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Due October 29, 2002 for PlayStation 2.

LATEST UPDATE: GTA Vice City Website hs launched. Click here to visit the website, which features screens and video.

Rockstar is being more than a little tight lipped about Vice City, but here’s what we know so far. Vice City promises the same in-depth, sophisticated gameplay as the beloved GTA 3. According to Rockstar officials: "Vice City not GTA4, it’s not a GTA3 upgrade. Vice City is its own game".

Vice City will be set in the1980s. Expect to see lots of vintage 80s cars and, especially, 1980s music. As for ambience, think Miami Vice with a Rockstar twist. Rockstar has recently given us more information about what music will be included in Vice City. Hall and Oates ("Out of Touch"), Cutting Crew ("Died in Your Arms Tonight"), Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five featuring Cowboy Melle Mel ("The Message"), Flock of Seagulls, Judas Priest ("Another Thing Coming"), Blondie ("Atomic"), and Kool and the Gang ("Summer Madness"). We're sure this is just a small sampling. After the radio broadcasts in GTA3 became such cult classics, Rockstar has doubled their efforts in creating all-new stations with an 80s feel, and Rockstar reps have commented on working with record companies to create an all-star classic 80s soundtrack that John Hughes would be proud of.

Word on the street is that Rockstar has also addressed the gameplay issues we noted in GTA3. So that means targeting should be much better with a prioritized system for locking onto your victims. On top of that, expect much more indoor action, and not of the Ammu-Nation storefront variety. Real buildings with real halls and rooms will be available to explore and will take an active role in the game.

Plenty of vehicles and weapons will keep things fresh. While there's no information about the inclusion of airplanes or helicopters in Vice City, we do know that you get to ride at least two types of bike (the crotch rocket and the Hawg varieties) and drive a speedboat (what would a south Florida setting be like without some action on the high seas?). Weapons include the basics, a SPAS 12 shotgun, Uzi, handguns, and the exotic, an M60 and katana at least. Then there are the even more exotic weapons, like hammers, cleavers, screwdrivers, golf clubs, chainsaws and plenty of big knives. The action and mayhem has never been so intense.

It’s not much to go on, but there is still reason to be excited. Rockstar was evasive about GTA 3 at last year’s E3 show, and then they dropped one of the greatest games ever made in our lap. This year they are telling us we’ll have Vice City "When it’s ready, but trust us. This is going to be good", and trust them I do. Rockstar representatives said the game has been in development since GTA3 has been out, and they are more than happy to remain secretive. Stay tuned to GamesFirst! for future updates.


Jeff Luther and Shwan Rider (09/18/2002)