Tony Montana stars in one of the best Xbox games of 2006.
The Good: Some great voice acting, great sound effects overall, pretty good graphics, amazing soundtrack; especially if you’ve seen the movie, good variation in weapons, cars, and general customization, good load of unlockables.
The Bad: Gets repetitive time to time, some very minor issues may tease you.
Scarface: The World Is Yours is a GTA knockoff from Vivendi Games and Radical Entertainment. In more then less ways it borrows from GTA and other GTA knockoffs. However to save this game is a bunch of other new features that make the game fresh and exciting. If you need some good reasons to play or ignore this game, read on.
So let’s start the tour with a look at the story department. The game picks up…5 minutes before the movie ends. In case you haven’t seen it, I won’t be the one to ruin it for you, only because this isn’t one of those lame movie to game games. Scarface is a classic (and my all time favorite) movie, with a perfect actor doing the job right. So anyways, to lead up to where the game is, Tony Montana (scarface) is a Cuban immigrant who comes from a prison. He works a dishwasher, but has high hopes own the world. He eventually gets to that point, but lays heavily on cocaine and takes his eye off his empire and it goes downhill from there. In the game, you’ve lost it all, and you focus on getting your empire back together, and taking revenge on those who have wronged you. Of course this will be many weapons, eff ups, cars, weapons, cop chases, cocaine deals, bullets, casualties and dollars until you take revenge on the person who wronged you most. Sosa.
So the game plays like a typical Gta game. You run around in a third person mode, but you can approach a starting point different ways. Unlike in GTA, you don’t have to load a file, and then steal the first car you can find. This game gives you a couple different choices of what to do. Basically there’s the short and long way to get a vehicle. First there’s the classic way. You steal the first car you can find. That’s actually the long way in this game. In Scarface, you have this neat little menu that helps you run your empire with ease. One of these sub menus is your vehicles. Simply boot up that menu, go to vehicles, pick a car you’ve already purchased, and within seconds your own personal chauffer (who then turns into your bodyguard) arrives with the car you chose. (The same goes for your boats when you’re near a dock) Now that’s only one of the things you can do, but its one of the most useful.
Another couple new features include cocaine deals, the balls meter, mansion pimping and the changed cop chases. Let’s spend a little time talking about these features.
Cocaine deals are your main way to rake in the cash. You start small, and by successfully doing a golf type meter sort of challenge, you can get your maximum amount of cash, depending on how many grams. You start small with like 100 grams, and eventually get into the kilos where you rake in cash and start to turn them into some many needed and unneeded luxuries. Balls Meter. This is where things really get fun. Now something I didn’t mention, was by pushing B (Xbox version) you’ll randomly blurt something out, usually involving a phrase from the movie. But there’s a 90% chance there will be some sort of swear word in there. Now when you get into some gun moments, after shooting or killing somebody you push B and you will make some sort of mockery for half a second, this will give you balls. Yes, balls. Now these balls will eventually add up and make a full circle around your health bar. At the tap of a button, all the balls will kick in. You’ll be put into a first person mode with a reddened screen and the current gun you just had. If you haven’t seen the movie it won’t make as much sense as it should. But now you can run around popping bad guys and getting health while you do it. As another added bonus, you will not be taking any damage to the tens and probably hundreds of bullets you’ll be taking. In the words of Borat: Very Nice!
Pimping of the mansion. Now a luxury does not need to be a mansion theme, vehicle or a foundation. Luxury also means things like stuffed animals, television sets, pool tables, alcohol, and anything else said Cuban drug lord immigrant might want in his large mansion. When you get into your mansion, you can turn on a mode called Pimp My Mansion. Basically you run around selecting goodies to place around your large mansion. While it serves no potential purpose and has no real way of helping you in your adventure…at all. But hey, it’s a means of killing time.
Changed Cop Chases. Could be the worst aspect of the game. Now if you do something bad, like shooting somebody, the cops may find you. Basically, instead of getting a wanted star, (like in grand theft auto) you have a certain amount of time to get out of a certain vicinity, or else it says you effed up. This translates to game over.
The main fraction of gameplay will be running and gunning people. Simple as pushing a button. By pushing a button you can lock on, and by pulling the R trigger you can fire. It’s simple, it works, life goes on. The other large portion includes driving. Driving, similar to shooting is very simple but effective. Basically pushing A accelerates the car, B brakes the car. Holding X and steering will assist you in power sliding. Simple as that.
As far as graphical performance, Scarface won’t disappoint you. First of all, Tony looks amazing. He’s got the haircut, the viscous eyes, and even the scar on his face. The guns and other weapon models look really top notch, and they also look incredible in action. Most notably the chainsaw. It looks fantastic, and even more so when it’s rammed into somebody’s torso. And the effects of this look good too. Blood spreads out better than ever on the Xbox. That goes for other weapons as well. Especially when you master headshots. Shot after shot, head after head blowing up before your eyes. It’s just so satisfying.
Another good aspect in the graphics department is the vehicles in the game. You’ve got a lot of different vehicles varying in sizes and shapes. No cars really look better than others, they just all look great. Even when they’re getting dented and shot down, the cars look amazing. Some of the best seen on the Xbox, perhaps the last.
One of the most important things in a shooter of any sort is frame rate issues. Usually in other GTA knockoffs or other shooters, when the heat picks up, the frame rate and you suffer. This one particular game however, does not bog down noticeably. This is excellent. Because time and time again you’ll get into one heck of a mess. A mess involving many thugs who want you dead. And to your advantage, the frame rate won’t slow you down. So there will be no frame rate issues to stop you and your glorious quest to power.
The sound in Scarface is all in all at the top of its game. Now GTA is known to have great soundtracks, but Scarface has a 10 times better soundtrack then any GTA games to date. Scarface’s soundtrack includes many different genres, which is a good mix if it’s executed. It has newer music from some well and not so well known bands, and it even has the original Scarface soundtrack from the movie. Some say a game is only as good as its music. The music in Scarface is top notch.
In the sound effects portion, Scarface is dressed to impress. The guns sound fantastic, different car sounds are great, everything in sound effects in great. Most notably, the chainsaw. We’ve already established the chainsaw looks greats, but in this case, its bark is just as bad as its bite. The chainsaw has one nasty sound, but then again if some random guy came up to you with a chainsaw in hand, it wouldn’t exactly be music to your ears if you know what I mean. Bottom line, sound effects isn’t depressing in the least.
Finally it comes down to the voice acting. First of all, Andre does an absolute fantastic job of Tony’s voice. In fact Al Pacino hand picked him from a crowd of others to do the voice of his character. Now that says something. There are lots of other voice overs from some famous and not so famous people. One of the people who’s not quite not so famous, but not quite fit to be seen in the game is Bam Margera. Yes he’s in the game. One person who’s notably heard is James Woods. He makes a memorable appearance which was almost better than his appearance in San Andreas. Either way they were both very memorable. As far as the value of the game goes, Scarface does a decent job. If you go straight through the story mode, not bothering to dig up any shred of extra content, you should finish the game in about 8-10 hours. But if you go through the trouble of unlocking all the other content (which is quite worth the extra time), you’ll easily add at least another 4 hours to your total play time.
The game does a fairly good job of keeping you entertained throughout. However you’ll find in some points of the game that you’ll get to a point of the story that gets you revved up to keep going, but then your shot down and your told you need to do something. Like boost your reputation or something like that. Moments like that really take away from Scarface. They just really make you feel like not playing and finding something else that will make and keep you entertained throughout the course of itself. Overall, Scarface makes for a solid action game. Compared with Grand Theft Auto, some aspects are better, some aspects are worse. In my own opinion, I seem to think that if a knock off of a popular series or genre can succeed in doing something better (or for lack of a better term, beating it at its own game), then it’s got to be good. Unless of course the superior or original genre/series blows. But I don’t think many would come to the conclusion of GTA sucking. All in all, Scarface is a lengthy; jam packed adventure with tons of unlockables, great variations, very little problems and a great treat to get for somebody who’s a fan of the movie. Scarface is most definitely worthy of a purchase for anybody who’s a fan of Grand Theft Auto, or anybody looking for something similar to it. Hell, if you’re just out looking for a good way to waste your time with a good action packed shooter, it’s still worth checking out. (And honestly, why wouldn’t you play a game with a balls meter?)