Miami Vice: The Game PSP Review

If the massive financial disaster of the Miami Vice film had been foreseen by Vivendi, we doubt they would have been eager to publish a game to tie in with the big screen release. It’s a crying shame though, as the failure of the film doesn’t exactly inspire people to try out what is actually a very decent gaming adaptation.

Colin Farrell and Jamie Foxx may be the new Crockett and Tubbs respectively, although the game doesn’t acknowledge this, sparing much expense by keeping the facial features and the voices of the leading actors out of this game. The plot is something that it does have in common with the movie, but where this adaptation nearly hits the spot is in its keen drive for making things explode and people fall over.

If you are expecting one of those games that gifts you with a health meter the length of the channel tunnel, then you’d be going into this game with a foolish mindset. The characters here are depicted as human beings opposed to the somewhat titanium tendencies that other virtual leads have shown, this obviously means that being a coward and hiding behind anything that doesn’t break or explode is actually a must to avoid flopping as a cop and dying on duty.

Credit is definitely due to the development team for streamlining the controls in the way that assures that your fingered limbs won’t seize up completely during prolonged play. The games camera sits nicely behind your selected character, always following and rarely betraying you in its direction. It’s not possible to move and fire your weapon simultaneously, but as mentioned earlier it’s not exactly a game that is about high-speed locomotion.

Popping in and out of cover like a jack-in-the-box is the mindset that the game wants you to set into concrete, and therefore running and gunning isn’t going to get you anywhere fast. It’s a gameplay mechanic that has been seen elsewhere, and here it’s highly successful to use against your rather clever opposition, whom also run from cover to cover, respectably trying to not get on the wrong side of your angry firearm.

To break things up there’s some decent boat sections, but they do feel like they were crow barred into the game and are almost unnecessary next to the rest of it. They’re stupidly easy too, which doesn’t exactly help matters.

During level intervals there’s also a surprising amount of stuff to get involved with on the Miami map, even if it is all on a pretty miniscule scale. If you are successful at seeking out the flash rams found throughout the game for example, you can then head to the station to hack them (via a retro-style mini game) and unlock upgrades for your weaponry as well as the locations of drug barons (upon receiving the required respect). Drug dealers are also present, whom can be traded with to earn extra money by selling confiscated drugs on, and intel can even be purchased to aid you during a mission. New outfits meanwhile affect your level of respect (as do your selected weapons and your actions during missions), therefore a sharp brown suit and a pair of cool shades may not offer you the additional protection of body armour, but it’s certainly a method of making yourself tower above everyone else and to earn yourself some respect, whereas wearing body armour signifies that you’re a wimp who is unworthy of the mountains of respect that is only due to those who wear suits (according to the game of course).

Miami Vice: The Game is one of those titles that we probably won’t remember much about when the real quality titles start arriving to mark the busy winter period, this is thanks to the rather generic levels and the overly repetitive gameplay mechanic, but in these summer months where quality is scant, this is a very welcome title that may not be an essential purchase, but it’s definitely worth a gander.