This work is an independent work made using the GTA III engine released the previous year. The engine's performance has been improved on the basis of the original work, including more detailed vehicle damage systems, tactical actions, and more operational vehicles, such as motorcycles. , Helicopters and small seaplanes. Because of the use of an off-the-shelf engine, the development cycle of this game is surprisingly short, only 11 months. It is the shortest development cycle in GTA history, but it has achieved unprecedented success.
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City is a third-person perspective action-adventure game. Players control the criminal Tommy Vercetti and complete missions - linear scenarios with set objectives - to advance the story. Multiple missions may be available at a time, as some missions require the player to wait for further instructions or events. Outside of missions, players are free to roam the game's open world and have the ability to complete optional side missions. Consisting of two main islands and several smaller areas, the world is much larger than earlier entries in the series. These islands are unlocked for the player as the story progresses.
A screenshot of the player character driving a motorcycle through the busy city streets of the game.
Unlike the previous game, players can ride motorcycles in Sin City.
Players can run, jump, or drive vehicles to navigate the game world. Players use melee attacks, firearms, and explosives to fight enemies. Guns include weapons such as the Colt Python, the M60 machine gun, and the Minigun. The game's 3-D environment allows for a first-person perspective while aiming with a sniper rifle and rocket launcher. In addition, the game's combat allows players to drive-by shoot by facing the side of a vehicle. The game offers players a wide selection of weapons - they can be purchased from local gun dealers, found on the ground, retrieved from dead enemies, or found around the city.
In combat, auto-aim can be used as an aid against enemies. If a player takes damage, their health meter can be fully regenerated by using a health pickup, and body armor can be used to absorb gunfire and blast damage but will run out in the process. If the player commits a crime while playing the game, the game's law enforcement agencies may respond as indicated by a "wanted" meter in the flat-screen display, increasing as the player commits more crimes. On the meter, the stars displayed indicate the current wanted level, with the higher the level, the greater the response to law enforcement.