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Grand Theft Auto: Vice City first appeared on the Playstation 2 way back in 2002, so this port to iOS is the ten year anniversary edition. With the likes of Skyrim and Batman: Arkam City available on today's consoles it's easy to forget what a revelation the game's open world approach was when it was first released, but does it still hold up on a mobile phone?
The iOS port has received a bit of a spit and polish on the graphical front, but other than that it's essentially an unchanged version of the original game. Although it has certainly aged a bit there's still a lot to like about it including the funky soundtrack, rogues gallery of loveable characters and not so subtle references to gangster movies like Scarface.
You play as Mafioso Tommy Vercetti as he runs amok in a fictional metropolis called Vice City, which is loosely based on 1980s Miami. Your aim is to rise up through the ranks of the underworld to eventually become top dog.
By today's standards the city can seem a bit empty as you cruise around it and there's a tad too much repetition in the driving sections. You often seem to have to drive around for ages in order to kick off missions. And although the graphics have been tarted up with improved textures and lighting effects, it still relies on older 3D models which look a bit dated and blocky.
As with the iOS port of GTA 3, the virtual controls are a bit of an issue. The game wasn't the easiest to control on a console, so it's no surprise to find that it can be a bit tricky to master using touch buttons You can rearrange and resize the onscreen buttons and there's a new auto-aim features, but on the whole the controls are still frustrating.
The other changes that Rockstar has made are pretty subtle. For example, you can sideload tracks from your device's music player into the game so they can be played back via the in-car radio. It also supports saving to iCloud, making it easy to swap between an iPhone and an iPad and continue where you left off in the game.
With all that said, Vice City is still an excellent game to play with great characters, excellent voice acting and some superbly violent missions to enjoy.
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Verdict
The controls are a tad frustrating and the graphics show their age a bit, but there's still a lot of nostalgic fun to be had in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.
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