|Vivendi (PS2, Xbox)
Remember the end of the movie Scarface? In a state of rage, Tony Montana stands defiant against an army of hit men who have invaded his mansion. Atop a staircase, armed only with his "leetle friend," the cocaine-fueled crime lord manages to mow down most of his attackers, despite being riddled with bullets himself. In The World Is Yours, that's when gameplay kicks in, giving you a chance to save Tony from the lethal blow that sent him over the railing and into the shallow pool below.
Like the Scarface-inspired Grand Theft Auto series, World is an ultraviolent, open-ended, third-person actioner. You'll reclaim Tony's place as kingpin of the underworld through savvy negotiations, ruthless intimidation, and blood 'n' bullets. Manage some risky manuevers, and you'll be rewarded with bigger balls. (I kid you not!) Miami's crime-filled streets, seedy back alleys, and steamy nightclubs circa the early 1980s serve as your backdrop and are decently detailed for a game of this kind, looking their best on Xbox in 720p. And Tony looks and sounds exactly as he should, thanks to Al Pacino (who lends his likeness) and a handpicked-by-Pacino voice actor (who perfectly captures Tony's explosive personality).
The game was mixed at Skywalker Ranch, so every gunshot, explosion, and F-bomb is up to fully immersive, Hollywood standards. And a "Mix Tape" feature lets you create an in-game playlist from a massive music selection of '80s-era artists, the original movie score/soundtrack, and today's hottest acts.
Purists may be pissed that someone has meddled with the movie's classic finale. But fans of GTA - or even the absurd, comedic violence of Quentin Tarantino - will want to say hello to this not-so-leetle game.
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