Vice City Stories is structured the same as to other releases in the Grand Theft Auto series. The game is set in Vice City in the year 1984. The city isn't much different than it appeared in GTA Vice City with the exception of different buildings, landscaping, and missions.
The gameplay consists of elements of a third-person shooter and a driving game, affording the player a large and open environment in which to explore and move around. While on foot, the playable character is capable of walking, running, jumping, and swimming for a limited amount of time, as well as utilizing weapons and using basic hand-to-hand combat. Players can drive a variety of vehicles which includes automobiles, boats, planes, bicycles, helicopters, jetskis, and motorcycles.
The open, non-linear environment allows players to explore and choose how they wish to play the game. Although completing various storyline missions are necessary in order to progress through the game and unlock certain areas and content. They arn't required as the players can complete them at their own time although most people consider doing the missions to see what happens next in the game. When not taking on a storyline mission, the players can free-roam around the city.
The player can also partake in a variety of optional side missions. Some traditional side missions from past games are included, but have been moderately upgraded and enhanced compared to previous titles. A new addition to the game is "Beach Patrol", in which the player's character must deal with bikers on the beach while driving a beach buggy. The player uses the buggy to ram or shoot the bikers off their bikes, or throwing life preservers to drowning swimmers by boat or driving a paramedic around to injured people on the beach.
One of the key gameplay elements in Vice City Stories is an empire building. New to the GTA series, it borrows a few ideas from Vice City's "properties" and San Andreas' "gang wars" systems. In order to make money, the player must open and operate various businesses on property taken over from enemy gangs. It can range from protection rackets to brothels or smuggling compounds; the type and scale of a business is entirely dependant on the player's wants.
For Vice City Stories, the combat system was overhauled to feature more depth than ever before. The targeting mechanism has been tweaked to "intelligently target"; enemies posing a threat or attacking the player will be targeted over pedestrians. The biggest changes concern the hand-to-hand combat system, as players can now perform grappling moves and throws, and stand on top of enemies lying on the ground.
Instead of hidden packages that were featured in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, the pickups in Vice City Stories are Red Balloons. Red Balloons can be collected by simply shooting them. There are a total of 99 red balloons in the game.
Improvements to the graphics since the release of Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories include new animations, faster load times, a longer draw distance, reductions in clumping of pedestrians and vehicles, more complex explosions, and increases in the density of objects, vehicles, and NPCs.
PlotThe game is set in Vice City in 1984 while the player takes the role of Victor Vance, the game's protagonist. Opportunity abounds in a city emerging from the swamps. Its growth fueled by the violent power struggle in a lucrative drugs trade. Construction is everywhere as a shining metropolis rises from foundations of crime and betrayal.
As a soldier, Victor has always protected his dysfunctional family, his country, and himself. One bad decision later and that job is about to get much harder. Kicked out onto the streets of a city torn between glamour and gluttony, Vic is faced with one choice – to build an empire or to be crushed.
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