True Crime: New York City

The 18 certificate earns its keep in the first five seconds, when Marcus Reid's third word begins with an f, and his final word is a bullet to the face of some gangster who set him up. Nice.

Cue all-out gang warfare, with blood spraying thickly over the walls as the thud-thud of Uzi gunfire blasts out of the speakers.

With more blood, a higher body count and no more local news presenter gags, True Crime: New York City is aiming to be grittier, darker and tougher than its predecessor.

Marcus's impressive array of weapons includes anything from handguns and rifles to flame-throwers, rocket launchers and Molotov Cocktails.

If you run out of bullets, you can still kill people using glass shards, spades and crowbars that you find strewn carelessly about the city streets.

You can enter more apartments, bars and shops than before, but you'll really notice the difference between Streets of LA and New York City when you head outside and drive around the traffic-clogged avenues.

As in LA, you can nick any vehicle on the streets, but if you don't want to drive all the way from Harlem to Downtown, you can always jump on the subway. There's also the option to hail a cab.

In New York City, as opposed to Streets of LA, your actions will not only affect you, but the environment, too. If you ignore the calls telling you to solve a nearby crime, shops will start closing down, graffiti will appear on the buildings and, more importantly, the gangsters will move in.

Yet, although the character and location have changed, many of the missions are pretty similar.

After the brutal twin-gun assault of the opening scene, the next level we played could have been straight out of LA - a brawl in a nightclub.

The shootout in the bank is all very familiar, too. The first half is reminiscent of LA's Going Up level, which also had you running through offices and using bullet time moves to gun down enemies.

We've only played four missions, so it's still a bit early to say if True Crime: New York City will be as repetitive as Streets of LA, but they've certainly sorted out the irritating problems that plagued the last game.