True Crime: New York City


posted 3/16/2006 by Shawn Kendrick
other articles by Shawn Kendrick
Platforms: PS2

Sometimes, a gamer gets a hold of a game that he just can’t put down. Perhaps a better way to put it is that some times a game gets a hold of the gamer. Either way you look at it, that is exactly what happened to me when I played. True Crime: New York City.

I’m not even sure why I like this game but sometimes we just need to quit asking why and just enjoy it! In my opinion, this game is like a great hip - hop or punk song. It borrows, pays homage to, and in many instances, just plain rips off its predecessors. Even though we may have heard a James Brown riff years ago and loved it then, we love it just as much once it’s dressed up and mixed in with a few new grooves. The same goes with this installment of the True Crime franchise. Sometimes you feel like you are playing one of the GTA series, while other times you could swear you were playing a Max Payne title. Sometimes there was even a hint of Spiderman in there. Either way, this game has a way about it that lets the gamer feel familiar with out being bored. It reminds me of the first time I heard Nirvana. It was a new sound but not really new at all. 

The story line for this sequel involves a young thug turned policeman named Marcus. The plot is about duality. Marcus is constantly battling conflicting values, making choices either to do right by his family or do right by his career. Complicating matters is the fact that his family is the underbelly of society while his career is the supposed positive influence. The decision to be good cop or bad cop is up to you the gamer. This option, as always, leads to a lot of fun. Personally, I liked the bad cop role. I imagine this surprises no one, since I’ve enjoyed playing the bad guy in almost every game that gives me the chance. Surprisingly the A.I. in this game is pretty quick to pick up when you have decided to follow your darker instincts. There were many times that I ended up in gun fights with my fellow police officers very soon after deciding to play bad cop. Of course, there is always the option of being a little bit of both. This gives Marcus the best chance of actually advancing through the levels. Sometimes you have to throw the book out the window to get things done. The trick to the game is doing this while no one is looking so you aren’t demoted.

The levels are fun and numerous. The variety of challenges is excellent as well. I particularly like the mix of fighting, shooting, and driving. I particularly liked riding a motorcycle. Just like in real life, the best way to get around town fast and in style is on two wheels.

The only major down fall to this game is the manner in which it ran on my PS2 console. The term “Glitchy” does not describe the amount of peculiarities that I experienced. For instance, it was not uncommon to see a fellow officer or a citizen riding on top of their car. Also Marcus often would open up doors on his car that had long been blown or torn off. There were times when the screen would suddenly go dark and then miraculously turn light again.

Overall, I really enjoyed playing this game. Most reviewers will probably dismiss this title because it doesn’t actually offer anything new or groundbreaking. I truly love it when a game pushes the envelope and comes through with something fresh. With that said, I also enjoy when a product takes some old ideas and mixes them to create something new. That’s the case with True Crime: New York City. If you enjoyed the games that the developers pay homage to then you will certainly enjoy this offering.

Like a great hip hop song, True Crime: New York City retreads a bunch of tried and true tricks to come up with a new concoction that you just can’t help but like.

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