Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories

Key events

Sony launches huge PSP software sale

Sony launches huge PSP software sale

"To show you that PSP is still alive."

Sony will discount more than 100 PSP games over the next month on the PSN Store.

While there's no new content to be had, the EU PlayStation blog lists over 50 PSP games and minis discounted "to show you that PSP is still alive".

The current deals last until 7th September, when another list of PSP classics get a price drop.

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GTA V to be announced before E3?

GTA V to be announced before E3?

Analyst reckons suspension is building.

Games industry analyst Mike Hickey has said a Grand Theft Auto V announcement may be on the way - and that it could be made before E3 kicks off in June.

"There is building suspension for a pre-E3 GTA V announcement," he said, as reported by Industrygamers. "Although we expect nothing from Rockstar at this year’s official E3 event."

Rockstar is more likely to hold a separate press event and make the announcement independent of any publisher conferences, apparently. That's because GTA V really is kind of a big deal.

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Mad convict files suit against Rockstar

Wants restraining order on GTA games.

Bonkers convict Jonathan Lee Riches has filed for a temporary restraining order against Take-Two, Rockstar, and the "newest Grand Theft Auto games", claiming inmates who played the titles will knock him out and steal his "gold Jesus cross".

Rockstar dismisses GTA movie rumours

Eminem not to star after all.

Rockstar has denied reports it almost gave the go-ahead to a Grand Theft Auto film last year, saying the company is "not interested" in bringing the series to the big screen.

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories

Party like it's 2002.

It'd be very easy to saddle up on my gigantic building-straddling horse and fire rockets down at Rockstar for the bloodless cash-in exercise that is Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories. Five and a half years (and five games) down the line, and barely a technical improvement worth a damn. This is a game that's not only showing its age, but begging for loose change.

It's also quite reasonable to take a more forgiving view of the return of an old friend. This is, after all, a reworking of one of our all-time favourite games, released at a tempting price. Sure, it unapologetically recycles the Vice City environments, but spruces it up with 59 new missions, a fresh storyline to work through, new characters to meet, and includes probably the finest soundtrack ever to grace a videogame. What's not to like?

I guess the answer to that is simple: Rockstar has been stubbornly resistant to change. Back in 2001 and 2002 when free-roaming sandbox games were revolutionary, we could forgive slightly dodgy combat, an unhelpful camera system and downright annoying inability to checkpoint progress or autosave after a successful mission. The rest of the game was so breathtakingly fresh and ambitious compared to what was out there that such issues were somewhat glossed over.

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Vice City Stories PS2 details

Vice City Stories PS2 details

No multiplayer, but it'll be pretty.

Rockstar has cleared the charges against Vice City Stories this afternoon, confirming that the game will retail for GBP 19.99 when it launches on 9th March, which leaves you enough spare pennies to start your very own crime syndicate.

Originally a PSP game, it will be ported to PS2 and feature enhanced graphics as well as improved draw distance and overall performance.

Like Liberty City Stories on PlayStation 2, which was also ported from PSP, it won't feature a multiplayer mode - something Rockstar is keen to do, but only if it's done properly.

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Vice City Stories PS2 confirmed

Rockstar has finally announced a PlayStation 2 version of PSP hit Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories.

Relentlessly rumoured in recent weeks, the PS2 port has clearly been in development for a while, since it's due out in a month's time - on 6th March in the USA and 9th March in Europe.

Rockstar hadn't commented on any additions or pricing specifics at the time of publication, but if it's in keeping with its Liberty City counterpart, then expect a cheaper-than-usual cover price and the loss of the PSP's multiplayer options.

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More Vice City Stories chatter

Shows up on official PS2 website.

Rockstar is keeping quiet about the possibility of a PlayStation 2 version of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories, despite seemingly relentless rumour and speculation. Having already featured (albeit briefly) on the American ratings board ESRB website, before being pulled, the game has now shown up in the PS2 section of the website. And been pulled. Rockstar has since said that it won't comment.

Rockstar can't deny VCS PS2

No comment on ESRB listing.

Rockstar can't confirm or deny reports that Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories is on its way to PlayStation 2.

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories

Heard that one already?

Few games can claim as much trickle-down impact as Grand Theft Auto. A cult game at a time when gamers themselves were a cult, the PC original spawned numerous spin-offs, expansions and clones, and has given birth to enormous, perhaps even deciding influence in two separate console generations. It's also responsible for me! I didn't decide to be a games journalist; I decided to make a Grand Theft Auto fansite. It was the interminable wait for the second PC game that drove me to write about other stuff. DMA Design has a lot to answer for.

Obviously then GTA is a very important game for PSP. The DS may have a bigger share (and the public heart) of the handheld market, but GTA is something it simply cannot do. Vice City Stories underscores this. The entire city is here, the draw distance is miles better than Liberty City Stories', the frame rate rarely drops into dangerous territory, and Rockstar Leeds' greater exposure to the hardware has given birth to greater feats: realistic water physics, for one, but most notably helicopters. You can now swoop over the city taking in huge vistas, land on rooftops and enjoy almost as much freedom as any "proper" GTA game has ever offered. Very few companies have found as much blood in the stones that pockmark the wasteland of PSP development.

For me though, GTA's biggest draw is the driving - the slidey Hollywood handling with which we're all now intimately familiar. There's a unique thrill to cruising down Ocean Drive listening to Marvin Gaye, handbrake-turning into a side street as you make for the next objective. It feels like gaming home. Even if you've grown tired of the usual zero-to-criminal-hero storylines and the fetch-quest nature of the missions, the journey's still the worthier part - and there's lots of journeying to be done, with numerous ramps to launch yourself from and secrets to uncover. As you go, there's the range of radio stations to enjoy - the talk radio bit, presumably written by that Lazlow chap again, still the highlight. It starts repeating eventually, but takes longer than you'd imagine, despite the UMD format's limits. What's more, even though the original Vice City used up a lot of the real '80s classics, the rest of the radio channels manage to hold their own with licensed content. Aptly, Rockstar still knows its music.

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New Vice City Stories trailer

New Vice City Stories trailer

Featuring Phil Collins, oddly.

With the game due to launch over here on 3rd November, Rockstar has released another trailer for Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories on PSP.

Showing on Eurogamer TV now, it traces its way through elements of the story with Phil Collins, of all people, drumming and singing his way along in one of the cut-scenes.

As you'll know if you've been keeping track, VCS brings us face to face again with Lance Vance - although we'll control his younger brother, Vic, who has to try and make it for himself in the Miami-esque town after a spell in the military.

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Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories

Hands-on with the new multiplayer modes.

I'm standing on a highway, in my underpants, half-listening to a gun battle about two blocks away. I can hear rockets impacting on palm trees, and the sound of AK fire getting closer.

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories

Hands-on with the Vance family.

Lance Vance began life in Vice City as a goofy old hippy, wearing shorts and making cracks about STDs. That's one of the first things we learnt when we got to try our hand at Vice City Stories on the PSP - Rockstar Leeds' second crack at a portable title - following our hands-off walkthrough of a few missions last month.

Vice Captain

Rockstar Leeds' Gordon Hall talks GTA: Vice City Stories.

While the folks at Rockstar North sit around all day throwing paper aeroplanes across the office and laughing at YouTube videos (and developing Grand Theft Auto IV), their sister studio in Leeds is hard at work. Their work is hard because there's just over a month to go until Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories releases on PlayStation Portable. The first PSP title was an unknown quantity almost until launch, and the degree to which the Leeds-based team managed to deliver GTA to a handheld exceeded all previous efforts; but now comes the hard part: escalation. Fortunately, they learned a great deal during the original's development - not just about the game, but the hardware - and much of that has come in handy during VCS' gestation. With this in mind, we quizzed studio head Gordon Hall recently about how the experience compares to the last one, and whether it will ever be possible to drive us to the logical conclusion: a PSP-based San Andreas.

GTA: San Andreas Stories?

Rockstar won't rule it out.

Rockstar Leeds studio head Gordon Hall has made positive noises about the possibility of San Andreas eventually appearing in a GTA game on PSP.

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories

An advance on the added Vance.

Motorbikes. When you look back at it, for all its technical ingenuity and impressive length, Liberty City Stories' main contribution to the retrod streets of GTA III's home were crotch-rockets.

Vice City Stories delayed

It's out in November now.

Rockstar has confirmed that Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories won't be appearing in shops till November now.

Vice City Stories trailer

Vice City Stories trailer

Plus game info.

With Vice City Stories' October 20th release date just a month and a half away, Rockstar has kicked off the inevitable promotional campaign with a trailer and a website launch.

The former you can check out on Eurogamer TV now, while the latter sheds a bit more light on the game's setting and characters, and confirms - though doesn't elaborate on - the presence of Liberty City Stories-esque multiplayer options.

According to Rockstar, Vice City Stories will be set in 1984 and stars Vic Vance - the brother of Lance Vance from Vice City - and sees the player thrust into a world where the drugs trade is starting to take root thanks to helpful economic conditions.

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Vice City Stories UK boxart, price

Updated. Hints at content.

Rockstar shed a tiny bit more light on Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories this week, revealing that it will cost $49.99 in the US and £34.99 in the UK, and releasing the box artwork for both territories.

Vice City Stories for PSP

It's out here in October.

Rockstar has announced Vice City Stories, a new instalment in the Grand Theft Auto series exclusive to the PSP, which will be available in the UK on October 20th.

GTA Vice City Stories coming?

New patents would suggest so.

The next instalment in the Grand Theft Auto series will be titled GTA: Vice City Stories - at least, that's if three new applications filed with the US patent office are anything to go by.