True Crime: Streets of LA

Moby ID: 10894
PlayStation 2 Specs
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Nick Kang is a young Chinese-American detective who has been suspended from the Los Angeles Police Department due to his extreme methods of policing and his ability to cause massive amounts of damage to property. However, Wanda Parks, the Chief of the E.O.D (Elite Operations Division), requires Nick's assistance in a case that involves attacks on various venues in the Chinatown district. At first Nick is reluctant to help, preferring the vigilante life and focusing on avenging his father's death. However, he eventually agrees to conduct the investigation, on one condition: he must do it his way.

True Crime: Streets of LA is a free-roaming driving and action game similar in concept to Grand Theft Auto III. The game's structure is mission-based; most of the missions are dictated by the story and initiate following a cutscene that advances it. Failing a mission still allows the player to continue playing through the chapter and undertake subsequent missions; in some cases this will lead to branching paths and optional missions. However, in order to complete the whole chapter the player must eventually succeed in all the main missions.

Nick can hijack any car on the street (usually with little to no repercussions) and freely drive through the 240 square miles of Los Angeles. Nick is capable of firing his weapon when driving; in an open top vehicle, it is possible to aim anywhere. The player can also opt for exploring the city on foot. Nick will be frequently contacted by other police officers and informed about various street crimes. He can then fight perpetrators, arrest them, knock them unconscious, or kill them to deal with these crimes.

The gameplay during the missions is separated into third-person shooting, fighting, and (more rarely) stealth sequences. All of these usually take place in relatively small, restricted environments. The shooting sequences involve Nick dealing with waves of enemies that appear in different places. Nick must react quickly, moving, crouching, or diving (with a "bullet time" effect) to avoid enemy attacks. A limited amount of painkillers can be found in such stages.

During the fighting sequences, Nick utilizes his martial arts techniques to defeat enemies in hand-to-hand combat. Nick can punch, kick, grapple and throw enemies. The player can execute combos by pressing various combinations of buttons consecutively. It is also possible to pick up primitive melee weapons lying around, or take them from enemies. Both shooting and fighting stages have destructible environments.

Stealth missions typically involve Nick traversing a hostile area without attracting the enemies' attention; the mission is failed if an enemy hasn't been dealt with silently, or shortly after he has discovered Nick. The player has the option of killing enemies or knocking them down; the latter awards the protagonist "good cop" points. Conversely, "bad cop" points are given to Nick for killing innocents or surrendered criminals. Depending on Nick's rating in these categories, the storyline branches during later chapters, leading to different endings.

Spellings

  • 真实犯罪:洛城街头 - Chinese spelling (simplified)

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Credits (PlayStation 2 version)

409 People (328 developers, 81 thanks) · View all

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 72% (based on 60 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.2 out of 5 (based on 82 ratings with 6 reviews)

I didn't even know you could top Vice City!

The Good
True Crime is packed with features and gimmicks that make this game enjoyable. First of all, the different elements of the game add a lot of variety: There's the driving, the shoot-outs, fighting, sneaking, chasing and arresting suspects. And a lot of little fun stuff you can do, like randomly searching pedestrians (with Nick sometimes uttering a disappointed "Damn! Nothing!" when encountering somebody innocent).

One of my favorites features of the game is that it is set in an actual city, namely Los Angeles. The city has been recreated very accurately and with great detail; I live in Southern California and recognized many spots in the game. It's great to play a game and say, "hey, I've driven on that street!"

Technically, the streaming is flawless. Only if you look close can you see how freshly loaded data fades into the world. (And I've worked on a streaming system for a PS2 game, that definitely isn't an easy task). The only technical flaw is the collision system - you often find people clipping half-way through the walls, and if you drive fast enough, you sometimes can even penetrate walls with your car. In the worst case, you can go through a wall into a section where you are not supposed to be and can't get out. But collision too is a nasty thing to program, so I won't complain.

Even though the game is laden with different sub-game types (driving, fighting, walking), each sub-game has been developed with great detail and offers many specialized movements and techniques. Better still, as you progress, you can learn new moves, like additional attack moves or special car maneuvers.

The cut-scenes are very well done; decent voice acting and excellent motion capture. The script itself isn't brilliant, but good enough for a video-game. The fact that the storyline splits depending on how nice or reckless you are adds a lot to the game too.

Some people complained about the main character's corny one-liners and flat personality. I think it's appropriate, he's the typical hero of a crime story. His one-liners are sometimes funny enough, and sometimes he even admits his uncool phrases ("Man, that was corny!"). The voice talents are also mostly very famous actors (although some of them not quite as high-profile as those in VC).

The soundtrack is fantastic. Activision has chosen to license contemporary rap and metal. The rap soundtrack is perfectly fitting and has brilliant artists like Snoop Dogg, Westside Connection and Bone Thugs 'n' Harmony. What's even better is that all the tracks are the unedited versions - I can't remember hearing anything that explicit in a video game. The ingame dialogs as well deserve the game's M-rating - they are not as explicit as the soundtrack, but nevertheless not watered down in any way.

Once you get tired of the game, you can always try to unlock the secrets that are built in, the most famous one being "Dogg Patrol" where the player's model turns to Snoop Dogg and most of the ingame voice-overs have been re-recorded by Mr. Dogg himself. Months after letting True Crime collect dust, I re-discovered it and spent countless hours in Dogg Patrol, which is a must-see. Snoop Dogg's one-liners are hilarious (and very explicit!)

The Bad
The controls are good, but some parts require some time to get used to. This is not surprising, given the vast amount of possibilities the game offers. Still, I sometimes have problems properly controlling the camera or aiming.

The missions are sometimes very short, like "go from A to B". You can make them longer by resolving some of the random street crimes that occur, but if you opt not to, the game itself is not too long and you end up in the cycle of loading - short mission - loading - medium-length mission - loading - short mission.

In the "Good Cop" storyline, the plot takes a sudden dumb twist in Episode 6. I mean, extraordinarily dumb. I hated that episode, it totally killed the atmosphere and idea of the entire game (but luckily, the subsequent episodes were normal again). The final revelation in the Good Cop storyline is stupid and unbelievable as well.

A few missions seem to rely a bit too much on what you have at that moment - you can always carjack yourself a better car or try to get better combat moves. If you are in a "get from A to B in 30 seconds" missions and happen to have a slow car, you're in trouble. The good thing is though that you can jump back to the storyline overview at any time and re-do older missions, thereby getting the chance to upgrade your ride.

And another little quirk: The good cop/bad cop rating system is very cool, but the sneaking missions kind of spoil it a bit: Each enemy you knock out in those missions gives you one (normally hard to earn) "good" point, so it's really not that hard to keep your balance positive by just playing these missions.

The Bottom Line
Fun. Fun. Fun. This game offers a lot, and I enjoyed it immensely. It has a few quirks, but if you like this kind of game, you won't be disappointed. Even after you have seen all the cut-scenes and solved all missions, you can always cruise through the streets, enjoy the soundtrack and deal with the numerous random street crimes.

It will get boring after a while, and there are less secret little things scattered than in Vice City (at least as far as I can tell), but that probably goes for most games. Due to the Los Angeles angle, I could relate to this game more than to similar other ones - it just feels a lot more "real".

PlayStation 2 · by EboMike (3094) · 2004

solid nostaglic game

The Good
the fast paced shooter, close combat and great story

The Bad
Nothing in mind, it's a old game so it's limited to what it can do at the time.

The Bottom Line
You gotta get the emulator for PS2 and play this game, brings childhood memories alive.

PlayStation 2 · by Iransniper · 2023

GTA with more balls!

The Good
The multiple fighting techniques are incredible. You can gun down someone, snipe them, or pull of some real-deal Jet Li arse-whoopin moves. the random optional missions you can do on the streets keep you entertained when your not doing the main story-line. Also, the goodcop/badcop scales can provide for a very custom feel, much like the high-acclaimed Star Wars: KOTOR where you can be a good jedi or be a dark-side thug....heck yes....True crime provides the freedom and action of GTA and the character adjustment of KOTOR.....plus you can play as the BADDEST gangsta to eva walk dem streets, yo! (not gonna spoil it for new-players)

The Bad
Nick is very cheesy...his lines are sometimes comic and sometimes they remind you of that friend who is the only one laughing when he tells a joke. You have to be a master of the Xbox controller to pull off some of the moves like going on 2-wheels, strong attacks, and aiming. The snipe option with your gun is hard to accomplish sometimes, but after a few tries, you'll be cappin lil' old ladys, closelining someone, and stealing a car all in a matter of seconds. So overall, the one-line comments and the controls are slightly odd but besides that, great game.

The Bottom Line
Buy this game....if you liked playing grand theft auto (im making alot of references to it, i know) then you will love this game.....and THATS the bottom line....kick-arse game

Xbox · by Jason Hamilon (2) · 2004

[ View all 6 player reviews ]

Trivia

When you go to a gas station/garage to have your car repaired, Nick sometimes says "Now the cops are not gonna find me! Uuh... wait..." This is a reference to the Grand Theft Auto series where you can have your car repaired/repainted so the cops will not recognize your car. Too bad Nick is a cop in True Crime!

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by JPaterson.

Windows, GameCube, PlayStation 2 added by Corn Popper. Macintosh added by Riamus.

Additional contributors: Unicorn Lynx, Indra was here, EboMike, tarmo888, Zeppin.

Game added November 6, 2003. Last modified January 11, 2024.