"Say hello to my little friend," whines the tiny Cuban in the bad trousers. Having just hoovered up more cocaine than a Columbian soap actress with Dyson-powered nostrils, potty-mouthed crimelord Tony Montana is facing a gun-handed scrum of angry henchmen. He returns fire, swears a bit, then takes a shotgun shell to the back, flops into an indoor pool, gurgles, then dies. The end. Fin. Roll credits.
Or at least, that's the end of the movie. And yet it's only the beginning of the game. For while your average arse-brained movie-game conversation is content to set you on rails, then wheel you sedately through the events of your favourite motion picture in chronological fashion, Scarface: The World is Yours treats Brian De Palma's movie as nothing more than a launching pad, a springboard into a whole new world of sex, drugs, violence and bad trousers. So it is that you're given the opportunity to change movie history by successfully guiding Tony through that fateful shoot-out, after which time you must help him restore his crumbling empire. It's a genius idea, right up there with 'nuclear fission' and 'reading on the toilet.'
In Tony's absence, Miami has been carved into quarters by rival gangs. To regain control you must first - that's right, cliché-spotters - restore your reputation. Your ascent back up Cocaine Mountain begins in its foothills, with you as a small-fry drug-peddler. The opening half dozen missions thus take the form of moron-friendly 'big flashing arrow' tasks. Follow the arrow here, pick up the drugs, follow it there, sell the drugs. Repeat for half an hour or so and you'll earn enough coin to a buy a 'front', a seemingly legit business through which you can deal cocaine in quantities that could kill a herd of 80s rock musicians.
DRUGS MEAN PRIZES
The more drugs you sell, the more money you make and the more 'Exotics' you can buy. These luxury items - be they sports cars, home furnishings or pet tigers - help to bolster your credibility among the criminal classes, which in turns unlocks more lucrative missions and bonus areas. You can also buy henchmen, hired arse-kissers who constantly snivel around you, attending to your every need. Your driver, for example, is on call 24-hours to deliver your choice of sports cars to wherever you may be. Handily, he'll also tag along for the ride and wade in should you become embroiled in a gun fight.
And you'll need to participate in a serious amount of gang-banging (of the non-internet variety, unfortunately) to get ahead in 1980s Miami. Each of the four territories - Little Havana, Downtown, South Beach and North Beach - is host to its own local gangs, who must first be flushed away like yesterday's breakfast before you can regain control. Handily, the location of each gang is marked on your map, which means all you do is drive over, shoot the place up, then drive off before the police arrive. Defeat every gang in a given district and it's all yours.
It's during these shoot-outs that Scarface stops being a reasonably enjoyable, slightly plodding simulation of the life and times of a 1980s drug-pusher and exposes itself to be a very serious rival to GTA: San Andreas. The simple fact is, Scarface gives good action. Be it a back-alley shoot-out against a dim-witted scrum of rival hoods, or a cross-city car chase in a hot-wired security van, the intensity throughout remains firmly set at 'Borderline Unbearable.' As you'd expect for a game fathered by one of the most blood-happy movies of the modern age, the gun battles are almost unforgivably violent. Heads pop lazily like ripened zits, arms and legs fall away as though attached by soggy Blu-Tack and blood spurts freely like great streams of horse piss. Our advice: don't let mummy see.