Of course the real gameplay starts when Tony returns to Miami after laying low for a while – his mind is set on revenge and rebuilding his empire and it’s up to you to make this happen. The comparisons between Scarface and Grand Theft Auto are unavoidable, especially considering that Vice City put you in an almost identical environment. But Radical and Vivendi are counting on the Scarface brand bringing some extra kudos to proceedings, and from what I’ve seen they have a fair shot at pulling that off.
Like most sandbox games you have major objectives, but also minor ones. If Tony is going to rebuild his coke (that’s cocaine not fizzy drinks) empire, he’s going to have to take over the town bit by bit. First up he has to convince some local businessmen to sell their establishments to him so he can use them as fronts, but these guys won’t deal with Tony until he has done them a “favour”. And getting them to agree to sell is only half the problem, Tony also has to make enough money to actually buy each business.
Just like GTA the sandbox grows as you progress through the game, with new areas opening once certain objectives have been achieved. If you’ve driven every stretch of highway, why not buy a boat and check out some of the outlying islands? You don’t want to leave any stone unturned when it comes to business opportunities.
If you’re expecting to hear Al Pacino whenever Tony stops to have a chat you’re going to be somewhat disappointed. Unfortunately Vivendi didn’t manage to secure big Al for the main character’s voice. That said, there is a truly exceptional array of acting talent involved in Scarface. To name but a few there’s James “The good news is I’m a cop and I’ve gotta take you in, the bad news is I’m on suspension so I don’t give a f**k” Woods, Michael “He’s a meat cutter, he cuts meat” Rapaport, Robert “Just like f**king Saigon!” Davi, Daniel Dae “Where’s CTU? I’m Lost” Kim, and just to keep Benny, Wil and Tim happy Ricky “there’s more money in games than Podcasts” Gervais.
In terms of licensing costs, Scarface must have set Vivendi back a pretty penny, especially considering the actors that have signed on. Let’s just hope that Radical has done just as good a job with the gameplay. Vivendi is quoting an Autumn release for Scarface: The World Is Yours, so hopefully I shouldn’t have to wait too much longer to find out.