Update: I was unfortunately not aware of Shamus Young's severe criticism of Fallout 3 available here to link in the original piece and I regret that. It dovetails rather nicely with what I've written and it's much better executed than my piece. I strongly recommend anyone...
When a game is a blatant rip off of another game, there is little hope of it getting a decent review. While True Crime, Streets of L.A can be seen as GTA's cousin, that is far from the truth.As Nick kang, a sterotypical renegade cop, you need to solve your fathers murder, as well as various other subplots and parts that will later make sense. Regardless, this story driven action powerhouse suffers from it's own pitfals, which is it tries way to hard to be something it's not, and won't accept that it's related to it's more popular cousin.
Graphics- The game looks good, although after playing it on 2/3 systems, the X-box version has superior graphic quality over the PS2. You are in a working city, with L.A down to the last drug dealer on a street corner. It was mapped and made into a mini version of itself, and it looks great. But, there are some graphical errors, like walls that never break even when your car rams it at top speed. The indoor enviorments are decent, but they are kind of repetitive after a while. Overall not to bad.
Final Score- B-
Gameplay- The game suffers from a sloopy control scheme. You get auto-aiming, but sometimes it locks onto innocent victims. There is also the indoor missions which involve a decent combo-system of martial arts fighting, and a not so decent shooting gallery missions thrown in. We also got unimpressive and useless sneaking missions. The outside has driving challenges which are pretty good, and random events which help you in terms of being a good or bad cop. The more crimes you stop from happening, the more likely you will get upgrades. Likewise you kill innocents youll have the police on you. It also features things like a nice bullet-time aiming mode which is done well, but these little additives are mired by the horrific control scheme. It is hard to move Nick, hard to drive Nick, hard for Nick to draw his gun or grab a gun, fight someone, or subdue someone as well. If the controls were tighter it would of been better.
Final Score- C-
Sound- We got a short group of hiphop and tracks which are more annoying then helpful, again trying to deviate from GTA. The voice acting is a step up, featuring the great Christopher Walken in a supporting role, but the problem is the dialouge is kind of cheesy, straight from your modern day action cop flick, so it diminishes from the power of the game. The gunshot and fighting sounds, as well as the minor voices from the pedestrians and thugs you fight are also ok, but the repetitive tracks can become annoying. Finally the car sounds are done well, but nothing to write home about.
Final Score- B-
Satisfaction- While the game has a lot of added things, gun upgrades, car upgrades, fighting combos, tons of side missions and the good cop/bad cop thing, a lot is also wrong. The graphics are decent but buggy, the controls are kind of weak, the story goes from crazy action movie to a unacceptable sci-fi plot, and everything else is basically half assed. It tries so hard not to be a clone, it forgot to be a good game. In the end we have an average game worth a rental over a buy.