Scarface: The World is Yours
Score: 8.0 / 10
this country, you gotta make the money first. Then when you get the
money, you get the power. Then when you get the power, then you get
- Tony Montana
Scarface: The World is Yours hinges on a "What if...?" scenario stemming from the terrible climax of the film. Instead of being riddled with bullets and blasted in the spine at close range with a shotgun and then splashing into a pool, what if Tony escaped? If Tony managed to escape, what would be his next step? How would he go about re-claiming his criminal empire?
the unlikely event that you're unfamiliar with the film on which The
World is Yours takes its cues from, Scarface tells the story of a
violent Cuban criminal, Tony Montana, that makes his way to the United
States, where he quickly works his way up the ladder of the criminal
underworld. Once reaching
the plateau, Tony finds his life completely unfulfilled, even with a
fortune, the trappings of wealth, and Michelle Pfieffer for his wife.
On top of that he begins snorting as much cocaine as he sells
and his heightened paranoia and insane rages eventually leads him to
his downfall. The game
begins seconds before the end of the film, his mansion under siege by
a Bolivian hit squad sent by a no-nonsense cocaine supplier, Alejandro
Sosa. You take control of
Tony, as unsavory as a criminal can be, just before he's blasted into
oblivion. He escapes with
his life (and a gun, of course) and vows to rebuild his criminal
empire and get revenge on Sosa.
I have in this world is my balls, and my word, and I don't break 'em
for no one."
- Tony Montana
Radical Entertainment has built the game around Tony Montana's personality, as such there's much swearing – so much so, that I found my own everyday vocabulary changing – and the machismo practically drips off the screen. Plus, Radical has gone out their way to replicate Tony's insane greed. Early in the
game, Tony gains access to an "exotics" catalogue which allows him to purchase, via a clunky satellite phone, just about anything he wants, including a massive list of vehicles (including boats) and various goons that will bring said vehicles to wherever Tony is, as well as not so useful furnishings for his mansion, like plastic pelicans, which
Tony's reputation (another important mechanic in the game).
These items aren't free though, which is where the drug
economy of The World is Yours comes into play.
Plain and simple, the economy is all about drugs and keeping the heat of rivals and law enforcement off your back. Tony needs to secure supplies of cocaine for distribution to dealers and fronts throughout the city, which he then sells for massive amounts of cash. Tony starts small with local deals but toward the end of the game he has control of his own production plants in the outlying islands and must manage an empire of store fronts, which can fall under attack from rival crime bosses. Gaining control of these fronts and clearing out rival gangs forms the bulwark of gameplay. Usually before buying a front Tony has to complete some minor errand for the store owner, like blowing up waves of gangsters that have been terrorizing a drive-in theater. (As another level of strategy and more stuff to blow money on, Tony can upgrade each front with extra security and even hired guns.) For a sandbox type game, it actually gets relatively complicated toward the end, but there’s still a ton of action.
of the sources of dissatisfaction with the GTA series is that the
combat is stiff and imprecise.
The World is Yours features a lock-on system which helps in
both ranged and melee fighting in that while locked-on Tony can
target specific body parts with the right stick.
It certainly helps with ammo conservation during the trickier
encounters, and it also helps when building up Tony's balls.
Tony's balls meter is added to every time Tony caps an
opponent, drives dangerously, or taunts opponents as they die.
Once the balls meter is full, Tony can enter a short burst of
first-person Blind Rage, where he becomes invincible, ammo is
unlimited, and every enemy Tony kills boosts his health.
While it might feel contrived in any other game, it fits
within the Scarface universe, but even better it maintains the
overall pace of combat.
(And yes, you can find a sperm bank and empty your balls
meter for some instant cash.)
McKenna, the pen behind screenplays for American History X, Blow and
SWAT, produced an original storyline for The World is Yours, and for
the main story points it certainly feels like an "expert"
has helped the project, taking characters mentioned in the film but
never seen and injecting them into the game without feeling like the
characters were shoe-horned in to keep fans satisfied.
Some of the non-story missions come off a bit clunky in their
repetitive nature, but the overall feeling is that a bunch of
competent people collaborated on its execution.
And it doesn't hurt that the list of voice actors is about as
long as your arm. Besides
the stellar work by Andre Sogliuzzo (channeling a mid '80s Al Pacino),
the list also includes such notables as James Woods, Michael York,
Cheech Marin, Bam Margera, and Ricky Gervais, as well as some of the
film cast, Robert Loggia and Steven Bauer.
There is a truckload of dialogue and almost all of it is
above the video game average. It's
not all found in the cutscenes either; 250 NPCs can be tapped for
unique conversations. Most of these encounters are tinged with
humor. (Keep in mind
that Radical Entertainment is a Canadian company, so that may help
with some of the references, "curling" in particular.)
Before reaching into the downsides of Scarface: The World is Yours, there are some other positives that should be mentioned, like the fact Tony can access his arsenal through car trunks (no more running off to a gun shop). Purchasing certain henchmen open up “non-Tony” missions; you’re still working for Tony, but you’re playing much dirtier. (It’s hard to believe but there are some things Tony Montana just won’t do.) There are many places to save Tony’s progress up the criminal ladder, not just a few safe houses. The soundtrack options are incredibly deep. Though it doesn’t support custom tracks, there are 120 tracks from various genres, eras, and artists; to put it all together players can try out the Mix Tape feature which allows a high degree of flexibility when it comes to what music you want to hear.
The World is Yours pushes the Xbox hardware almost to breaking point
– moving between indoor and outdoor areas is seamless, no loads
whatsoever, and with the amount of detail the game pushes this
accomplishment alone is an achievement.
Though it may pale a little when compared to the likes of
Saint’s Row (on Xbox 360), it looks very good, particularly if you
can run it at 720p. The
framerate does get chunky at times, but it’s usually not
know what capitalism is? Gettin’ f*****.”
- Tony Montana
game is without its blemishes, no matter how polished or cool it is,
and Scarface: The World is Yours is no exception.
Tony Montana’s 1980’s
good, looks good, takes about 40 – 50 hours from start to finish
(plus more to complete the game 100%), it’s filled with action,
and is a good time for those that like being a criminal in a virtual
sandbox. It has its
shortcomings, but they don't outweigh the cool factor of playing
as a philosophical, potty-mouthed, drug-dealing kingpin while
wearing the most ridiculous fashions the ‘80s had to offer and
doing it all while driving a Caddy with a leopard skin interior.
(October 11, 2006)
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