This is not another GTA clone. Let's clear that up right now. This is Scarface. It won't make you feel like a granny-punching hip-hop-loving gangster; it'll make you feel like Tony f***ing Montana. This is every fan of the film's dream come true.
On the face of things, you drive freely around an urban environment partaking in various illegal activities, and you can't be blamed for comparing it to GTA on that score. But this is a very different experience. All the urban games out there are about being 'gangster', and yet in every single one you follow the orders of another person. Tell us, how any earth is that muthaf****** gangsta in any way? Tony Montana, on the other hand, only takes orders from one person - himself. In this game, YOU'RE the boss. And it's all about giving Sosa, Tony's arch enemy, the boot and taking over the underworld of Miami City.
You should know the story by now. In the original, much-loved Scarface film, Tony Montana (played by Al Pacino, in case you've been in a cave for 20 years) goes from being a small-time street dealer to becoming Miami's biggest crime lord, owning a huge mansion and living the high life. But his success comes to a bitter end when a rival drug lord named Sosa sends his men to kill an increasingly coked-up and paranoid Tony at his mansion. It is in this famous shootout at the end of the film that Tony is taken out big style.
This shootout marks the start of the videogame, and what an awesome ten minutes of gaming this is. You take control of a delirious Tony Montana, who brandishes a massive machine gun, and you shoot the crap out of dozens of gangsters as they pour into your mansion. The action in this opening scene is so intense, loud and brutal, that it won't fail to put a smile on your face.
Attackers rush at you like a swarm of killer ants and you mow them down with crazy amounts of bullets, with blood spraying all over the place and the walls getting chipped to bits like that office shootout in The Matrix. But unlike The Matrix, there are no girly slow-motion cartwheels here - just raw shooting fury as Tony yanks the trigger on his 'little friend' and yells the most offensive language you've ever heard in a videogame, (no, mums and dads, this is not a game for little Johnny).
The 'Taunt' feature helps to make all the brutality even more satisfying. After killing an enemy, tapping the B button will prompt Tony to shout his verbal filth in a voice that sounds astonishingly like Al Pacino in the film. These taunts help to fill a Rage power bar, that, when full, goes into Blind Rage mode. This comes in handy during hectic gun battles - Blind Rage switches the game to a first-person view and Tony gets momentary invincibility as you blast enemies with an infinite supply of bullets. Oh, and listen to Tony swearing like an old park drinker. You will LOVE that bit.
So, you escape the house alive (assuming you have the gaming skill to pass the first part), essentially changing the final scenes of the film. But with no money, no drugs and no business, Tony is back to square one... a nobody pandejo. Now it's your job to do exactly what he did in the film - build a crime empire and work your way to the top. But this isn't all about being gangster. It's about being Tony Montana. Radical has gone all out to recreate not just the likeness, but the whole persona of Tony Montana in this game.
Everything is spot-on - the arrogant swagger in his walk, the way he leans his head and flicks his arms as he talks business and even the way he leans back to blast enemies with a machine gun. It's almost as if the sprit of Tony Montana is trapped inside some digital code.