but the city is truly rocking. You'll be AMAZED as you sweep through Vice City's FM dial. If you are feeling like trouble, you can tune into some driving rock, or some crucial electro, or maybe you want to slow down with some sweet soul, and there will always be some great romantic anthems if you want to really take your mind off things, or maybe you want to have a good laugh and listen to Talk Shows.
For the action man, or outdoors type, there's tons of fun things to do and adventures to be had… guaranteed. For the secretive or creepy type, Vice City is full of surprises, a place where you'll constantly be surprised by the vivacious, fun-loving types who live there and the things you can discover.

Characters

Setting and Influences

GTA Vice City is arguably the most heavily themed Grand Theft Auto game, taking influences from a wide range of classic 1980s movies, television series and music.

Perhaps the closest real-life counterpart to GTA Vice City is the television series Miami Vice. Aside from the broad-ranging similarities (80's music — including new wave, hip-hop, R&B, soul, glam metal and synthesizer pop — organized crime, drug trafficking, styled cars, pastel clothes etc.), several specific references are included. For example, at a 3-star wanted level or above, two undercover police officers who strongly resemble Sonny Crockett and Rico Tubbs — the primary characters from the aforementioned TV series — will chase the player in a VCPD Cheetah, which is itself styled after the 1986 Ferrari Testarossa, Crockett and Tubbs' vehicle of choice in the latter three seasons of the show.

Another direct link to Miami Vice is the inclusion of "Crockett's Theme," a pivotal piece of instrumental music from the show, on the in-game radio station Emotion 98.3. Many other popular songs that were used in Miami Vice are featured on the game's radio stations, including "Missing You" by John Waite and "Turn Up The Radio" by Autograph. The musical similarities extend to the background score composed specifically for the game — many cutscenes and the end credits feature ambient, synth-heavy tracks very much in the style of Jan Hammer, who provided the background music for the show, while the "Theme From Vice City" is comparable to Hammer's "Miami Vice Theme".

One of the game's primary characters, Lance Vance, is voiced by Philip Michael Thomas, who portrayed Tubbs in Miami Vice. His initial goal in the game -- to avenge the death of his brother in a drug deal gone wrong -- mirrors Tubbs' objective in the show's pilot episode. Several vehicles and weapons in Vice City are also taken from the TV series, including the Squalo (Sonny Crockett's speedboat), the Stinger (Crockett's Ferrari Daytona, his car for the first two seasons), the Marquis (Crockett's sailing yacht), the Infernus, the Katana (featured during the climax of the episode "Bushido"), the Stubby Shotgun (Tubbs' signature weapon in the later seasons of the show) and the MAC-10 (a weapon smuggled in the episode "Evan").

Miami Vice-Vice City comparison

The screen capture from Miami Vice (top), and as it appears during the introduction to Vice City (bottom)

Other references to Miami Vice in the game are decidedly more subtle. For example, during the opening credits sequence, one of the stylized images that appears framing the in-game footage is actually a screenshot from the episode "Bought and Paid For", showing a Lamborghini Countach being chased by Crockett's Daytona. The attire worn by the Cuban and Haitian gangs in the game is taken from two prominent extras in a scene at Miami International Airport in the pilot episode of the show. Also, the game's Hidden Packages, small green "tiki statues" packed with cocaine, are a reference to the episode "Milk Run", in which cocaine is smuggled in an identical fashion.

Another significant influence on GTA Vice City is the 1983 film Scarface, starring Al Pacino as Tony Montana. Several in-game locations, such as the mansion that becomes the Vercetti Estate and the Malibu Club, are obviously styled after locations featured in the movie. Elsewhere in the city, there is a hidden apartment containing a chainsaw within a blood-stained bathroom, a nod to Scarface's infamous chainsaw torture scene. The game's final mission mirrors the end of the movie; in both instances the main character is assaulted by an army of goons at their mansion, although crucially Tommy Vercetti lives, whereas Tony Montana is killed. The "Mr. Vercetti" outfit available from the The Pole Position Club strongly resembles an outfit worn by Tony Montana, and even Tommy Vercetti himself takes many character and lifestyle traits from Al Pacino's character, specifically his short temper, his heavy dealings in the cocaine trade and his desire to rise to the top.

It is also worth noting that the radio station Flashback FM from Grand Theft Auto III features the songs that were written for Scarface; the developers acknowledged the film as being a major influence on the overall rise-to-criminal-power theme of that game, and the soundtrack was included as an homage.

Other references and influences on Vice City include:

  • Carlito's Way - Ken Rosenberg, Tommy Vercetti's lawyer and adviser, looks and acts like Sean Penn's lawyer character from the movie.
  • To Live and Die in L.A. - later in the game there is a money counterfeiting scheme based on the movie. A song from the movie's soundtrack ("Dance Hall Days" by Wang Chung) is also included on the in-game radio.
  • Red Dawn - an Ammu-Nation radio advertisement calling this 1984 movie about a fictional Soviet invasion of the United States a "documentary" is just one example of the game's lampooning of 1980s American paranoia towards communism.
  • Village People - a builder, a police officer, a soldier, a firefighter and a biker can be seen dancing on stage in the Malibu Club.
  • Cars associated with 1980s pop culture - many of the game's vehicles are look-alikes of popular/famous vehicles from the time, such as the Deluxo, which is a nod to the DeLorean DMC-12 from Back to the Future, and the Burrito, an homage to the A-Team van.
  • Pablo Escobar - possibly the most notorious Colombian drug dealer ever to have lived is alluded to by the name of Escobar International Airport.
  • Hair Metal - as well as the rock/metal station V-Rock, a fictitious in-game metal band Love Fist spoofs many 80s glam metal clichés in the style of Spinal Tap and Mötley Crüe.

Box sets

Resources

Reception

GameSpot rated the game 9.6/10, giving it an Editor's Choice award. Its record was surpassed by its successor Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. Awards GameSpot's Best and Worst of 2002 Best Music on PlayStation 2,[13] Best Action Adventure Game on PlayStation 2,[14] Game of the Year on PlayStation 2[15] IGN's Best of 2002 Best Adventure Game for PlayStation 2 (Editor's Choice and Reader's Choice),[16] Special Achievement for Sound (Reader's Choice),[17] Best Game of the Year for PlayStation 2 (Editor's Choice and Reader's Choice)[18] BAFTA Video Games Awards Best Design, Best PC Game, Best Action Game, Sunday Times Reader Award for Games, Best Playstation 2 Game, Best Sound.

10th Anniversary Edition

GTAVC-10Anniversary

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City 10th Anniversary Edition was announced by Rockstar on October 26th, 2012.[1] On November 21, 2012, Rockstar further revealed it would be launched on December 6, 2012 for iOS and Android devices, and would cost $4.99 for both the App Store version and the Google Play version (with the British release costing £2.99 for the App Store and £3.29 for the Google Play Store).[2] Rockstar announced that it would include "native high-resolution graphics and several enhancements unique to the iOS and Android platforms including updated character models and lighting effects, new and more precise firing and targeting options, a fully customizable control layout and native support for retina display devices."[3]

Trivia

  • This is the first GTA to feature a speaking protagonist.
  • The logo sequence for GTA Vice City is reminiscent of the Commodore 64 BASIC command prompt, which was common during the time when the game was set.
  • The Commodore 64-like opening of GTA Vice City features the melody of the GTA 1 theme song in a vibrant 8-bit tone. It was also the tune for the pager in GTA III.
  • According to Lazlow Jones, Rockstar began working on GTA Vice City only one month after the release of GTA III.
  • GTA Vice City is set in a fictional city based on Miami, Florida.
  • GTA Vice City is set two years after GTA Vice City Stories which took place in 1984.
  • All license plates are similar to Florida license plates, an orange logo resembling the state of Florida can be seen on them, some even having the Florida Gators logo.
  • GTA Vice City is the only game so far to feature artwork for all radio DJ's (however GTA Vice City Stories features artwork of the GTA Liberty City Stories Flashback FM DJ Reni Wassulmaier because she appeared in the game).
  • GTA Vice City is the only 3D Universe game not to feature the AK-47. However in the loading art, Phil Cassidy is seen holding one guarding his fort, and it can be seen on the wall of any Ammunation. It was originally meant to appear, but was cut from the final game.
  • GTA Vice City has more melee weapons than any other Grand Theft Auto game.
  • GTA Vice City was voted "Most degrading Video Game to women" a few months after its release. Points brought up included The Twins who the hosts wrongly called "a lesbian couple", the fact that Vice City is, as the hosts quoted, the babe central of America.
  • GTA Vice City is the second best-selling game of the 3D Universe (being behind Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas) and the third best-selling GTA game overall with over 17.5 million units sold.
  • In the TV Series of Family Guy, Peter gets an amnesia and Lois wants Peter to play Grand Theft Auto, and the tape that is seen has a logo of GTA Vice City.
  • Some of the GTA Vice City's posters have appeared in The Black Eyed Peas' "Where Is the Love?" music video.
  • On the box art, there is a helicopter in the upper left corner that was never featured or was used for display. It consists of a Maverick-like body with two guns at the front.
  • On occasion in GTA V, pedestrians can be heard saying "I'm moving to Vice City!" when being carjacked.
  • Between its release in 2002 and recent copies of the game after 2012, out of the entire series, GTA Vice City has undergone the most changes out of any GTA game, having many songs removed and weapon designs differing (the Tear Gas is not present in any other versions and only exists in the original 2002 versions for PS2). For unknown reasons, on the new PS2 and PS3 versions, the Police Scanner while in an emergency vehicle plays in slow motion.

10th Anniversary Trailer

GTA Vice City - 10th Anniversary Trailer (iOS & Android)01:15

GTA Vice City - 10th Anniversary Trailer (iOS & Android)

References

  1. http://m.rockstargames.com/newswire/article/45851/celebrating-the-grand-theft-auto-vice-city-10th-anniversary-plus.html
  2. http://www.ign.com/articles/2012/11/21/grand-theft-auto-vice-city-coming-to-ios-and-android
  3. http://m.rockstargames.com/newswire/article/46331/grand-theft-auto-vice-city-10th-anniversary-edition-coming-to-io.html

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