Scarface: The World Is Yours Updated Hands-On

We say hello to our little friends from Sierra as they stop by the GameSpot office with the latest work-in-progress version of Scarface.

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Earlier this week during a meeting with representatives from Sierra, we had an opportunity to spend some quality time with a work-in-progress PlayStation 2 version of Scarface: The World Is Yours. In case you haven't been following our previous coverage of the game, The World Is Yours is a Grand Theft Auto-style action game that sees you assuming the role of Tony Montana--the foulmouthed gangster played by Al Pacino in Scarface back in 1983. The game's premise is an interesting one, because rather than playing through the events of the movie or simply being dropped into a world inspired by it, you'll be stepping into Montana's shoes just in time to rewrite the movie's ending by preventing his death in the mansion shoot-out scene.

The assassin is one of three playable characters that you'll unlock as you progress.

After shooting and swearing your way out of Montana's ruined mansion, you'll learn that all of the things that made you a feared drug lord--namely your reputation, cash, cocaine, turf, and exotic belongings--are gone. The game proper gets under way approximately three months later, when Montana returns to Miami and finds that his enemies were very quick to move in on his turf while he was away. Your mission, then, is to rebuild Montana's empire and take revenge on the guy responsible for his downfall, Alejandro Sosa. It'll be a lengthy process, though, because you arrive in Miami with very few belongings, no reputation, and certainly no goons to do your dirty work for you. During our time with Scarface: The World Is Yours, we had access to a debug menu with which we could access missions from various stages of the game. As a result, we're none the wiser as far as the storyline is concerned, but we have had an opportunity to play around with several different gameplay mechanics that won't come into play until you're well on your way to getting Montana back on his feet.

Drug-dealing, for example, is an aspect of the game that will change quite considerably as you work your way up from being a nobody to something resembling Montana's former position atop the drug-lord food chain. Early on you'll be dealing only in very small amounts of cocaine, and you'll be making all of your deliveries to the local dealers and such in person. As your reputation grows, you'll be able to acquire warehouses and front businesses that come with their own missions. Warehouses unlock distribution missions that task you with delivering cocaine to dealers and attempting to get a good price for them using a golf-swing-style mechanic, while front missions vary according to the business that you're taking over. An interesting feature of the game's drug-dealing mechanic is that any money you earn through the sale of cocaine is considered dirty, and as such, it will be confiscated by the cops anytime they manage to catch up with you. Dirty money can be spent, but if you're ever going to restore Montana's lost millions, you'll need to get it laundered at a bank, which will take a cut determined by the same golf-swing mechanic that's used during deals and when attempting to intimidate gang members and police.

Front businesses that we saw during our time with Scarface: The World Is Yours included a record store, a bar, an arms dealer, and a drive-in movie theatre. The missions that we had to complete to acquire these businesses were as varied as the businesses themselves and included assassinating a guy on a boat using a sniper rifle and retrieving a number of audio cassettes with satanic messages hidden on them. One of the most interesting things about front businesses is that while they're great for unlocking new missions and providing additional sources of income, they're vulnerable to attacks from rival gangs. If you have enough disposable cash, you can buy surveillance equipment for the businesses and even pay goons to protect them. Regardless of whether or not you do those things, you'll be notified any time one of your fronts comes under attack so that you can go and defend them in person and--after your enemies have all been slain--pay for any necessary repairs. Even later in the game you'll get to use various boats to smuggle large quantities of drugs into Miami from islands off the coast, at which point your enemies will include pirates, coastguards, and the Drug Enforcement Agency.

When one of your fronts is threatened you'll be expected to drop whatever you're doing and defend it.

Dealing in increasingly large quantities of cocaine won't be the only opportunity that presents itself to you as you progress through the game. For starters, you'll be able renovate and refurnish Montana's mansion, and then there's the hired help to consider. In addition to goons who will accompany you on dangerous missions, you'll be able to hire an enforcer, an assassin, a driver, and a boat pilot--the first three of which are playable characters for certain missions. The driver and the boat pilot both proved incredibly useful during our time with Scarface: The World Is Yours, not only because they're able to transport you around Miami in their limousine and seaplane respectively, but also because they can be instructed to deliver vehicles to you anywhere on the map with a quick phone call. Furthermore, if you own the arms-dealer front business, any road vehicles delivered to you will come with a trunk filled with weapons and ammo. You can only carry a limited amount of each when you're on foot, so this feature is invaluable and certainly beats having to make regular trips back to your house or to an Ammu-Nation store in GTA.

Weapons that we got our hands on during our time with Scarface: The World Is Yours included a pistol, a shotgun, an AK-47, an assault rifle, a sniper rifle, and a bazooka--the latter proving very useful during an island mission in which we were tasked with taking down a helicopter. You'll be able to upgrade weapons with larger ammo clips and such as you progress through the game, and ranged weapons can be fired in any direction when you're in a vehicle. Melee weapons including machetes, pipes, and chainsaws can also be wielded very effectively, and the game's hand-to-hand combat includes a satisfying grapple move that can only be used as a counterattack. The enemies in the game don't appear to be particularly intelligent at this point, but they're a decent shot, and they're certainly not shy about attacking in numbers. Non-player characters will react differently to you if you're walking around with a weapon in your hand, incidentally, so it's a good idea to put them away unless you're looking for trouble.

The people you meet will react in a suitable manner if you're carrying a weapon.

Characters will also react very differently to you according to your reputation in the game. There are eight levels of reputation for you to progress through as you rebuild Montana's empire, and they have an effect on just about every NPC that you meet. Enemies will be less gung ho when attacking you, drivers will give up their vehicles more easily if you ever feel the need to jack a ride, and even the police will be less likely to make trouble for you as you approach drug-lord status.

One of the game's most innovative gameplay mechanics is undoubtedly the taunting of enemies during combat, which not only fills up your balls meter so that you can go into an invincible first-person rage mode from time to time, but also serves to make the already very convincingly animated model of Montana feel even more like Pacino's arrogant character in the movie. You'll often take damage while you're swaggering around and swearing at your enemies, of course, but the trade off is that when you activate the aforementioned rage mode, you'll get health back every time you kill someone.

The other thing that will happen every time you kill someone, regardless of whether or not you're in a blind rage, is that you'll gain "heat," either from the police or from gangs. Likely inspired by the wanted-level mechanic in GTA games, heat determines how likely other characters are to attack you when your paths cross. If you've got plenty of money to spare, it's possible to simply throw cash at the problem and pay off your would-be enemies, but if the situation isn't too dire, there are alternatives. Hostile gangs, for example, can be appeased to some extent with drug deals--provided you can get close enough to their dealers to make the trade.

Gangs are prevalent in all four of the main areas that Miami is divided up into in Scarface: The World Is Yours, which include Havana, South Beach, North Beach, and Downtown. There are plenty of other locales to explore on the map, though, and it was while doing this (in a camper van with a great hippy paint job) that we happened on an old oil tanker that had been converted into a floating casino of sorts. Inside, we were able to wager our hard-earned dollars playing a number of minigames, which included slot machines, video poker, and blackjack. These minigames are available at various locations across the map, though we were told that your reputation will determine how much money you're able to win, so any expert gamblers among you aren't able to rebuild Montana's empire simply by sitting at a card table.

Even when you're driving, you can shoot in any direction.

There's a lot in Scarface: The World Is Yours that's reminiscent of recent Grand Theft Auto offerings, but after spending a couple of hours with the game, we're pleased to report that Radical Entertainment is clearly seeking to improve upon Rockstar's winning formula rather than simply imitate it. This is perhaps most evident in combat, when rather than just locking onto enemies and mashing the fire button, you're able to target specific parts of the body once you've locked on for some occasionally bloody and/or humorous results. The game looks to be faithful to its source material in every way that matters, but it also doesn't take itself too seriously, as evidenced by the fact that when shooting enemies, the target points on their bodies not only include requisite stuff such as head, limb, and groin, but also left nut and right nut. In case you haven't guessed already, we thoroughly enjoyed our time with Scarface on this occasion, and we look forward to bringing you more information on the game ahead of its September release.

Discussion

48 comments
ALFREDPOTHEAD
ALFREDPOTHEAD

i hope its not a crappy botched game like the true crime crap

speedburn
speedburn

I'm playing this game right now and all I can say is its a cool game. GTA has its own style , scarface has its own too. you cant say that its just an imitation of the other game just because of the same style of play. can you say that crash bandicoot copied mario and other platform games just because its also at platform game.

bassist629
bassist629

I think it's ironic that GTA borrowed so much from the Scarface movie and now there is a game that is actually going to be based on the movie. It'll be interesting to see if this turns out to be as awesome as it sounds.

red_bolt83
red_bolt83

maaaan aint no game like GTA just wait until the game relased .. and lets see who's the best but its cool, Scarface a cool mvie 'n' i think that the game will be fine .

delol
delol

another gta clone without the geniality of the real thing

TVT0PIA
TVT0PIA

This will be badass.

Bloody_Spear
Bloody_Spear

I hate how most Vice city riped of scarface the movie.

XboXNatioN
XboXNatioN

This looks awesome! I loved Scarface the movie, and this will be sick too.

mendakfizz
mendakfizz

Think scarface will be better than GTA. Until the game has release, GTA will the best for me currently. Anyway, i like games with GTA-type style...

privatemellish
privatemellish

Next in the Scarface series....Scarface 2..electric boogaloo...exclusive for the PS9.. game does look kind of cool..

UnderGunner
UnderGunner

I Don t wanna here say hello to my little friend again

madroxide87
madroxide87

Yea the whole....GTA rip off thing is making me a little angry. Today's generation has no idea of its own roots....even in video games. All the newest GTA games have just about been rip off's. The most originality I have seen from them were the games of old where you drove from the top and had 2d at best graphics. So yea, before you go accusing people of ripping something off.....maybe you should go watch all the movies that inspired these rerun games.

LilMaa628
LilMaa628

honestly, I think GTA was a perfect game series! I'm not looking for something exactly like GTA and I don`t think that Scarface is trying to imitate GTA. Scarface is trying to be SCARFACE and Scarface wouldn't be what it is without missions and other stuff. GTA opened the door to these type of games, games like Scarface are just improving on this. so don`t think that Scarface & GTA are the same

greenblink013
greenblink013

You guys have to stop comparing this game to GTA. They're both totally different games, and there will be no game that can match up to what GTA has done. There may be games who TRY to be like GTA but none have been good so far (True Crime, The Godfather, ect.) With that said, I think that this game should be pretty good. To me it's kinda like a mix between GTA and The Godfather (GTA because of the free-roaming stuff, drive-by's, and other stuff, and The Godfather because of the fact that you can buy places and that you get "Heat" for killing someone, regardless of whether there is a cop in sight or not). Anyway, I'm looking forward to playing this game, and I hope that they clean up the graphics a little because they look like crap judging from the screen shots. Oh well... back to playing NFL 2K5.

Truskills
Truskills

i hate people who say "scarface is ripping off gta vice city" GTA RIPPED OFF SCARFACE .... GET IT RIGHT!!!

mac_ronin
mac_ronin

they dont even have a-list actors in it... lol.. cant wait for the press to kill this game..

mac_ronin
mac_ronin

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

shorty10404
shorty10404

man, i had a dream about tony not dieing and it would be like a sequel like a year ago and now it'll come true hehehehe

WestCoastRida
WestCoastRida

GTA: Vice City was kinda like Scarface (Miami, the clothes, the shootout at the end in the mansion)... I wish Rockstar would've made this game so we would know it would come out a hit!!! Whoo-hoo for the the guys @ ROCKSTAR!!! still, this game has potential to be the next GTA.

JeffSoHorny
JeffSoHorny

one thing i like about it is the hiring of guys.....the driver the assassin the enforcer all that is hot......and how u can get guys to protect the stores u buy and ur interaction with it like the truck and the arms dealer thing......pretty cool i guess

basketballfg
basketballfg

is there a second page? Because when I click next or two it just puts me back at the first page

basketballfg
basketballfg

I really hope this game is good. I recently watched Scarface for the first time and loved it. I would much rather be Tony Montana then any other character and I hope this game is really good.

kennydiesalways
kennydiesalways

I have every single GTA, and i still like those GTA clones, they are awesome, except for driver that each time becomes more crappy, But in my collection i have all gta, all true crime, all drivers, the godfather and i love the Scarface movie, and i like every single, gang-mafia-driving-shooting kind of games, so I definitely gonna buy this game.

hazeman23
hazeman23

Please someone tell me that this game is not going to be "Current-Gen Only" ?

Bolund
Bolund

Im a a big fan of Al Pacino, from the Godfather to Scarface. Plus the movie was awsome and i prob watched it six times. So im deff getting this game.

ccso151
ccso151

Is anybody affraid of the entire "I wanna be like GTA" syndrome? IE; Driver PL, The Getaway, True Crime... etc. This license has so much promise, but im my opinion, no company has pulled off a "Sandbox" game NEARLY as good as Rockstar, and I fear this game may fall to the same fate. I do have high hopes, but low expectations.

00Drache00
00Drache00

Grand Theft Auto was only good for the first 2/3 games. The first one and its Expansion and then GTA2. Thats it, it just evolved into utter crap after those two. I'd like to rent this and see how it is.

H4mmersmith
H4mmersmith

I personally think that scarface was an excellent movie, But i dunno looking at the game it really reminds me of vice city and vice versa. I don't know if they are or not but they should really consider rebuilding the game for the xbox 360, giving it a total graphics overhaul would boost my will to play it.

billigloo
billigloo

i don't get the whole Scarface thing its a really bad movie a comically bad movie

polomintaddict
polomintaddict

you do know that vice city was a complete rip off of scarface

gagan21
gagan21

A vice city ripp off, could be better than driver and true crime , but not better than gta

K1LLSWITCH
K1LLSWITCH

Too little too late. Grand Theft Auto already dominates the genre in which Scarface is set. The only people that will pick up this game is the fans of the movie. In other words it'll flop.

Scarface_tm431
Scarface_tm431

THat Chinsaw looks horrible, looks like that 'super vibrator' in San Andreas. Is this game still coming out on 360?

arterberry
arterberry

I really hope that this game takes care of my 'GTA fix'! Actually - I hope that they build this so well - that it becomes the new standard that Rockstar will have to follow!

junioryardie
junioryardie

for some reason i think it is going to suck why because of all the hype but don't get me wrong i am a big fam of scarface i just hope the don't screw it up

payback_56
payback_56

The game can be decent, but there are a lot of "IFs" in there, and one of them is to not make it a GTA clone, everyone is right, it can be open ended, but has to be able to stay seperate, so it does not fall into the "GTA clone" catagory...also I played some GTa clones, thy are ok, GTA was better than the ones I played, but they still have some decent points...

KG78
KG78

COUNTIN DOWN DA DAYS EVEN BEFORE I READ DIS!!!!

spartan202
spartan202

this gonna be like somekind of mob wars????

shafner
shafner

could be good, but i bet it'll be just like GTA, which i am bored of at this point. Still will sell a million though, every hip-hopper with a PS2 has an obsession with this franchise.

SemiMaster
SemiMaster

I think this will be a good game actually. If they put in good production values, and NOT try to make it a GTA style clone (yes I know VC was a complete ripoff of the Scarface story), but with some more robust game mechanics and not focus on just the gratuitous violence (I.E. Tony Montana will not kill kids). I have hopes for this game.

SCARFACELP
SCARFACELP

I havenot tried any of the gta clones but i'm very fond of the scarface movie , plus this one actually sounds good so far , i may have to give it a try.

stovich
stovich

Honestly sounds pretty good. I'm really looking forward to this one.