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Imagine if, after taking a nosedive into a mountain of coke and getting perforated with bullets, Tony Montana hadn’t died at the end of Scarface. Hard to believe? Sure. Strips the film of its central message? Hell yes. But for better or worse, that’s the premise of Scarface: The World is Yours.
As the game opens, players replay the final scene from the movie, with one important twist: after trading fire with assassins sent by rival drug lord Alejandro Sosa, Tony escapes his burning mansion. (That is, assuming you survive; lose, and the credits roll just like normal.) With his house and his empire ruined, Tony will have to start over, rebuild his operation from scratch and eventually get revenge on the cartel that tried to destroy him. And maybe, just maybe, refill his life with the garishly rococo things only he could love.
The game itself looks unsurprisingly similar to Grand Theft Auto, with lots of driving around Miami and pumping bad guys full of lead. But climbing back up to the top isn't as simple as stealing a few cars and doing a few favors for the right people, so in addition to GTA-style gameplay, Scarface promises to give players the experience of running a criminal empire.
What this means is that you'll start out at the bottom, running missions, setting up deals and replenishing your "stock" by smuggling in drugs from a chain of fictional islands. But as Tony rebuilds his reputation, he'll be able to recruit people to do his dirty work for him, whether it's transporting cocaine or just driving him around. He'll also need to buy up legitimate businesses, which help him out by laundering the money he makes from drug deals.
There's also a big focus on character interaction, and guns won't always get you what you want; sometimes, you'll have to smooth-talk or intimidate people to help out with your operation. And when negotiations break down, you can scream obscenities at your enemies until they do something stupid, like charge into your line of fire. And if Tony gets really pissed, he can enter "Blind Rage mode" (which the developers swear isn't fueled by drugs), becoming an unstoppable fountain of bullets and profanity. Despite his violent bent, however, Tony's principles appear to have been magically restored by his near-death experience and subsequent cleaning-up, and so he can't go around breaking his word or harming women or children.
Scarface: The World is Yours looks to pack an impressive variety of gameplay into its revisionist take on the movie, and so long as the developers keep the plot smart and the action entertaining, it might just give GTA a run for its money.
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