Grand Theft Auto Vice City iOS & Android Edition – Lockdown Time Killer Game No.3

The third in a series of recommendations of the very best time filling games to help ease you through the long hours of a national lockdown. Welcome back to Vice City, you will enjoy your stay!

  • Rockstar Games 
  • rockstargames.com/games/vicecity
  • £4.99, $4.99, 4,99 €
  • Compatibility: iOS 10.0 / Android Check Device

As one of our favourite games, there’s always enormous excitement about the promise of a fully functional version of Grand Theft Auto Vice City on mobile but there’s always some trepidation when revisiting such a revered classic after so long. In terms of reproducing a classic, Rockstar have produced a version that excels all previous incarnations, the Retina screen enhancements are obvious as are the tightening of the, still uneven but vastly improved over Rockstar’s GTA III mobile port, touch screen targeting and general virtual joystick controls. Essentially GTA Vice City has never looked this good! Textures are smoother and more detailed, pop-up is non-existent and the freedom to roam around this living world is a joy. The original control scheme has been admirably translated to the touch screen. It’s fiddly at first, especially driving where the directional control feels very sensitive and you’ll find yourself oversteering a lot until you get a feel for it. Similarly on-foot movement can feel cumbersome but with time can be mastered.

Although we were left to ponder will the almost 20 year old gameplay hammer the experience or simply add to it. Thankfully the answer is the latter. In fact it’s a testament to how solid the mechanics of the original game were that the structure and progression still stands up. But let’s not get bogged down in details. This is the neon soaked 80’s pop culture inspired Vice City and it’s yours to fully explore!

If you are returning to the game having played it during it’s original console release, you’ll find GTA Vice City to be as playable as it ever was. Later titles in the series honed elements such as melee fighting and gunplay to make them more intuitive but it’s the ability to tackle problems in your own way that made this so special. Having trouble shooting out the wheels of that getaway car? Try taking a truck and ramming it off the road into the river instead. The mission and story progression keep you hooked and Rockstar’s trademarked bonus content is a joy to explore and unlock crafting a game that just lasts and lasts.

While younger players brought up on the current generation of consoles may feel it lacks sophistication, however this does it a disservice. In terms of mobile gaming this still achieves a level of quality above and beyond most of what’s currently available. Unlike a lot of the console to mobile conversions that are available, one of the biggest compliments one can play this game is the requisite nostalgic attachment is essential to the player’s enjoyment. Of course, anybody who experienced this the first time around will relish the opportunity to revisit it. This is an epic game in concept, scale and execution, offering a huge city to explore or explode and one which is populated with a vast cast of characters. If you were too young to play it when it was originally released or are my familiar to the latest instalments, the combination of story telling, gameplay and cinematic sheen provide more than enough motivation. The game design isn’t revolutionary as it was on first release but it’s still a benchmark for pacing and story-telling, the latter aided massively by the movie quality voice work and that stunning 80’s sound track. An unmissable release for your iOS or Android device, a true classic moment in gaming history and one that continues to delight and who doesn’t need a little delight in these dark COVID-19 days.

GTA Vice City
  • Overall Time Killed
4

Summary

A fantastic trip back to the sun soaked days and neon lit nights of the 80’s. GTA Vice City is regarded by many as the best in the franchise and who am I to disagree!

+ A vast world to explore
+ Literally dripping with 80’s nostalgia
+ Smooth visuals and an epic sound track
– Touch controls initially distract

Russ Ware

Russ has been testing, reviewing and writing guides for tech since the heady days of Windows 95 and the Sega Saturn. A self-confessed (and proud) geek about all things tech, if it has LED's, a screen, beeps or has source code, Russ will want to master it (and very likely take it apart to see how it works...)

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