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Platform

Playstation 2

 

Genre

Action

 

Publisher

Activision

 

Developer

Luxoflux

 

ESRB

M (Mature)

 

Released

Q4 2005

 

 

- Really like the combat system

- Christopher Walken! Lawrence Fishburne! R. Lee Ermey!?!

- Awesome soundtrack

 

 

- Repeated crashes and frequent slowdowns!

- Terrible car physics at times

- Repetitious missions

- Could you have more than six character designs?

 

 

Review: True Crime: Streets of L.A. (PS2)

Review: Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (PS2)

Review: God of War (PS2)

 

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True Crime: New York City

Score: 4.5 / 10

 

True Crime: New York City is the follow-up to True Crime: Streets of LA and manages to keep the story a tad more grounded, but unfortunately also less interesting. You control Marcus Reed, the son of an important crime lord (King) and godson of a star police detective (Terry) from the organized crime unit. After a particularly violent gang fight, Terry hides the evidence to protect Marcus on one condition, that he straighten out his life and become a police officer. He does so, and after some time, he gets a promotion to detective and is going to be Terry’s partner but on their first outing he is killed in a building explosion and Marcus is thrown out of the Organized Crime division and returned to Crime Reduction. Marcus is then approached by a member of the FBI who wants him to continue Terry’s work in bringing down organized crime syndicates and figuring out who the potential mole is in the department. Not exactly a revolutionary storyline…

 

true crime new york city          true crime new york city

 

Anyways. You are going to have some powerful backers as you go through eliminating the four major syndicates of New York – the Cartel, the Mob, Presidents Club, and the Shadow Tong as well as taking care of most of the crime in the city. (Apparently all other police officers aren’t good for anything more than shooting you when you forget to flash your badge).

 

Marcus protects the city is all its GTA-clone glory – when not protecting the populace, you’re probably messing with them or running them over by “accident.” You can choose to perform the main “missions”, investigate a fight-club or street racing ring, perform a series of tasks for informants, or just run around 

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causing/solving random crime. Most of the missions are the usual types – run around and pick this up, maybe arrest someone, maybe interrogate someone… and you’ll always get information on the next site with no problems. No detective work required apparently. Way too linear for my tastes.

 

Your method of solving crime will have consequences. Defusing situations without killing people, finding and turning in contraband, and making arrests will 

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help you rise the ranks and make money, but shooting too many suspects, planting evidence, or killing nearby civilians will lead to a demotion. But solving crime in the Big Apple apparently pays rather well (who knew?) and promotions come with large cash bonuses which can be spent on an assortment of things – new cars, new guns, new threads, and new fighting styles from the dojos around town.

 

The weapon system is pretty fire and forget (pun intended); once your pistol is drawn you can either auto-target an opponent or activate precision shooting to try to disable the opponent. For fighting, you can either use weapons or one of your acquired fighting styles. (Weapons do more damage, but are slower and are more easily countered or caught.) The world of True Crime: New York employs a rock-paper-scissors approach to fighting styles (Brawling < Karate < TaeKwonDo < MuayTai < Wushu) with a power style being eaten alive by speed styles. That’s not to say that a specific style can’t defeat anything, it just makes it more difficult to do so.

 

Game-play is very much a GTA-clone like it’s predecessor. You walk around but can “commandeer” vehicles or drive your own quite easily; available missions are always shown on screen and as you travel; and emergency requests will come in over the radio. But with the sheer size of New York , traveling by foot or car really gets old fast and can take a huge chunk of time. Thankfully the designers included taxis and the subway. For a few bucks you can travel instantly across town without having to spend 20-30 minutes to do it in game. Driving in and of itself isn’t particularly fun – the physics are terrible on some of the cars, most corner like they’re on ice and driving motorcycles is a straight out joke. Bikes can apparently knock cars out of their way when you collide with them… right. Car accidents are frequent, but damage apparently does nothing to the car other than crumple it until it is ready to explode from excessive abuse.

 

true crime new york city          true crime new york city

 

Let’s discuss some of the problems (besides the ones I’ve already mentioned). Big one first – crashes and slowdowns. During my testing, the game crashed completely five times (meaning that I had to shut down and restart) and minor crashes almost once an hour (where you can recover by loading a previous game). Slowdowns were popping up any time more than five cars were on screen at a time, or any time you pan the camera with a group of people on screen. Not exactly fun when you have to fight against a gang, which does happen rather often. This game was obviously rushed out the door to make the Holiday rush and has suffered tremendously because of it. Repetitious missions. (Damn, how many times in a day can I be called out for a business hostage situation?) Apparently as often as I get called out for a psychotic pyromaniac on the streets. Low number of character designs, and poorly done ones at that. iI’s quite common to walk down a street and have a person walking with 3 of their clones and have each person talk with a different accent. It becomes special when a black man talks like a stereotypical Asian or a Russian. The lack of diversity makes performing random searches more pointless as well, if you can’t tell who is supposed to ACTUALLY be a hooker it makes searching fruitless.

 

To the good things! Some superb voice actors signed on – Christopher Walken, Lawrence Fishburn, and R. Lee Ermey (Sarge from Full Metal Jacket) and deliver some great performances, especially Walken who has some of the funniest dialogue in the game every time he starts randomly telling useless information about his past. The soundtrack is a real treat, it’s probably the best reason to spend time in cars – mixing genres of hip-hop with punk, rock, and trance it has something for every taste (except country – you’ll have to wait for True Crime: Austin).

 

All in all, True Crime: New York City took a serious step back from True Crime: LA and came out with some really bad flaws. If the crashing problem and the character design problems had been ironed out, that score could have easily been a six or seven instead of a failing grade. Critical flaws in a console game are unacceptable, especially when updating (i.e. patching) console games just isn’t done yet.

 

- Tazman

(February 7, 2006)

 

“You're horning in on my spot!”

“Oh come on Taco King! I bet if you let me in your hard shell, I'd find a lump of soft meat. He he he. That came out wrong.”

- Taco King & Roger (American Dad)

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