Wednesday, 09 February 2005
We all love the GTA series donít we? Thought so, it seems to be one of the very very few games that were all unanimous in our loving admiration. So as youíd expect, a multitude of publishers around the globe see the success that the GTA series has created for itself, and go about trying to get themselves a piece of the action by creating a game specified towards the same market demographic. The strange thing is, thatís hasnít really happened. Maybe itís to do with the fact that they all know they wonít be able to come up with a title as impressive and addictive? But, Linoflux has had a go.
I am partial to a nice story every now and again. Now when I say story, I mean a real story. A story with twists and turns, a story that draws me into a brand new world with tales of fantastic feats. True Crime however plumps for a storyline that youíd be hard pushed to not see in a thousand Hollywood action ďthrillersĒ from the past twenty years. You find yourself playing the son (Nick Kang) of a former LA cop, declared as a bit of a ďloose cannonĒ that no-one will touch. However, once things start to get a bit rough, youíre called upon to sort the mess out. Along the way youíll uncover deep plots and conspiracies, and even find out what really happened to your father, who mysteriously disappeared many a year ago. Not exactly a deep, unique storyline by an means, but if you enjoyed the film ďBad Boys 2Ē, youíll love this.
Having seen a multitude of games across all platforms over the past two years, itís plainly obvious that the PS2 is the least powerful of the three big consoleís, and True Crime does manage to add a bit of a extra ammunition to the GC and Xbox fanboys out there. You see despite it looking fairly impressive, the game does suffer from some horrible textures in various places, and just an all round blandness when compared to the city streets of Vice City. The other two versions (this review based on the PS2 version after all) do improve things somewhat, but not really anyway noteworthy.
The gameplay itself does find itself the opposite way around the GTA however. In True Crime youíll spend much more time on foot in a Max Payne kind of way rather than speeding your way through the LA streets. However, in a difference to Max Payne, a lot of the on foot action occurs in the guise of good old hand-to-hand combat. Unfortunately the system used for this means that a lot of the time each little fight youíll take part in ends up a simply bash of the buttons, with the occasional block thrown in for good measure. This makes the game seem much more lacking in depth than it really is. Letís just hope that if a sequel is commissioned, that this is one area in particular thatís worked upon pretty furiously.
One item which concerned me hugely, and one which will no doubt but a fair few people off this title is the music. Yep, itís all of the ďHip HopĒ variety with all the swearing and references to ďHoísĒ and guns as you could ever wish for. Obviously for those of you who enjoy music of that persuasion will love the track selection, and admittedly it does fit the game particularly well indeed. Itís just a shame that there couldnít have been a bit of variety incorporated just to give it a bit of added flavour.
One nice little touch is the addition of random crimes occurring at random times in the city. This means that at various times youíll receive a call of a crime in progress, with a suspect fleeing from the scene. Itís your job as one of the boys in blue to apprehend said criminal, and move on. Unfortunately this area is a little underdone as it serves no purpose with the main storyline whatsoever. It is a good idea in earnest as it breaks up the play, but itís just a little under cooked.
True Crime: Streets Of LA isnít in anyway a particularly bad game, itís just that the sum of the parts donít reach the heights youíd expect. Compared to GTA 3 and Vice City, it falls short in just about every single area, only bringing a couple of decent ideas to the forefront, which as we all know isnít good enough in this day and age. Especially when the main character is the most dislikeable central character in a video game since *insert your horrible character of choice here* Itíll still sell by the bucket load though, so in all honesty the creation of this titleís been justified, itís just that as a game it isnít a title that Iíd happily play over some of the many top quality releaseís hitting us over the next month or so. To Linoflux, good try, but next time try something a bit different please?