Artist: Video Game ReviewTitle: Scarface: The World Is Yours (Video Game)Rating: 4 StarsReviewed by: Alex Thornton
Dusting off an old franchise for a new game, Scarface: The World is Yours (Vivendi Universal Games, PS2) gives fans of Tony Montana a way to live out their hustler fantasies on the couch instead of the block. Rather than following the plot of the film, The World is Yours tells an original tale in which Tony manages to escape the famous final showdown alive but loses his empire in the process. Players take control of Montana as he rebuilds from the ground up and gets revenge on his many enemies.
The game's object is naturally to make as much money as possible by selling cocaine. The process of moving the coke is translated well, though sometimes almost too well for its own good. Players will spend the bulk of their time trafficking weight from place to place while dodging the police and aggressive rivals. As in real life, dealing involves a lot of tedious legwork with few immediate rewards and it takes awhile to climb high enough up the ladder to make any serious cash. Once the money does start flowing, Tony must frequently stop by banks to deposit dirty money and reduce the risk of losing it on the streets, but between turf wars, hustling, and running errands for suppliers, the player is constantly juggling several dangerous tasks at a time, occasionally making the missions more stressful than fun.
Scarface's strengths are definitely its high production values which mostly cover up any gameplay imperfections. While Al Pacino doesn't provide his voice, actor Andre Sogliuzz's representation of Montana is spot-on. Meanwhile, the character's animation perfectly captures Montana's fidgety swagger, making the digital version feel like the real thing. The music is another high point with its large and varied selection of player-selected tracks, and while the games story is deep, it doesnt require intimate knowledge of the film to follow, a plus for casual fans.
There's no shortage of open-ended crime simulators on the market, but what Scarface lacks in originality, it more than makes up in attention to detail and a comprehensive use of the franchise. Movie based games have a long history of mediocrity, but The World is Yours manages to do justice to the property and is worth checking out by fans of the film and the game style alike.