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True Crime: New York City Member Review for the Xbox

GENRE Action 
PUBLISHER Activision 
M Contains Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language, Strong Sexual Content, Use of Drugs

What do these ratings mean?

For anyone who has played the excellent but explicit sandbox, Grand Theft Auto, you can arguably say anything after that is a ripoff. Not was the case of the True Crime series, that only has two games mind you; True Crime: Streets of LA, and the latter True Crime: NYC. First off, LA (I'm going to refer either or as LA or NY) was as good of a sandbox game as you could get on an Xbox, without ripping off GTA. Its leeched sequel, on the other hand, was a rather disappointment to some, including myself. Some say it was probably the worst sandbox game of 2005. Now three years later, I once again open the case, and take a big whiff of the foul memories that were. Here we go.

First of all, and I want to get this out right now, if you have this game, look at the title of it. It says "True Crime: New York City". And some of us are thinking, all of it? That includes Queens, The Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and everywhere else in the entire metropolis of New York. Instead, it was a big disappointment to those who were dumb enough to think that an Xbox disc can possibly take the entire New York area compiled into one. What we REALLY got was just the biggest chunk of New York, and I quote: "twenty-five square miles of crowds, concrete, crime so cold, they wither the soul".Oh okay, so let's NOT call it "True Crime: Manhattan Island". Let's name it into something more familiar, so unsuspecting kids get their money taken away by sellers and their grubby big hands. It's not like I was ripped off; I bought this game and another for a combined total of ten dollars at a pawn shop, hoping to get one of the biggest games EVER. Boy was I wrong.

Sure, NY has probably a great storyline and all, but the plot is simple: you're a gangster turned street cop named Marcus Reed who goes around and solves crimes at free will. Nothing different from the last game, except instead of beating chapters to move on, you have the choice to go around and do whatever the hell you want. That's good and all, but I'm just not liking it. The mood of NY really bears you down, as you're greeted to darkness, tons of taxi cabs and metro buses, and tons and tons of rain, whereas in LA, it's sunny, beautiful, and NEVER rains. Sort of sounds like... reality New York. But it's sort of like the programmers put too much into the graphics (albeit sometimes it's too dark to see a damn thing anyway) than they did with the game play. Then again, the eye candy is that it takes place in New York!

As about the graphics, they're pretty decent. But like I said, in most parts of NY, the area seems darker, and if your TV is not as bright, you won't be able to see much. And my TV is fine; it plays any other game nicely in brightness without having to edit. It's almost as though the programmers were trying to hide something. As for detail, it's almost spot-on. One knack I have is the size differential in man vs. vehicle. If you go up to something let's say, a metro bus. It looks vastly different than in LA. It probably has to do with the crummy camera angle, but whatever. For me, I've always said that graphics don't make a good game, but in this game, it's hard to tell. Why? Because the game play also flaws; really, there's nothing you can say about this game that stands out besides new weapons...

It's the little things in NY that stand out in comparison to the LA version. Call me picky, but I feel a lot of things have changed or have been horribly manipulated. Firstly, the camera angles in this game are a complete cluster bomb. It's ridiculous. Try getting into your vehicle, and you'll see. They go all over the place. Second, if you've played LA, you'd know that you could change the control scheme to fit your needs. But in NY, you can't. Also, you cannot look behind you while driving (aka the Y button), which means you'll have to use common sense to tell if a car is right behind you, if you're trying to back up (but 9 times out of 10 there is). Opening up the map screen with the "back" button was also scrapped, but then again, you could just open up the menu with "start" and there it is. What really bums me out is the fact you can't put your own soundtracks into the game, something the LA predecessor had. And the music isn't as great as it was in the first one. Could be that I have bad taste, but I liked the older ones better than the newer one, but I guess if they fit in with New York City....

Now, there's one controversial thing that has kept this game low in ratings, and I'm not one to say otherwise; the glitches in this game are everywhere. You almost want to say that NY was rushed out to meet some sort of time line, and the programmers never bothered to proof-read this game. The biggest glitch in this game happens in the latter missions against the triads. You know, the one where you have to push off the Chinese guy off of the pillar? It's not like you can't beat it, you just have to be patient. And if you're not, I don't blame you. It took me about ten minutes smashing buttons trying to beat this bastard, who apparently either has the strongest leg muscles, or defies gravity. Or it could be "Marcus" is just too weak to do much. Anyway, it's glitches like these that really bring a game down.

In short, NY can go both ways. Now I could of said a lot more about this game, like the commentating (voice acting), traveling across the city, and various missions like street racing and fight clubs, but I'll let you be the judge of that. In conclusion, True Crime: NYC is hard to comment on. It's neither good, nor bad, but you WANT to say it's bad, but it has some good things that keep you from saying that. I'm not sure if I'd recommend this game, but I will say one thing: I liked True Crime: Streets of LA better.

TOEZNG's Rating of True Crime: NYC:
Graphics: 7.5/10
Story: 8.5/10
Sound: 6/10
Game Play: 4.5/10
Audience appeal: Homie gangsters that imitate real crimes without ever leaving the premises of your own home...
Overall Rating: 6/10

- Nice storyline
- The detail
- Weapons, freelance missions
- The camera angles
- Brightness/Clarity
- Glitches Galore

More information about True Crime: New York City
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