An expansion which could not really deliver the goods. The problems of the base game have not been rectified.
The story is still the same. You’re still performing the same tasks as you did in the base game, busting up the neighbourhood on your way. You start at the lowest rung of the mafia ladder and must work your way up. You take tasks nearly the same way as in the base game and execute them in the same way as well. Stealing cars is your primary duty and causing mayhem a result your general objective.
Cars in the game are of course different from the base game. Instead of the somewhat modern car design of the base game, cars in this game have a more contemporary look. The left-hand drive is not really a major problem and is easy to get the hang of. The problem lies in the handling. Cars handled quite well in the base game but instead of fine tuning this area, the expansion has actually worsened it. Pushing the left or right button makes the cars swing wildly in that direction instead of a gradual turn. Crashing into things wasn’t a major problem with Grand Theft Auto but it is with the expansion. Crashing into anything instantly stops your car dead in its tracks. This gets really frustrating as you need to start the car over and over again. Pursuit missions have actually become a chore in this game and more than one try is often needed for such missions.
Even controlling your character has become awkward. Your character will also change directions abruptly. This really seems awkward when you’re trying to outrun the law. Fuzzy camera angles only worsen this situation and make control of your character even worse. It also makes missions a tad bit difficult than before. You can still only save the game between maps. This was the main problem with the base game and its sad to see that nothing has been done about it.
Graphically, the game looks nearly the same as the base game. It does however have a contemporary look to it, which is a nice touch. But, like the base game it still has characters a bit too small for comfort and a bit difficult to really appreciate. The maps look as good as they did before and it is great to notice the slight depth in the building design. The sound of this game has slightly improved. The retro look is backed up with some retro sound as well. The city is still teeming with life and it brings a slight freshness to the game. The city is never quiet and there’s always some trash talk, blaring sirens, and other city sounds to be heard. It is great to see that the audio effects are somewhat timed and change according to the circumstances. There are also more audio feeds this time round which add a sense of urgency to the game.
Overall, the game is nothing special. It is really an add-on and has not addressed some of the major problems of the base. It had even made some minor problems into major ones. There is nothing very innovative or appealing about this game. Only the die-hard Grand Theft Auto fans will be able to enjoy this game.