Grand Theft Auto is a gaming phenomena no matter which version it is, and it’s great to see Rockstar bring the series to iOS. First it was the mobile game Chinatown Wars, then III, and now it’s Vice City. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City is celebrating its 10 year anniversary with the iOS release, that features the same game, but with updated retina graphics, character models, and lighting effects. If you’re familiar with GTA: III on iOS, then the touch control scheme will be familiar with the virtual joystick/steering controls plus a number of virtual buttons for the various actions throughout the game.
The touch controls aren’t the best, but they get the job done to let you focus on playing GTA. It would be nice to see a more touch friendly redesigned interface, but it’s a 10 year old game specifically designed for a console controller. As for the game itself, Vice City is back delivering the 1980s Miami style for you to play in as a mob enforcer. If you’ve ever played Vice City before, there’s nothing new to see here, but it’s entertaining enough to play through it all over again, 10 years later.
If you have never played Vice City, you’re in for quite a treat beginning with the deluxe storyline that makes it so you’ll want to play through the game in its entirety. Like any GTA game, it’s a 3D open world action adventure game where you can go your own route if you want. There’s a constant supply of missions though, for hours of engaging gameplay, and this factor ties into the storyline above. Vice City is nice, and expansive for a lot to explore, and simply drive through as you’re completing missions.
The full game is included on iOS with the entirety of Vice City, and all of it runs silky smooth on the latest iOS devices. It’s great to see the game running on iOS, and you can really notice the updated graphics with enhanced lighting effects as the sun and street lights reflect off buildings and cars. The action is the main reason to stay whether you’re jacking any car in sight, outrunning the cops, shooting down delivery guys, or getting in a fist fight. It’s so intense when multiple cop cars are on your tail with so many cars spinning and flipping out of control.
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City ($4.99, Universal) as a game is still outstanding after 10 years, but this review focuses more on the iOS version in particular. It’s not earth shattering by any means, but it’s a great game from 10 years ago that makes a nice transition to iOS.