- — Ben Silverman, Game Revolution.
Grand Theft Auto series
1997 – Grand Theft Auto
1998 – Liberty City Stories
1999 – Grand Theft Auto 2 (Possible)
2013 – Grand Theft Auto 2 (Possible)
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (also referred to as GTA Vice City, Vice City and GTAVC) is a video game developed by Rockstar North. It is the fifth installment in the Grand Theft Auto series and the second game in the 3D Universe title of the series.
GTA Vice City is set in Vice City, Florida, in 1986, and concerns the exploits of protagonist Tommy Vercetti as he rises to become Vice City's major criminal power. The game's events follow on from Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories.
Designed by Rockstar North and published by Rockstar Games, it debuted in North America on October 27, 2002 for PlayStation 2 and quickly became the best-selling video game of the year. Following this success, GTA Vice City saw releases in Europe, Australia and Japan, and became available on PC and Xbox. Later, Rockstar Vienna packaged the game with its predecessor, GTA III, and sold it as the Grand Theft Auto: Double Pack for Xbox, and finally it debuted for iOS and Android December 6, 2012 as a celebration of its 10-year anniversary. As of April 2015, GTA Vice City is the fourth best-selling PlayStation 2 game of all time in the United States. GTA Vice City also appeared on the Japanese magazine Famitsu's readers' list of 100 all-time favorite videogames in 2006.
Its original release version uses a tweaked version of the RenderWare game engine used by GTA III, and similarly presents a huge cityscape, fully populated with buildings (from hotels to skyscrapers), vehicles (cars, motorcycles, boats, helicopters, and planes) and people.
From the official site:
- "Welcome to Vice City. Welcome to the 1980s.
- Having just made it back onto the streets of Liberty City after a long stretch in maximum security prison, Tommy Vercetti is sent to Vice City by his old boss, Sonny Forelli. They were understandably nervous about his reappearance in Liberty City, so a trip down south seemed like a good idea. But all does not go smoothly upon his arrival in the glamorous, hedonistic metropolis of Vice City. He's set up and is left with no money and no merchandise. Sonny wants his money back, but the biker gangs, Cuban gangsters, and corrupt politicians stand in his way. Most if not all of Vice City seems to want Tommy dead. His only answer is to fight back and take over the city himself."
After arriving in Vice City, Tommy, Harry and Lee are introduced to Ken Rosenberg who is tasked with driving them to a drug deal with the Vance brothers. But the deal is ambushed and one of the brothers along with Harry and Lee are killed and the money and cocaine are stolen.
After Tommy and Rosenberg discuss what they plan to do, Tommy calls Sonny and tells him the deal was a setup. After some hostile words, Sonny agrees to let Tommy handle the situation while Rosenberg tells Tommy about Juan Cortez, a retired colonel who helped set up the deal. After meeting him, his daughter Mercedes Cortez introduces him to the many of the more popular guests including Vice City's largest drug baron Ricardo Diaz at the party before asking him to take her to the The Pole Position Club.
Rosenberg then tells Tommy that Kent Paul may know what became of Tommy's merchandise and Paul tells Tommy that Leo Teal may know what happened. Tommy confronts Teal and beats him to death before being confronted by Lance Vance, the third survivor in the botched deal. Tommy and Lance form an alliance and vow to get the money and drugs back.
Rosenberg then introduces Tommy to Avery Carrington, a property developer. Avery gives Tommy work and in exchange offers to protect Tommy from any threats to his operation.
Tommy is then offered some work from Cortez, who has Tommy kill Gonzalez, a former right-hand who is responsible for botching the deal. Tommy kills Gonzalez and goes for more work. He runs into Lance again and the two watch over a drug deal between Diaz' Gang and the Cubans. But the Haitians ambush the deal as Tommy, Lance and Diaz are forced to fight back and afterwards Tommy is offered work from Diaz.
During his work for Diaz, Lance learns that Diaz' gang were the ones who ambushed the deal and killed their associates. Tommy however plans to gain Diaz' trust before attempting to kill him. Lance loses patience and secretly attempts to kill Diaz, but he fails and Tommy is forced to rescue him. With their cover blown, Tommy and Lance head to Diaz' mansion and kill him. With Diaz dead, Tommy is given more opportunities to take over the town.
Tommy ends up buying many businesses and expanding on his business. But Lance begins to feel under appreciated, causing a rift between him and Tommy. Meanwhile, Sonny loses patience and personally comes to Vice City to claim his money. Tommy plans ahead and attempts to give him fake money, but Lance betrays Tommy, reveals the plan to rip off Sonny and the Forellis attempt to kill him. Tommy kills Lance and then Sonny and is ultimately wounded in the chaos. Tommy then makes Rosenberg his right-hand man.
- Tommy Vercetti .... Ray Liotta
- Ken Rosenberg .... William Fichtner
- Sonny Forelli .... Tom Sizemore
- Steve Scott .... Dennis Hopper
- Avery Carrington .... Burt Reynolds
- Ricardo Diaz .... Luis Guzmán
- Lance Vance .... Philip Michael Thomas
- Colonel Juan Cortez .... Robert Davi
- Umberto Robina .... Danny Trejo
- Phil Cassidy .... Gary Busey
- Mitch Baker .... Lee Majors
- Mercedes Cortez .... Fairuza Balk
- Kent Paul .... Danny Dyer
- Jezz Torrent .... Kevin McKidd
- Taxi Controller .... Deborah Harry
- Candy Suxxx .... Jenna Jameson
- BJ Smith .... Lawrence Taylor
- Auntie Poulet .... Youree Cleomili Harris
- Supplier .... Armando Riesco
- Cougar .... Blayne Perry
- Hilary .... Charles Tucker
- Congressman Alex Shrub .... Chris Lucas
- Old Man Kelly .... George DiCenzo
- Cam Jones .... Greg Sims
- Psycho .... Hunter Platin
- Maude the Ice Cream Lady .... Jane Gennaro
- Jethro .... John Zurhellen
- Gonzales .... Jorge Pupo
- Dwayne .... Navid Khonsari
- Dick .... Peter McKay
- Mike the Goon .... Robert Cihra
- Percy .... Russell Foreman
Setting and Influences
GTA Vice City is arguably the most heavily influenced Grand Theft Auto game, taking inspiration from a wide range of classic 1980s movies, television programmes and music.
Perhaps the closest real-life counterpart to GTA Vice City is the television series Miami Vice. Aside from the broad-ranging similarities (80's music — including new wave, hip-hop, R&B, soul, glam metal and synthesizer pop — organized crime, drug trafficking, styled cars, pastel clothes etc.), several specific references are included. For example, at a 3-star wanted level or above, the player will be chased by two undercover police officers named Cracker and Butts, who strongly resemble Sonny Crockett and Ricardo Tubbs, the primary characters from the TV series. Furthermore, these officers drive a VCPD Cheetah, which is itself styled after the 1986 Ferrari Testarossa, Crockett's car in the latter three seasons of the show.
Another direct link to Miami Vice is the inclusion of "Crockett's Theme," a piece of instrumental music from the show, on the in-game radio station Emotion 98.3. Many other popular songs that were used in Miami Vice are featured on the game's radio stations, including "Self Control" by Laura Branigan, "Turn Up the Radio" by Autograph and "Missing You" by John Waite. The musical similarities extend to the background score composed specifically for the game — many cutscenes and the end credits feature ambient, synth-heavy tracks very much in the style of Jan Hammer, who provided the background music for the show, while the "Theme from Vice City" is comparable to Hammer's "Miami Vice Theme".
One of the game's primary characters, Lance Vance, is voiced by Philip Michael Thomas, who portrayed Tubbs in Miami Vice. His initial goal in the game — to avenge the death of his brother in a drug deal gone wrong — mirrors Tubbs' objective in the show's pilot episode. Several vehicles and weapons in Vice City are also taken from the TV series, including the Squalo (Sonny Crockett's speedboat), the Stinger (Crockett's Ferrari Daytona, his car for the first two seasons, the Marquis (Crockett's sailing yacht), the Infernus, the Katana (featured during the climax of the episode "Bushido"), the Stubby Shotgun (Tubbs' signature weapon in the later seasons of the show) and the MAC-10 (a weapon smuggled in the episode "Evan").
Two of the antagonists of the game share their first names with the two main characters of Miami Vice. Ricardo Diaz who was responsible for the botched the drug deal shares his first name with Ricardo Tubbs and Sonny Forelli who was responsible for setting Tommy up and making him serve 15 years in prison shares his first name with Sonny Crockett.
Other more subtle references to Miami Vice appear in the game. For example, during the opening credits sequence, one of the stylized images that appears framing the in-game footage is actually a screenshot from the episode "Bought and Paid For", showing Nico Arroyo's Lamborghini Countach being chased by Crockett's Daytona. The attire worn by the Cuban and Haitian gangs in the game is taken from two prominent extras in a scene at Miami International Airport in the pilot episode of the show. Also, the game's Hidden Packages, small green "tiki statues" packed with cocaine, are a reference to the episode "Milk Run", in which cocaine is smuggled in an identical fashion.
Another significant influence on GTA Vice City is the 1983 film Scarface, starring Al Pacino as Tony Montana. Several in-game locations, such as the mansion that becomes the Vercetti Estate and the Malibu Club, are obviously styled after locations featured in the movie. Elsewhere in the city, there is a hidden apartment containing a chainsaw within a blood-stained bathroom, a nod to Scarface's infamous chainsaw dismemberment scene. The game's final mission mirrors the end of the movie; in both instances, the main character is assaulted by an army of Sosa’s goons at their mansion leading to a large shootout (although Tommy survives, whereas Montana does not). The "Mr. Vercetti" outfit available from the The Pole Position Club strongly resembles an outfit worn by Tony Montana, and even Tommy Vercetti himself takes many character traits from Al Pacino's character, specifically his short temper, his heavy dealings in the cocaine trade and his desire to rise to the top.
It is also worth noting that the radio station Flashback FM from Grand Theft Auto III exclusively features songs written for the Scarface soundtrack; the developers acknowledged the film as being a major influence on the overall rise-to-criminal-power theme of that game, and the soundtrack was included as an homage.
Other references and influences on Vice City include:
- Carlito's Way — Ken Rosenberg, Tommy Vercetti's lawyer and adviser, is modelled after Sean Penn's lawyer character from the movie, both in terms of physical appearance and personality.
- To Live and Die in L.A. — Later in the game there is a money counterfeiting scheme based on the movie. A song from the movie's soundtrack ("Dance Hall Days" by Wang Chung) is also included on the in-game radio.
- Red Dawn — The 1984 movie about a fictional Soviet invasion of the United States is labelled a "documentary" in an Ammu-Nation radio advertisement, parodying American attitudes towards communism in the 1980s.
- Rambo: First Blood Part II — The fictitious film Exploder: Evacuator Part II, an advertisement for which is heard on the in-game radio, is an obvious play on the 1985 First Blood sequel's convoluted title.
- Village People — A builder, a police officer, a soldier, a firefighter and a biker can be seen dancing on stage in the Malibu Club.
- Cars associated with 1980s pop culture — Many of the game's vehicles are reproductions of popular/famous vehicles from the time, such as the Deluxo, which is a nod to the DeLorean DMC-12 from Back to the Future, and the Burrito, a reference to the A-Team's van.
- Pablo Escobar — The city's airport is named after the notorious Colombian drug dealer.
- Hair Metal — As well as the rock/metal station V-Rock, the fictitious band Love Fist parody several clichés of glam metal bands in the 1980s, such as Spinal Tap and Mötley Crüe.
- Characters in GTA Vice City
- Missions in GTA Vice City
- Vehicles in GTA Vice City
- Weapons in GTA Vice City
- 100% Completion in GTA Vice City
- Radio Stations in GTA Vice City
- Locations in GTA Vice City
- Safehouses in GTA Vice City
- Assets in GTA Vice City
- Businesses in GTA Vice City
- Gangs in GTA Vice City
- Secrets and Easter Eggs in GTA Vice City
- Cheats in GTA Vice City
- Trophies in GTA Vice City
GameSpot rated the game 9.6/10, giving it an Editor's Choice award. Its record was surpassed by its successor Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. GameSpot's Best and Worst of 2002 Best Music on PlayStation 2, Best Action Adventure Game on PlayStation 2, Game of the Year on PlayStation 2. IGN's Best of 2002 Best Adventure Game for PlayStation 2 (Editor's Choice and Reader's Choice), Special Achievement for Sound (Reader's Choice), Best Game of the Year for PlayStation 2 (Editor's Choice and Reader's Choice), BAFTA Video Games Awards Best Design, Best PC Game, Best Action Game, Sunday Times Reader Award for Games, Best PlayStation 2 Game, Best Sound.
Despite near-universal acclaim, GTA Vice City was voted "Most degrading Video Game to women" a few months after its release.
|Date||Award||Category||Recipient(s) and Nominee(s)||Result|
|28 November 2003||Golden Joystick Awards||Ultimate Game of the Year||Grand Theft Auto: Vice City||Won|
|28 November 2003||Golden Joystick Awards||Best PlayStation 2 Game||Grand Theft Auto: Vice City||Won|
|2003||GameSpot Game of the Year 2003 Awards||Best PlayStation 2 Game||Grand Theft Auto: Vice City||Won|
|2003||GameSpot Game of the Year 2003 Awards||Best Action/Adventure Games||Grand Theft Auto: Vice City||Won|
|2003||GameSpot Game of the Year 2003 Awards||Best Music||Grand Theft Auto: Vice City||Won|
|2003||GameSpot Game of the Year 2003 Awards||Best Sound||Grand Theft Auto: Vice City||Nominated|
|2003||GameSpot Game of the Year 2003 Awards||Best Graphics||Grand Theft Auto: Vice City||Nominated|
|2003||GameSpot Game of the Year 2003 Awards||Best Story||Grand Theft Auto: Vice City||Nominated|
|16 January 2004||IGN's Best of 2003||Best PlayStation 2 Game||Grand Theft Auto: Vice City||Won|
|16 January 2004||IGN's Best of 2003||Best Action/Adventure Game||Grand Theft Auto: Vice City||Won|
|16 January 2004||IGN's Best of 2003||Reader's Choice Overall Game of the Year||Grand Theft Auto: Vice City||Runner-Up|
|February 2004||1st British Academy Games Awards||Best PlayStation 2 Game||Grand Theft Auto: Vice City||Won|
|February 2004||1st British Academy Games Awards||Best PC Game||Grand Theft Auto: Vice City||Won|
|February 2004||1st British Academy Games Awards||Best Action Game||Grand Theft Auto: Vice City||Won|
|February 2004||1st British Academy Games Awards||Best Design||Grand Theft Auto: Vice City||Won|
|February 2004||1st British Academy Games Awards||Best Sound||Grand Theft Auto: Vice City||Won|
|February 2004||1st British Academy Games Awards||Sunday Times Reader Award for Games||Grand Theft Auto: Vice City||Won|
|February 2004||1st British Academy Games Awards||Best Animation or Intro||Grand Theft Auto: Vice City||Nominated|
|February 2004||1st British Academy Games Awards||Best Technical Achievement||Grand Theft Auto: Vice City||Nominated|
10th Anniversary Edition
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City 10th Anniversary Edition was announced by Rockstar on October 26th, 2012. On November 21, 2012, Rockstar further revealed it would be launched on December 6, 2012 for iOS and Android devices, and would cost $4.99 for both the App Store version and the Google Play version (with the British release costing £2.99 for the App Store and £3.29 for the Google Play Store).
Rockstar announced that it would include "native high-resolution graphics and several enhancements unique to the iOS and Android platforms including updated character models and lighting effects, new and more precise firing and targeting options, a fully customizable control layout and native support for retina display devices."
The Definitive Edition
The Definitive Edition was announced by Rockstar on October 8th, 2021, as part of the Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy - The Definitive Edition pack. The edition will be released in 2021 for PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC; and in 2022 for Apple iOS and Android.
The edition will feature across-the-board upgrades including graphical improvements and modern gameplay enhancements, while still maintaining the classic look and feel of its original version.
- See more, Artworks in GTA Vice City
- The logo sequence for Grand Theft Auto: Vice City is reminiscent of the Commodore 64 BASIC command prompt, which was common during the time when the game was set.
- The Commodore 64-like opening of GTA Vice City features the melody of the Grand Theft Auto theme song in a vibrant 8-bit tone. It was also the tune for the pager in Grand Theft Auto III.
- According to Lazlow Jones, Rockstar began working on GTA Vice City only one month after the release of GTA III.
- All license plates in GTA Vice City are similar to real life Florida license plates; an orange logo resembling the state of Florida can be seen on them, some even having the Florida Gators logo.
- GTA Vice City is the only 3D Universe game not to feature the AK-47, after it was cut from the final game. However it can still be seen in the loading art, where Phil Cassidy is seen holding one guarding his fort. It can also be seen on the wall of any Ammu-Nation.
- GTA Vice City is the second best-selling game of the 3D Universe (behind only Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas) and the fourth best-selling GTA game overall with over 20 million units sold.
- In an episode of the Fox TV show Family Guy, Peter suffers with Amnesia and is told by Lois to try playing Grand theft Auto to help. The logo seen on the game tape is that of GTA Vice City.
- Some of the GTA Vice City posters have appeared in the Black Eyed Peas' "Where Is the Love?" music video.
- On the box art, there is a helicopter in the upper left corner that was never featured in-game. It appears to be a Maverick that features two machine guns on its front.
- Between its release in 2002 and recent copies of the game after 2012, out of the entire series, GTA Vice City has undergone the most changes out of any GTA game, with several songs removed and some weapons either removed or amended (for example, Tear Gas is only featured on the original PS2 version released in 2002 and the Spaz 12 was changed to Spas 12 in later versions). For unknown reasons, on subsequent PS2 versions and the PS3 version, the Police Scanner in emergency vehicles plays in slow motion.
- The Martini Girl from the artwork was featured in Vices (pictured), a painting by Richard Mayes at The Diamond Casino & Resort, in Grand Theft Auto Online.
- GTA Vice City is the first game in the series to use the word "fuck". It can be seen on a poster in Phil Cassidy's trailer.