The original version of this title is rightly considered to be one of the greatest games ever made.
Stylish but oldThe detailed, open-world nature of the playing environment and the freedom to explore was revelatory when released initially.
Rockstar Games have ported the full game over to Android. If you play it straight through it will give you about 30 hours of play time. There is an additional 40 hours play time if you go back and complete every side mission.
Vice City is not the first title in the Grand Theft Auto series. It is not even the first game to utilise the distinctive 3d gameplay of the series. It is, however, the edition where the irreverent franchise began to find its feet.
The Android version is a straight port of the original game. You play a gangster, Tony Vercetti, newly arrived Vice City (a Miami analogue). You can explore the city, accept a variety of missions, and slowly grow your criminal empire.
The controls are virtual buttons on your touchscreen. Some of these, like your virtual joystick, are permanently visible. Others appear contextually. There is some scope to configure these. They can be moved around the screen and resized. But there is no hiding the fact that it is harder to play this game on a mobile device than using a games controller. You can actually play this way if you have a compatible controller.
The game does a fantastic job of bringing eighties Vice City to life, with many homages to films and TV shows set in that era.
Perhaps the strongest element of the game is the audio. The voice acting is excellent, featuring Ray Liotta, Danny Trejo and Burt Reynolds, and the in-game radio stations are meticulously researched.
It is still a thrill to drive around the city, as the sun is setting, listening to Oliver Cheatham on the radio.
The graphics have been improved a little, with more advanced lighting and shading effects. However, the original 3D models are still used. So people and vehicles can feel a bit blocky. This does, however, mean that the game runs pretty fast on a modern mobile device. You can tweak the virtual screen resolution to optimise speed.
Classic game, great value
GTA Vice City shows its age with some dated graphics but is still an absolute blast to play.
Once you have got to grips with the virtual control system, there is a great deal of game to explore.
It is not perfect: some missions are a bit repetitive, and you can spend a lot of time having to drive from location to location. But these are minor issues that existed in the original game.
For the price, this is a great value slice of gaming history.