We recently had a chance to go behind closed doors at E3 with Vivendi Universal to take a look at Scarface: The World Is Yours, Radical Entertainment's exploration of the world from the Scarface film. Here are our first impressions.
Although we didn't get to play the game ourselves, it is playable on the PS2 at the show, and Vivendi is showing off a short demo detailing some of the weapons-based combat, as well as some of the vehicle sections of the game. We'll start off with the story, though: Scarface the game isn't a re-creation of the film itself; rather, the beginning of the game takes place at the end of the film, where Tony Montana's mansion is under siege from dozens of hired guns, intent on killing him. Anyone who has seen the film will remember that Tony managed to kill off a bunch of the soldiers with his special "little friend" but was eventually taken out from behind by a knife-wielding opponent. The game's conceit is that Tony actually manages to catch this foe, kill him, and then work his way through the mansion until he eventually manages to escape.
During this sequence, we got a good look at the combat engine of the game. It does appear quite similar to GTA, save that the viewpoint is actually over the shoulder instead of directly above your character. Combat is, again, fairly similar to that in GTA; you can either aim manually or lock onto opponents. With the huge rifle in your hands, you can take enemies down pretty quickly, but there is a good amount of spread to the bullets. The interesting thing about this is that there is location-based damage, and as you fire away at your targets, text will display showing whether you're hitting your target in the groin, leg, arm, and so on. Most of the time this doesn't seem to matter much, as your targets go down fairly quickly, but if you happen to get close enough to a foe, you can blast off body parts. We saw Tony take down an enemy by shearing his leg off below the knee with his rifle, resulting in a particularly gory spurt of blood.
After the mansion mission, the demo shifted to a portrayal of the driving mechanics. Although we weren't playing, the physics and mechanics look pretty tight, with a bit more stickiness than GTA, in that your car will stay on the ground most of the time, even when going over bumps, allowing you a bit more control. You can fire your weapons from your car, even apparently forward, and there do seem to be lock-on capabilities while shooting from a car, so we can expect to see a good amount of car combat in Scarface, or so it would seem.
The graphical feel of Scarface is pretty visceral, as you may expect; although this is only the PS2 version, it already looks pretty sharp. The driving level was particularly noteworthy for not having much pop-in or texture shifting as Tony drove around. The sound design is also already well implemented, with what appears to be an excellent voice actor imitating Al Pacino's Cuban accent from the film. There are plenty of curses in the game, so if you enjoy squashing cock-a-roaches while letting loose with lengthy streams of invectives that would make a sailor blush, then this is shaping up to be your game.
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