True Crime Hands-On Impressions

We take Luxoflux's hard-hitting action game out for a spin.


At a recent European press event, we had a chance to play an early PS2 version of True Crime: Streets of LA, an action game that will attempt to combine shooting, brawling, and driving.

True Crime will be a mostly third-person action game that you play as former beat cop Nick Kang, who was previously dismissed from the police for excessive use of force, but was recently recruited by an undercover division to solve some of the city's more-brutal crimes. In the PS2 version, while Nick is on foot, he can run back and forth using the left analog stick and aim with the right. The circle and X buttons can be used to punch and kick when Nick has his weapons holstered, while the R2 button swaps different weapons in and out (this will actually be important for several reasons, since Nick can wield two weapons, such as two pistols, or an assault rifle and a shotgun, at once) and R1 fires. True Crime will feature a basic auto-aim feature, which the game seems to require, given its often extremely fast pace.

Nick will spend a good deal of time on the streets of LA, which he navigates in his black convertible (his default vehicle). He can, however, "commandeer" any other vehicle (for police business, of course) by walking up to it and yanking out the current driver, which you can do by pressing L1 on the PlayStation 2 controller. True Crime doesn't have a complex or highly punishing physics system for driving--much of it is fast-paced, arcade-style driving that can be performed largely using nothing but the PS2 dual analog sticks (left stick to accelerate or go in reverse, right stick to steer), and much like in Grand Theft Auto III, you'll be guided by a minimap in the bottom left corner of the screen that marks important locations, such as your final destination, and any random crimes that may occur nearby, which can take the form of carjackings, muggings, or drive-by shootings. In all the random crimes we solved, killing the suspects (which are flagged with a large, red triangle over their heads) solved the crime fully. Solving these crimes, as well as major missions, gives you badge points, which you can spend to improve Nick's abilities at key areas on the map--for instance, you can stop by the local dojo to learn a few new fighting moves.

True Crime: Streets of LA is scheduled for release this November for the PS2, Xbox, and GameCube.

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