Scarface: The World Is Yours
“Hello, my name is Tony Montana and I have a drug problem”
Scarface is a game based on the movie Scarface. This game, like the movie is most definitely not made for kids. It starts at the end of the movie and for those who haven’t seen it, it is probably worth renting out so you have a good grounding in the back-story involved.
For those too tight to go out and rent it, here is a quick recap: Tony Montana escapes Cuba to make it big in America. He decides to sell drugs and gets into the business. He is good at what he does and rises to the top of the game. His inevitable downfall is the finale of the movie and also happens to be where the game picks up.
The game alters the story so that Tony isn’t killed in his mansion, (an epic ending of all time) instead escaping and having to rebuild the entire empire in Miami from scratch. It’s a 3rd person shooter very much like the Grand Theft Auto series.
The graphics are awesome. With the abilities of the Wii severely limited, the graphics are still impressive. The draw distance for objects is very far, even if they do appear to be a little blocky, they won’t just jump out at you and render a few meters away. Though the game can look at little bland at times, with drab colours, they do the job without much slow down, only ever really slowing when there is too much happening inside enclosed spaces. This is perhaps one of its biggest downfalls, but that’s covered in the controls section.
Sound / Music
The sound effects in this game are R-rated. Tony could curse out a ship full of sailors so if you’re easily offended by certain words then this is definitely a game to miss. Now, if you’re normal like the rest of humanity, you’ll get a kick out of the constant stream of profanity and creativity that spills out of Tony and the world around him. Honestly, this game taught me new uses for that magical F word. Tony is forever an optimist and always on the prowl for tasty female specimens. The game will actually reward you for having random conversations with people.
There is a tonne of music to choose from in the game and you can even create your own play lists. The sound effects are great, the gun noises are a little loud and they make use of the Wii controller for certain sound effects like re-loading your weapons.
The controls are great. The Wii Remote is used to control the direction of your view; this is such an awesome idea because it immerses you into the world of Scarface even more than a regular controller would. There are some issues with motion tracking when the game has lots to render the view screen can lockup and jump around erratically. This can be really annoying in the middle of battle and can lead to your death quickly. So usually you’ll end up running away and turning around quickly when you have some space. The designers seemed to have known this would be an issue and so have inserted a specific button to spin you around, which is helpful.
The other problem with the controls is with the use of rage mode. You have to shake the nunchuk to enter rage mode and you are always in the middle of battle when you use it. However, they have created a huge problem (that I seem to be encountering more and more with Wii Games) by also assigned the taunt function into the same control so you’ll always taunt before entering rage mode. Or, you’ll taunt again after your first taunt. Or you’ll just keep on taunting and getting shot. And then you’ll die with a full rage meter, which should have saved your life, if you’d just used it. Why didn’t you use it? The game will make you go into rage mode in real life over this constant frustration. Why didn’t they give you options to re-assign controller buttons and functions? This will be the most frustrating aspect of this game because you’ll be shaking that damn controller with a full rage meter and Tony will be standing there taunting the enemy and getting killed. Bravo.
The gameplay in this game is fantastic. Sure, its another GTA clone, but it does it’s own thing brilliantly. You can call up cars you’ve purchased and they get delivered to you on the street. You can ride boats to make drug deals or race around the city earning the respect of strangers and getting bigger balls. You can make cash and launder it in the banks, or you can jump into the shoes of one of your many henchmen and do some missions as someone else.
There are missions that you have to complete to unlock more areas of the city, but you can do them at your own pace. Some of the missions are really hard though and require constant replay to suss out exactly what you have to do in order to survive them. You can also toughen up your character by getting more “balls” and thus getting girls back to your mansion. This gives you more health and longer rage times and also outfits your mansion with a swath of swooning women with a true want for our little Cuban anti-hero.
By far the car dynamics in this game make it the best racing and driving game available on the Wii at the moment. Instead of being a direct port with some minor changes to incorporate the Wii Remote, a re-design to also include multiplayer racing would have really been great and truly set this game apart from the rest. If they had bothered with this feature, the game would have become the best racing game available on the Wii. However, they didn’t but it is still the best racing game available for single players due to its car damage and environmental physics.
There is a treasure trove of stuff to do in this game. It will keep you entertained for many hours. You’ll probably be able to clock the game in around 30 hours if you set your mind to it, but if you take your time and enjoy the experience you’ll not even notice the amount of hours you’re spending on this game.
The cop system in this game can also be really frustrating. You have two meters that fill up. The first, a white bar will mean that you can stop what you’re doing and negotiate with the cops peacefully. However, once that fills it goes into a red bar that now fills up quickly. The cops will be out for blood during this bar and you must escape from them before time runs out. If it runs out you are literally screwed. No, it even says that as now the cops go all out to kill you! It is a death sentence that you cannot escape.
The problem lies in the fact that much of the gang land clearance missions will have cops turning up. Now you’ll only notice them once the red bar being already half full, mainly because you’re busy trying to kill all the gang members. So most of the time, you’ll be screwed. But, once you can buy the cops they wont turn up as often and that problem is alleviated. It will only cost you around 40 million, what a bargain!
Currently this is a severely discounted game and well worth the purchase. Besides the iffy controls that will sometimes lock up and jump around, this game is very much worth a look. Rent or buy, you can’t lose. Unless you’re a kid and under 18 in which case you should stay away from this game.
There are other titles available along these same lines. The Godfather is one of them and based on the same mechanics. The driving aspects of this game, both through car and boat are truly wonderful and I have spent much time just cruising around Miami and enjoying the freedom available to me. This game opens up a world of possibilities for the Wii and I can honestly recommend it to anyone out there who enjoys games in the mould of Grand Theft Auto.