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SummaryA game beyond all my expectations - a definitive must-play!
The GoodThe game has really good graphics which remind me of Max Payne - they have the same style, the same dark mood. And the game's level of detail is simply stunning: there's life everywhere - people walking around, occasional carjacking, gang fights... not to mention the seedy looking, dark alleyways where the typical backdoors to the sex clubs are... the gang members with their tattoos and cruel faces... simply unbelievable. All the cars drive different, and if you collide with an object, the car WILL break down (and explode if you do it really bad). There are brave people who will try to beat you when you steal their car, others just cry or run away; there are people running to help when someone gets killed (or, in one case, stand there just watching and crying when I squashed some gangster with his own car :) Sunsets, sundowns, rain, fog, night... the weather is simulated with great detail, too.
The sound is the like: when in a car, you can hear radio from quite many really different stations, and the sound effects are cool aswell. All dialogues are dubbed with speech which is credible and well spoken. Foreign versions have subtitles, retaining the original english, curse-littered gangster-talk.
Best of all is the variety. Don't like to do another "kill-this-guy" job, but still need money? No problem: either get some other job - there are tons of sub-plots which can be followed. Or maybe just get normal, "borrow" a taxi and drive some stupid people around? You will get cash from them and you learn how to drive, so that's a good idea. Too easy? Get the ambulance and rescue wounded people - that's MUCH harder! Or do some crazy stunts with a stolen hod rod, or even - kids, that nothing for you! - get yourself some whore girls, f*** them and steal their money afterwards! Everything goes, just don't mess with their pimps since it could be deadly for you :) But the normal jobs are cool, too - blow some mafia guy's car up (with him behind the wheel :), help some poor dog food company owner in murdering his wife (a sub-plot with a surprising end!)... your possibilities are virtually endless.
The coolness factor is very important in this game. In which else game you can wake up (load a saved game, you only can save "at home"), go to your garage next door, jump in your (stolen) car, turn on some cool muzak and drive outta there like Satan on wheels, crashing some cop's lame vehicle in the process? See, no other game gives you this!
The BadSome clipping errors are quite visible, but it's not that bad. And there is no blood at all, this is more bad since it's an adult game with a very violent theme (and where's violence, I expect blood). Controls are really good, but the automatically following camera is sometimes a bit jumpy.