Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories

Pastels out, sleeves up and hands-on with PSP's new criminal episode

Wednesday 4 October 2006
Rockstar claims that Vice City Stories is twice the size of Liberty City Stories. But, as we all know, it's not size that counts. It's how many car-jackings, helicopter chases, gang wars and insane stunts you can squeeze into Sony's gleaming PSP that matters.

And after our first hands on with Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories, it's clear that things have moved up a notch since Liberty City's crime wave.

As US Army soldier Vic Vance you're lured into a world of crime by your powder-snorting brother, Lance Vance, the treacherous co-star of PS2's Vice City. GTA fans can welcome back an assortment of returning characters, including cahones-obsessive Umberto Rebina, but there are more than enough new faces to prevent the familiarity becoming tiresome.

The stubborn on-foot controls from Liberty City Stories are untouched. But developer Rockstar has tweaked VCS's missions to be longer, more varied and more exciting, and you'll now spend less time desperately clawing at your PSP to avoid getting gunned down and more time tearing around in the game's fantastic selection of vehicles.

Remember, GTA was never meant to be a shooter - it's better to scope your surroundings, sprint for cover, arrange the camera and take out nearby enemies than to charge in, blasting away mindlessly. Unless you take your time it'll be curtains, quick. Keep your head and you'll be rewarded - we sweated through a mission that began with a nail-biting shootout but finished with a glorious quad-bike chase across the sunny beach.

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