True Crime: Streets of L.A.
Received some new details on the official True Crime soundtrack today. Click here to read them.
May 6, 2003 Update
If you read my True Crime Preview below and you still aren't convinced that this game has incredible potential, please click the white banner above to see some sweet True Crime movies! No really, the movies are swank and you won't be bombarded with foolishness if you click on the banner. Only one page will pop up with the movie on it. Thanks and enjoy!
January 27, 2003 Update
Many of you are still playing Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, but for those of you who have beaten the game and are anxiously waiting for the sequel (or prequel) that is due out in 2004, you might want to look into True Crime: Streets of LA instead. Inspired by Hong Kong action films, True Crime: Streets of LA promises to offer many of the same great features found in GTA: Vice City, and a whole lot more.
In True Crime, you will assume the role of Nick Kang, a Chinese American detective who was discharged from the LAPD due to his overly aggressive and controversial methods of dealing with criminals in Los Angeles. Nick then joins the Elite Operations Division and he decides to get rid of the growing Chinese Triad and Russian Mafia related crimes in LA. Of course, as you keep playing, the storyline becomes more complicated.
Perhaps the most unique aspect of True Crime is the amazingly unlinear gameplay. There will be over 100 missions, with many of them branching off into different sections. Unlike Vice City, there isn't always a set objective that you must follow in order to complete a mission. Instead, the game keeps track of your actions. Even if you "fail" a mission, the game will continue to progress. For example, if you are told to kill a man, but you let him get away, he may come back later to finish you off. Or he might murder someone you know. If you manage to kill him, you obviously don't have to worry about him anymore. Although, that does not mean that one of his friends won't attempt to get revenge on you. All in all, there are about 3 possible endings.
True Crime also features about 100 or so missions that have very little to do with the main storyline. Not only are they there for replay value (you don't have to do them if you don't want to), but they are also there to help improve or upgrade Kang's skills and weapons. If you complete enough of the optional missions, you will be granted access to various training facilities -- such as the dojo, shooting range, and auto shops.
The dojo is used to learn new sets of real-life martial arts moves. Once you are prepared, you must challenge and defeat the master of each dojo or you cannot use your new moves outside of the school. The shooting range also offers new upgrades for Kang as well. For instance, you can earn the ability to target multiple thugs at once (assuming that you have two guns out at once, John Woo style). Precision shooting allows for better aiming and it can be earned at the shooting range as well. Lastly, "bullet-time", something made famous in The Matrix and Max Payne, can be learned to slowdown time.
As for the auto shop, it upgrades your cars. Sadly, there aren't as many cars as in GTA and none of them are licensed vehicles. However, most of True Crime takes place on foot, so there is no need to worry.
Visually, True Crime: Streets of LA is looking quite impressive. The character models look great and their animations are topped off using motion capture technology. True Crime obviously takes place in Los Angeles and the developer, Luxoflux (remember Vigilante 8 on the PSX?), has managed to re-created a whopping 300 square miles of one of the U.S.'s largest cities. If you live in LA, you'll definitely be able to find your way around in True Crime -- especially with over 100 real-life landmark buildings and structures in the game.
And before you ask, you can indeed enter buildings (about 32 of them). One place you can enter is a bar, and you can actually damage and break bottles, stools, pool tables and other objects that get in the way during combat. Cars can be damaged in real-time too, but I don't think they blow up.
To complete the package, the PS2 version of True Crime will feature Dolby Pro Logic II support when it ships to stores this September. More screenshots and info will be posted when it becomes available.
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