Scarface: The World Is Yours
(Vivendi Universal; Windows XP, PlayStation 2, Xbox, Sony PSP)
GAMER One nice thing about Scarface: The World Is Yours is that although it is a first-person shooteradventure game, there is no sewer level. It doesn't matter what the story line is: at some point, dude is going into a sewer and tromping through ankle-deep water with rats skittering around.
Scarface doesn't bother with that. It's more interested in having you sell cocaine and brutally murder people, like a good game should do. You peddle so much coke that it's really astonishing the game hasn't offended nutty Christian groups. Maybe the makers were able to get around objections because your character, Cuban drug lord and world-class cusser Tony Montana, never kills innocent people. If you point your gun at a civilian, you find yourself saying, "Not in my game plan, bro," or the best one, "I kill one and I go straight to hell." In each case, the gun will not fire.
The game is still unspeakably violent. The story picks up right before the part in the movie Scarface when Ángel Salazar's killer sneaks up behind Montana and airs him out. Instead of this happening, however, you direct Montana through an epic bloodbath in order to survive, so he can regain his spot at the top. Along the way, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas's formula is perfected, the makers take character interaction to a new level, and you end up playing a game that could go on forever.
The scope and game play are very much like those of GTA: San Andreas, but everything's been streamlined. Montana doesn't have to fucking work out, eat, and shit, and there is no repetitive dating scheme. Instead, you just sell coke and kill, drive around really fast, spend millions of dollars on useless items, and pick up women.
Interacting with the peripheral people is really fun too. Montana has some standard dialogue, but once in a while an actual unique conversation will occur. When talking to pretty women, he says predictable things, but when he pulls similar pickup moves on elderly women (who give "are you nuts?"type responses), it's really funny. He orders his lackeys around like Don Rickles on an f-bomb rampage. When he steals a car, he utters any number of one-liners, from "Um, this is Miami undercover police I need your car" to "You can keep the puta I just want the car." And on top of being hilarious, the character is almost perfectly voiced by a guy named Andre Sogliuzzo, reportedly handpicked by Al Pacino for the job. James Woods, Elliot Gould, and many other actors appear.
You have the option to play as three characters other than Montana: the driver, the enforcer, and the assassin. You steal cars, bust heads, or eliminate government officials for big paydays. These missions are inexhaustible. So are Tony's drug dealing and delivery missions, all of which are chosen from a menu. It's nuts. This means you are free to select what to do and when you want to do it, but more important, it means there is no real end to the game ever. Even after the extensive story line is completed, there are an endless number of rival gangs for you to tangle with. Once you have defeated all the big bad guys, you sell coke and collect money. It's like a locked groove.
Sometimes these movie-themed games are really crappy rush jobs. But it is obvious from the very start that the folks behind Scarface not only love the movie an important factor but also were interested in making what is potentially the best game of the past year. (Mike McGuirk)