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GTA VC: Transport

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| Action in Gaming | Posted: Jul 27, 2003 4:00 am

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City PC transport

The cars of the 80's are as unique and memorable as other aspects of the decade, and Rockstar North have put together an incredible spectrum of vehicles that capture the excess and individuality of the period perfectly. In Vice City, the physics model has changed quite a bit since Grand Theft Auto 3 to accommodate the handling characteristics of a much wider range of vehicles, and to suit the new levels and driving conditions of Vice City.

CARS

 

For cars specifically, new maneuvers such as driving along on two wheels are now possible thanks to the improved physics model, and top speed has increased to approximately 211 km/hr, or 131 mile/hr on the flat (though one of the motorbikes can go faster if you're good at riding it). Also new to Vice City are flat tires, and catching one is just about as crippling and frustrating as it is in real life. When it occurs you'll definitely want to consider hopping out and locating a new ride, as will anyone else that suffers the same misfortune. Not to say that you can't attempt to continue driving on the blown tires (or what's left of them), but with each wheel you lose the vehicle will become considerably more difficult to control.

Just as in Grand Theft Auto 3, Vice City features secret stunt jumps found all over the city. All the stunts available in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City are produced directly as a result of the collisions and the physics engine, so any stunts are really down to what you can manage given the layout of the map.

 

HELICOPTERS

 

Rockstar North has created an entirely new physics model for helicopters, and as with the other vehicle types each helicopter has very distinct feel to it. The first time you actually get your hands on a helicopter, you'll have played the game a while and that first flight will blow your mind. The city is absolutely massive, and a copter opens the entire city, and it's rooftops, up to you. After a short period of acclimation you'll find that you can manipulate the helicopters easily, as the controls are logical and intuitive. They do take some time to truly master, and damage very easily. Keep in mind that every vehicle that can be piloted can be destroyed from the ground or the air, and police on the ground will shoot at you if you have sufficient stars. Actually jacking a helicopter is a real work of art, as pilots habitually keep their birds away from sticky situations like that.

 

MOTORCYCLES

 

In general the big motorbikes are damn fast compared to your average car, as you would expect, though not necessarily in terms of normal top speed. The primary advantage of bikes, however, comes from an increased level of control in terms of balance and grip, and the ability to fit through narrow gaps. On the other hand, you're much more vulnerable than when protected in a car, so bikes require a higher degree of skill to use to their full potential. As with the cars, there's a large range of abilities across the bikes available in Vice City, and they each have their own specific strengths. The sheer sense of speed conveyed by the bikes, especially the PCJ-600 in first person, is exhilarating.

You can attempt wheelies if you maneuver Tommy's body weight the right way. You can also perform certain stunt jumps that would be impossible for an automobile. Collide into something hard enough and you may very well be thrown off the motorcycle. And one way or another, other criminals throughout Vice City may also look to knock you off your ride. As far as damage taken, let's just say that Tommy's not the helmet wearing type. As one might expect, damage received is directly proportional to just how fast, high, and far you travel through the air. And if someone's willing to join you, they can hop on the back of the bike and come along, though they'll be subject to any critical errors you make as well.

Doing drive-bys on the motorcycle offers an even more effective means of gun usage that is available in a car. The ability to shoot left, right, and forward lets you deal damage 270° around you.

BOATS

 

One of the biggest differences from Grand Theft Auto 3 is in the wider range of boats available to the player, so the water/boat physics were redesigned to permit different styles of boats. The boats are also much more responsive and maneuverable to take into account the varied waterways and range of boat missions available in Vice City. The result is that the boats and the areas of water available on the map are much more fun to play with, and have become a much more integral part of the game. There's nothing more Miami Vice than cruising the sparkling bay in a cigarette boat while listening to Foreigner.

Weather now plays a big role in the player's ability to control the water bound vehicles. In storms and windy conditions, swells and waves will create genuine difficulties for the player attempting to navigate the water. But the handling and performance of the boats have been increased to compensate for the more treacherous waters. Keep an eye open for missions that focus on taking boats over insane stunt jumps, and you can definitely do drive-bys from them as well.

DAMAGE

 

Each panel on the car takes damage and not just from crashing the car! You can shoot out the windshields or smash in doors, even saw off the doors with the chainsaw if you want! There are plenty of new melee weapons and firearms, so feel free to use your imagination. We were able to get our hands on some screen captures from Rockstar North showing how the vehicles are built and how they take damage- check out the wire frames and damage models! Also new is bailing out of cars, or any other vehicles that are on the move. Of course, diving out of a moving vehicle may incur a bit of damage, so think before you jump. Getting a car damaged to the point where it engine block sets on fire, then bailing out of it so that it drifts into a group of enemies and explodes is one of our favorite new Vice City tactics.

 

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