Grand Theft Auto: Vice City

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Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
GTA Vice City boxart
DeveloperRockstar North
PublisherRockstar Games
EngineRenderWare
Release datesPS2

United States Canada 27th October 2002
United Kingdom Europe 8th November 2002
Australia New Zealand 8th November 2002
Japan 20th May 2004
PC
United States Canada 12th May 2003
United Kingdom Europe 15th May 2003
Australia New Zealand 20th May 2003
Japan 25th September 2003
Xbox
United States Canada 11th April 2003
United Kingdom Europe 2nd January 2004
Australia New Zealand 2nd January 2004
Japan 29th July 2004
iOS
6th December 2012
Android
12th December 2012
PlayStation Network
30th January 2013

PlatformsPlayStation 2
Xbox
PC
iOS
Android
PlayStation 3
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
GTA 1 Era

1961London 1961
1969London 1969
1997Grand Theft Auto 1


GTA 2 Era

2013GTA 2

3D Universe
GTA III Era

1984GTA Vice City Stories
1986GTA Vice City
1992GTA San Andreas
1998GTA Liberty City Stories
2000GTA Advance
2001GTA III

HD Universe
GTA IV Era

2008GTA IV

The Lost and Damned
The Ballad of Gay Tony

2009GTA Chinatown Wars


GTA V Era

2013GTA Online
2013GTA 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 Vice City's major criminal power. The games 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.

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

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, 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.

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, 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 Ricardo 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 series 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. The game's intro theme is also in the style of the Miami Vice Theme. One of the primary characters, Lance Vance, is voiced by Philip Michael Thomas, who portrayed Tubbs. Several vehicles in Vice City are also taken from the TV series, including the Squalo (Sonny Crockett's speedboat), the Stinger (Crockett's car for the first two seasons), and the Infernus.

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, 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 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 and heavy dealings in the cocaine trade.

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 station.
  • 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 De Lorean.
  • 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 rock clichés in the style of Spinal Tap.

Resources

Tips & tricks

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.

Trivia

  • 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.
  • 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 GTA III-era game (except Advance) not to feature the AK-47.
  • GTA Vice City only took 9 months to make.
  • GTA Vice City has more melee weapons than any other GTA game.

Trailers

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