Vice City Stories price confirmed, plot details revealed?

Second PSP Grand Theft Auto game will cost $50 when it ships October 17; box art hints at least two characters from Vice City will return.


To date, the best-selling game for the PSP platform has been Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories. Developed by Rockstar Leeds, the game has sold more than a million copies on the platform in the US since it was released in October 2005, generating more than $51.3 million in revenue. The game's runaway success caused it to become the first game ever ported from the PSP to the PlayStation 2. The budget-priced console version has also been a best-seller since it went on sale last month.

Given Liberty City Stories' success, few were surprised when Rockstar Games revealed that a second GTA game was in development for the PSP. At E3 in May, the publisher announced Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories would ship in the US on October 17 and in Europe on October 20. Today, the publisher reconfirmed the ship date, and announced the game would carry a full price of $49.99.

Though it didn't announce a rating for Vice City Stories--though there hasn't been a non-M-rated installment in the series since GTA2--Rockstar did release the final box art for the title (pictured). And while the publisher didn't unveil any new information on the title, the box art indicates that, like LCS, the game will feature characters from its console predecessor, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.

In the middle of its left-hand side, the VCS box art shows a swarthy character with long black hair and a handlebar mustache. The person appears to be Umberto Robina, the Cuban gangster voiced by actor Danny Trejo (Heat, Desperado) in Vice City. Robina tasked Vice City protagonist Tommy Vercetti with a variety of missions, from a treacherous boat race to starting an all-out war with his archrivals, the Haitian gang. One such mission was the source of the controversial "Kill all the Haitians" mission, which sparked protests in 2004, two years after Vice City first went on sale.

In the upper-right-hand corner of the VCS box is a picture of a rugged, bearded biker riding a Harley-Davidson-like motorcycle. The character appears to be a more youthful version of "Big" Mitch Baker, the Vietnam-veteran biker-gang leader voiced by the Six Million Dollar Man himself, Lee Majors, in Vice City. From his hangout at the Greasy Chopper Bar, Baker assigned Vercetti several missions, which included motorcycle racing and riot-instigating.

But while both Baker and Robina appear to be on the Vice City Stories box, Rockstar had not responded to inquiries regarding either character's presence in the game. The publisher also had not confirmed whether either Trejo or Majors would reprise their roles. However, the actors' absence does not preclude their characters' return: Several Grand Theft Auto III characters, such as radio magnate Donald Love, were not portrayed by their original voice actors when they appeared in Liberty City Stories.

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