True Crime: Streets of LA (GameCube) Preview

By James Temperton 02.06.2003 2

Guns! Fighting! Cars! Revenge! Reckless driving! Scantily-clad ladies brazenly strutting their stuff on the city's pavements! Accurately-modelled streets! More guns! This is more than just a list of 's favourite things. And it's not another trawl round Vice City. No, we're walking on the mean streets of Los Angeles, baby.

Taking on the role of Nick Kang, you're the kind of maverick detective who knows what he wants and just how to get it. And today you're out to clean the sidewalks of criminal lowlifes. Being hard as hell, you do this through a combination of felling foes with judo chops and indulging your penchant for packing dual artillery (such as having a shotgun in one hand and an uzi in the other). True Crime's structure is loosely based around completing missions, and an average session will see you looking flash by the roadside, hopping in a sports car to hasten your arrival at a designated destination, then entering a building to engage in a spot of dusting off some bad guys, whether with your bare knuckles or with a little help from Messrs Uzi and Colt. (or you could use a menagerie of other metal things)

Screenshot for True Crime: Streets of LA on GameCube

From the 20 main missions there are around 100 - count 'em - sub-missions that will see you branching off and reacting to real-time in-game events almost off the cuff. For instance, an early example sees you being tipped off about a showdown at a downtown bar. You've got but a few minutes to get there, so you hop in a red sports car and start to skid through the city's streets. Turn up within the time limit and you'll engage in a kung-fu showdown with the perpetrator inside. However, should you want to take a more leisurely approach to reaching your destination and, say, partake in a spot of sightseeing along the way, you may well find that the bar has burnt down by the time you arrive. Which takes you down a different path. Intriguingly, we've been assured to that it's even possible to finish the game by seemingly 'failing' most of the set goals, which certainly backs up developers Luxoflux's claims that playing the title just to enjoy it should be as fun as playing it to achieve the game's actual objectives.

Screenshot for True Crime: Streets of LA on GameCube

True Crime wears its influences on its sleeve, making no attempt to disguise an infatuation with the stylistic elements of Hong Kong action films. Indeed, while it's tempting to concentrate on the more metallic side of combating the city's criminal scum (and True Crime is no slouch when it comes to serving up a smorgasboard of hand guns and heavy artillery), it's the emphasis upon developing Nick Kang's hand-to-hand close quarters skills that really impresses. His abilities are based on 12 fighting styles - including Tae Kwondo, Judo and, er, American wrestling - and visiting the many areas around the vast virtual city allows you to learn and gain extra moves and combos.

Screenshot for True Crime: Streets of LA on GameCube

Likewise, inspiration has come from a variety of videogames, and sections such as the manic car chase sections seem to have graduated from the Crazy Taxi school of driving: cutting corners and flipping up on two wheels to squeeze through gaps in oncoming traffic are the type of tricks you'll be pulling off here. And while you have a showdown shoot-out with bad guys inside, say, a meat-packing plant, you can pull off Max Payne-style Bullet Time slow-mo that, in combination with the auto-lock on targetting system, will see you popping off enemies with cinematic grace.

Screenshot for True Crime: Streets of LA on GameCube

Final Thoughts

Whilst many may not like the whole GTA idea it is clear that True Crime is trying hard to be different. Comparisons with the PlayStation drive and shoot em up are inevitable but we are confident that this game can offer a unique experience. With some neat new ideas and ambitious coding we are looking at something that could technically be the beater of its maker.









C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10 (2 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   


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