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Miami Vice

Sometimes, boys and girls, I weep for the passing of a more innocent age in gaming. A time when new ideas, original concepts and boundary breaking gameplay were the norm. Because, after playing “Miami Vice” on the PC, I was left feeling shocked and sickened at how such a badly made and amateurish piece of software has managed to be foisted upon the unsuspecting public.

The motives behind its release I can only imagine were purely cynical. Someone at DAVILEX (the developers), upon seeing how well “GTA Vice City” did, must have thought that, by purchasing the licence to make a game based upon 80s buddy cop show “Miami Vice”, they could cash in not only on the “Vice” word but also appeal to the nostalgia that many older gamers have for the popular culture of that time. Well, I am 30 now. I remember “Miami Vice” as being a passable cop show, more notable for Don Johnson’s mullets and pastel suits than for its action. But even I don’t think it deserves what this game has done to it.

Basically, it is designed to be a third person action shooter. As either Crockett or Tubbs, you work your way through a series of short missions, which mainly consist of gunning down your enemies and opening locked doors, in order to reach your goal. From the start, the game screams out its shoddiness. You have to run the game from the CD menu, you can only change the graphic settings from the CD setup menu, not in game, and as it loads it instructs you not to turn you PC off. What?!

Once the action starts, the first of two flaws arise. To aim and shoot requires a fiddly combination of pressing the right mouse button and clicking the left. But the mouse also controls the camera, so, before you know it, the screen is spinning dizzily as you fight with it to try and line up a shot. You can’t strafe, you can’t set any hot keys; it’s lock on and shoot away until the baddies are dead. Only you tend to die more often, as you can be hit by bullets and not realise this, as Crockett and Tubbs barely react. Or they do react but as if they have just been stung by a grumpy bee. You can also find yourself having locked on to a target, only to find your shots hitting a wall, while the enemy shoots back and hits you accurately down the same line of sight.

Turning up the graphics detail doesn’t help either. The second huge flaw in the game is that, although my PC outperformed the recommended specs by double, at full detail the game slowed to unplayable speeds. It chugged and jerked and, as the graphics still looked little better than those you would find on the old Dreamcast console, I can only assume it is as a result of more half-assed coding.

Persist with the game and you can switch between Crockett and Tubbs in certain circumstances, but don’t think this means you can approach missions in different ways. All it does mean is that if you are playing as Crockett and find a door you can’t open, you switch to Tubbs and come and kick it down. That’s pretty much the extent of the switch characters system.

This really is a very bad game. It has been made with no thought, no care and it is just a generic game with the words “Miami Vice” lazily tacked on. The makers couldn’t even be bothered to write a storyline: it follows the plot of one of the TV episodes.

“Miami Vice” the TV show was never a favourite of mine, but any fan would be sorely tested by this joke of a game. DAVILEX appear to be responsible for a rotten “Knight Rider” game too. Let’s hope that they go out of business before they can piss all over the other memories of 80’s children.

1 out of 10

The author of this fine article

is a Staff Writer at Thunderbolt, having joined in June 2003.

Gentle persuasion

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