It only took Rockstar one year after the release of GTA III to develop the next game in the series; Vice City, that captured the atmosphere of the 80s like no other game. Let's take a look at it.
The year is 1986. Tommy Vercetti is a member of the Forelli crime family in Liberty City, and he just got released from prison after a 15 year sentence. Around this time, the family decides to turn their attention to the growing drug business in Vice City. Tommy's boss Sonny Forelli sends him down south to make series of cocaine deals. Upon arriving into the city, Tommy is greeted by the lawyer Ken Rosenberg, who immediately takes him and his bodyguards to the docks to his first deal. They arrive just in time to see their business partners arrive by helicopter but after the deal starts, the group gets attacked by masked people. Tommy and Ken manage to escape by car, and one of their partners flies away with the helicopter. After Tommy arrives at his hotel room he calls Sonny and tells him about the situation. His boss is obviously furious at him for losing his money, but he gives Tommy a chance to redeem himself and get the money back.
Through Ken, Tommy meets the most influential people in Vice City, and he starts to build a new business for himself. Eventually, Sonny finds out about this and wants a cut of this new business on top of his lost money...
The graphics have been improved upon compared to GTA III. The models of the pedestrians look a bit smoother and all cars got new models too. The animations of the faces look better, although they might look a bit weird by todays standards.
I'm just going to say this: this game has the BEST soundtrack in all of the series. Somehow, there is no track in this game that is not fun to listen to, and there's a ton of the greatest hits from the 80s, which is one of the reasons why this game has such an awesome atmosphere.
The gameplay is the same as GTA III with some new features like the ability to fly helicopters, change clothing, buy property and eat to regain health just to name a few. Also, there are motorbikes in the game now.
Atmosphere and Inspirations:
Have you ever seen the movie Scarface? GTA Vice City is pretty much that movie in game form. The game was meant to be a huge love letter to the 80s, and it really was. Another big inspiration was the TV show Miami Vice; from songs used in the show to guns and cars used by the main characters, an immense amount of stuff used in the game originates from it.
GTA Vice City is one of the most beloved games in the series, and for good reason. The atmosphere is amazing, the story is intriguing and the soundtrack is unbeatable. It was a truly phenomenal sequel to GTA III and it is worth playing to this day. Just like GTA III, this game is also available on Steam for about 10 bucks so if you have the money, why not pick it up?