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Vice City Stories is structured similarly to other releases from the Grand Theft Auto series. The core gameplay consists of elements of a third-person shooter and a driving game, affording the player a large, open environment to move around in. On foot, the player's character is capable of walking, running, swimming, and jumping, as well as utilizing weapons and basic hand to hand combat. Players can steal and drive a variety of vehicles, including automobiles, boats, airplanes, helicopters, and motorcycles.

The open, non-linear environment allows players to explore and choose how they wish to play the game. Although storyline missions are necessary to progress through the game and unlock certain areas and content, they are not required, as players can complete them at their own leisure. When not taking on a storyline mission, players can free-roam and create havoc (e.g. drive-by shootings, robberies, etc). However, doing so can attract unwanted and potentially fatal attention from the authorities. The more chaos caused, the stronger the response: police will handle minor infractions, whereas SWAT teams, the FBI, and the Vice City national guard respond to higher wanted levels.

The player can also partake in a variety of optional side missions. The traditional side missions of the past games are included, such as dropping off taxi cab passengers, putting out fires, driving injured people to the hospital, and fighting crime as a vigilante. A new addition to the game is "Beach Patrol", in which Victor plays lifeguard and must swim in order to save people.

One of the key gameplay elements in Vice City Stories is "empire building". New to the GTA series, it borrows a few ideas from Vice City's "properties" and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas' "gang wars" systems. In order to make money, the player must open and operate various businesses on property taken over from enemy gangs.

For Vice City Stories, the combat system was overhauled to feature more depth than ever before. The targeting mechanic has been tweaked to "intelligently target"; enemies posing a threat or attacking the player will be targeted over pedestrians. The biggest changes concern the hand-to-hand combat system, as players can now perform grappling moves and throws, and stand on top of enemies laying on the ground.

For the first time in a Grand Theft Auto game, players are able to bribe policemen or hospital staff when "Wasted" or "Busted" in order to keep weapons that ordinarily would have been lost.

The standard hidden package system returns in the form of 99 red balloons scattered around the city. This is a reference to Nena's 1980s hit, "99 Luftballons". Trip skips also return.

Improvements to the graphics since the release of Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories include new animations, faster load times, a further draw distance, reductions in clumping of pedestrians and vehicles, more complex and realistic explosions, and increases in the density of objects, vehicles, and NPCs.

Like the game's predecessor, Vice City Stories features a multiplayer mode that can be played via WiFi. Ten different modes of play are offered, and these multiplayer games will incorporate use of automobiles, aircraft, and water-based vehicles

Features which are NOT in the game

  • Character and Vehicle Customization
  • Wall Climbing
  • Built-Up of Statistics

[[Category:GTA Vice City Stories]]

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