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True Crime: Streets Of La


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#1 Rustmonkey

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Posted 10 November 2003 - 04:12 PM

True Crime: Streets of LA
Activision
Luxoflux Corp.

Story: In True Crime: Streets of LA, you play the rough and tough Nick Kang, a loose cannon that’s just back from suspension. Parts of Nick’s past are shrouded in mystery, such as the strange disappearance of his father. As anyone can realize, this mystery is soon brought into the light throughout the course of the game. It seems that this is the ultimate push for our hero, to find out what really happened to his father and to bring into a full frontal how it is all connected with the recent money laundering and the strange alliance between the Russians and the Chinese Triad. One could look at this and see the makings of a great Hollywood action/mystery flick. But unfortunately, the mystery falls desperately short. While there is more than a fair share of action to be had, it seems to be almost a disappointment when you really find out how everything is connected. To top it all off, the game has 3 different possible endings, two leaving you asking many a question, and the “best” ending, which is meant to finally clear up the story. In my opinion, the other two mediocre endings where much more satisfying than the aforementioned “best” ending. While these two endings had plenty to be left to mystery and keep you clinging like any good cliffhanger, the best ending gave you just enough to be disappointed but not enough to finish off with the flare that the hype of the game had subtley suggested.


Controls: Overall, the gameplay is quite easy to get used to.
The on foot controls are a breeze, with the basic jumping and walking controlled by the left/analog stick and the a,x,b,y buttons. You are also given the option of flashing your badge, patting down pedestrians, and cuffing subdued villains.

Driving may take sometime to get used to (unless you’re an avid Playstation veteran). If you’ve played any type of racing game on the Xbox, you’re quite familiar with the dual trigger controls for accelerating and braking. Well, with True Crime, you can take all that you have learned and toss it out the window. The controls for driving are much more akin to Playstation games, with A for accelerate, X for brake, B for handbrake. One cool option about driving is the ability to shoot and drive at the same time (this is accomplished by pulling the right trigger). While many may have experienced this in the Grand Theft Auto games, True Crime adds a nice element by giving you the ability to AIM, and not only to aim, but to do so in slow motion. This adds a very nice touch because it gives you the ability to shoot out tires, take out the driver, or even explode the opposing vehicle’s gas tank, causing it to jettison forward from the ground in a fiery inferno. SWEET. The only downside that takes some getting used to is the enter/exit vehicle button is the left trigger. Although, this may not present much of a problem, you may find our self inadvertently jumping from a moving vehicle when believing that you are braking (too many racing games…).

Hand-to-hand combat is relatively simple, with four different types of attacks (punch, kick, jump-kicks, and grapples). The only part I found remotely difficult about fighting was coordinating the attacks w/ blocks. Blocking is controlled by the white button, while everything else is AXBY. At some points, the attacks are coming so fast you can barely even attempt a block let alone a counter attack.

The on-foot weapons combat is also very simplified. Right trigger fires your weapons while right-thumbstick gives you the option of changing targets. When involved in fire-fights, you are also given the option of doing various dodging and diving moves by using the the Y button. These can be simplified quick rolls or all out slow-mo Max Payne style dives w/ gunplay. One really nifty ability built into the gunplay is the option to use enemies as human-shields. While this would seem to be a fairly useful feature, it’s more just for show than an actually useful. The downside to this is that your enemies can also do the same thing w/ hostages, and they get many more chances to do this than do you. How, oh how, do you take out these cowering fiends without harming the hostage? Once again, the ability to aim in slow motion comes into play. Much like in the driving mode, this gives you the ability to target only the villain while protecting the innocent. It also helps you zoom in on those pesky snipers. Finally, you also have the option of picking up your enemies dropped weapons. While you cannot indefinitely keep these (only until the ammo is exhausted), they do considerably more damage than do your pistols (which, by the way, have unlimited ammo).

Gameplay: Overall, the gameplay is relatively fast paced, keeping up the tempo and having a good time. The missions are usually very well structured; but unfortunately, seem to follow mostly the SAME structure (and even more unfortunately, the same cycle – i.e. drive, hand fight, shoot, drive, hand fight, shoot, etc.). If this does get boring however, you have the option of wandering around LA and solving various street crimes and even upgrading any of your moves and abilities. There is also one more great mode, and that’s the BONUS mode, which is unlocked if you successfully complete and episode. This is pretty much just like cruising around LA, but you have the option of getting high quality upgrades (such as better cars, guns, and signature hand-to-hand moves).

Graphics: Graphics, could be a little better, but on a whole, are decent for the game. The character models are pretty outstanding (especially when compared to the GTA series) but many of the backgrounds have much to be desired. The backgrounds are mainly composed of flat colors or pixilated pictures. These could have been developed a little better without much effort.

Sound: The sound in the game is very well done. Voice acting is great, featuring many big stars such as Michelle Rodriguez and Christopher Walkin. No cheesy emotions here, these are some high class scenes! The music is also very good, with a broad range of Artists to fill almost anyone’s need. It also has the option of using your own personal soundtrack, and customizing in what type of action a certain song will play (because it’s just awesome to kick some one’s ass to I Disappear).


Overall, True Crime: Streets of LA is a winner when it comes to action gaming. It has enough story to keep you fighting till the end, and the right amount of action and humor to keep you from ripping your hair out. Despite some of its minor flaws, it is a must play title!

Story: 8
Controls: 9
Gameplay: 8
Graphics: 7
Sound: 9


#2 bbagnall

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Posted 13 November 2003 - 05:21 AM

Good review. I think you covered all the bases. I'm thinking the programmers, modelers and especially level designers did an incredible job but the writers and game designer were pretty mediocre.

I just want to know if there will be an escaped suspect driving down the freeway in a white Bronco at some point. smile.gif



#3 Couger

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Posted 14 November 2003 - 11:49 AM

nice review...

I have this game as well it is ok, sort of like the oposite to GTA witht he "solving of crimes" not the "go around and kill people and stuff" the game as a whole is good.

There is only one thing that i cant master (only had it for a day or two - and havnt really played it) this is the shooting. it seems to have auto aim and then it seems to go from that to aim your self? what is going on. it gets easier the more practice but when i first got it this feature REALLY annoyed me.

Any solutions for this?

TIA Couger / KHGamez

#4 myffonline

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Posted 15 November 2003 - 09:48 PM

You forgot to mention one thing - the right analogue stick is inverted left and right, so when you try to roate the camera by pushing left it rotates it right. Sure you can change the up/down movement to inverted or normal, but not with left/right. This pretty much wrecks this game for me.

#5 Rustmonkey

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Posted 19 November 2003 - 03:02 AM

Hey myyoffline, I never even noticed that! Nice observation though smile.gif

And cougar, if you keep repeatedly pulling the trigger and then releasing it ALL THE WAY, you won't go to manual aim, instead you will auto aim smile.gif Took me a little bit to figure that one out too smile.gif

Thanx for the comments guys and have fun!





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