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Videogame Violence and Sex Reviews for Parents

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City: More of  the Same

What's a recipe for success for a video game?  Keep in the most controversial parts and give players more of everything.  More violence, more weapons, more cars to steal.  that seems to be the plan for Rockstar Games' follow up to the best selling video game, Grand Theft Auto III, Grand Theft Auto: Vice CityLike its predecessor, Vice City has copious amounts of violence and offensive sexual content.  Also like its predecessor, Vice City has the potential to lure young gamers into its seedy underworld of crime, violence, and vice.

The game follows tommy Vercetti (voiced by Ray Liotta of Goodfellas fame) as he travels to Vice City (which looks a lot like Miami, circa 1986) for a cocaine deal.  the deal goes south when both the drugs and the money are stolen in an ambush.  the rest of the game is the player's quest for revenge, coupled with occasional side missions.

These side missions include gunning down gang members with an uzi, intimidating jurors by beating them with a hammer (of course, it's important you don't kill them), and trying to kill a pizza delivery boy.

Of course, not all of the missions involve killing or beating someone.  Players can become a cabbie or an ambulance driver for extra cash.  Of course, in order to get the ambulance or the taxi, you have to steal it in the first place. (the best way to get an ambulance?  Beat someone and wait for aid to come then steal the ambulance the medics drive.)

The beatings are intense and the number of weapons available is staggering.  One can use a baseball bat, screwdriver, machete, or even a chainsaw to attack pedestrians to get small amounts of cash.  As you attack and beat innocents, blood sprays the concrete.  If you wound your victim and they try to run, you can chase them by following the blood trail.  You can also get quick money by hitting people with your car.

The foul language is what you'd expect ("shit," "ass," and "bastard" among others), and is employed frequently.  For cut scenes, it's possible to get captions, so you can see exactly what is being said.

Sex is also a big part of Vice City.  A crime lord's daughter hits on your character early on in the video game, and many of the women walk around in bikinis.  Of course, one of the most notable parts of GtA III was the players' ability to pick up prostitutes off the street, drive to a secluded location, do the deed, then beat the prostitute after she gets out of the car to get your money back.  this little feature is still available on Vice City.  In fact, after you drive to a safe place, and as the car rocks back and forth, dialogue between the prostitute and the character can be heard ("Oh, yeah baby," "Make yourself at home," and "You in me yet?").

The sheer scope and size of the city is impressive, as is the number of vehicles available for the taking.  Boats, cars, vans, motorcycles, speedboats, even helicopters are at your disposal.  this game has already had spectacular sales, even though it's only been out a few days (www.abcnews.com has stated that the game sold 4 million copies before its release date, and projections predict that it could sell up to 10 million copies before all is said and done).  Any parent should think twice before allowing a child access to this video game.

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