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True Crime: New York City

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True Crime: New York City
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"Get rid of old rubbish fast!"
Protagonist(s): Marcus Reed
Genre(s): Action-adventure
Platform(s): Nintendo GameCube
PlayStation 2
Xbox
Microsoft Windows
Mobile
Release: Nintendo GameCube, PlayStation 2, Xbox
NA: November 15, 2005
EU: November 25, 2005

Microsoft Windows
NA: March 24, 2006
EU: March 30, 2006

Mobile
WW: March 21, 2007
Developer(s): Luxoflux[1]
Publisher(s): Activision
Country: United States
Series: True Crime
Predecessor: True Crime: Streets of LA
Successor: True Crime: Hong Kong (see WIaTC#24)


True Crime: New York City is a 2005 action-adventure game developed by Luxoflux and published by Activision for the Nintendo GameCube, PlayStation 2, and Xbox. The game was ported to Microsoft Windows by Aspyr and Hands-On Mobile developed the mobile version. It is the second and final instalment in the True Crime series, and is the sequel to True Crime: Streets of LA.

Plot

Former gangster, now street cop Marcus Reed in New York City, tries to uncover who is behind the murder of his friend and mentor, Lt. Terrance Higgins.

Why It's a True Crime

  1. The game's development was rushed in order to get it on store shelves by Christmas 2005, resulting in an alarmingly large amount of bugs and glitches.
  2. Poorly-written and clicé story.
  3. Repetitive case structure; to complete the story, you must solve four major cases. To do this, you get information about a criminal, locate him, kill his henchmen, and interrogate him until he tells you about another crook. You then go off to do the same thing to that fugitive. Rinse and repeat throughout every case, with the only difference being the locations.
  4. While the previous game only required you to complete a few of the story missions to finish the story, here you have to finish every story mission in order to complete the game.
  5. Despite being in the same series as Streets of LA, none of the events of that game were mentioned in this, and the closest to the former is a billboard for True Crime: Streets of LA: The Movie, which for some reason reads "Fall 2007" instead of "Fall 2005" (coincidentally the release of the console versions of New York City).
  6. They branching storyline system from the previous game, Streets of LA, is absent, meaning the story follows a linear path.
  7. On the topic of absent features, the autosave function from the previous game is removed, forcing to manually save your game. Like Sonic 06, the game at least prompts you to save it, but it happens on small occasions.
  8. Career points don't add a lot to the game since you have to do extreme amounts of bad cop actions in order to lose a rank in the department.
  9. In the GameCube version, you have to press two buttons in order to perform actions such as opening doors or climbing fences (the GameCube controller doesn't have enough buttons).
  10. Every car in the game feels floaty and handles like a boat.
  11. Performing special moves such as two-wheeling and pit maneuvers are awkward to perform and look weird (and in the case of the latter, the instant you hit the car's rear-quarter panel it spins out, regardless of what car it is).
  12. The city feels lifeless, as character models repeat extremely often and for every one car model, there are 10 cars that look like Ford Crown Victorias.
  13. Many bugs and glitches; there are glitches that cause you to fall through the ground, swap textures when you get in or out of a car, break scripted sequences, thus making it impossible to complete a mission, and the Xbox version has a huge bug in the "Shadow Tong" mission late in the game that makes it impossible to beat. In the mission you are supposed to push a thug named Tommy off a hanging shipping crate, but in the Xbox version, he pushes you much faster than in the other versions, causing your stamina meter to run out, making you fall off and fail the mission. The only way to fix this bug is by activating the infinite stamina cheat.
  14. Frame-rate constantly stutters and snags, which is inexcusable considering Streets of LA had much less unstable frame-rate.
  15. While the PC version does fix some of the major glitches found in the console versions, it's default control scheme is poorly designed, and it too suffers from a bad frame-rate (though slightly better than consoles), making the game feel incomplete. The PC version also introduced a couple of new glitches, such as one glitch which involves the bus in the crime involving a group of vandalists vandalizing a bus being already gone by the time you arrive at the crime scene, making it look as if the vandalists themselves are getting into a fight with each other, rather than vandalizing a bus that is nothing more but air. It, for some reason, also lacks gun textures, making them all look like toy guns as their models are completely white.
  16. Basic and dull gunplay.
  17. The enemy AI is terrible. Gangsters will most likely get stuck on objects or won't even notice your position, and stealth is also broken, as they sometimes will never detect you, even when you takedown their friend next to them.
  18. Two boss fights are ridiculously easy, to the point you can beat them in at least five seconds by just shooting directly at them.
  19. No matter what your rank is, cops on the street will always shoot you when aiding them in a gunfight until you flash your badge at them, but most of the time you won't have enough time to do so and you'll be killed by your own allies.
  20. The animations are rough and look completely ridiculous. On PC, with the better frame rate, they somehow look even worse, because they look sped up.
  21. A character called Zeke shows up while you're stuck inside an insane asylum. He was voiced by Beetlejuice and has nothing to do with the main story, only showing up as a joke. However, to those unfamiliar with Beetlejuice, he is incredibly annoying since he mumbles out most of his quotes, making it incredibly hard to understand what he says.
  22. Due to the poor AI, bugs and glitches, the game can be completed in less than a hour.
  23. Voice acting in general in this game tends to range from mediocre to bad. Not even Christopher Walken and Laurence Fishburne do a good performance in this game.
  24. This game prematurely ended the True Crime franchise before it could even begin, with the game called True Crime: Hong Kong, but was changed into Sleeping Dogs, which it had no connection to the True Crime series.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. Decent soundtrack and an varied selection of songs on the radio, such as "Welcome to New York City" by Cam'ron. The main story missions even have actual compositions instead of licensed songs. 
  2. Fairly accurate geographical representation of New York City.
  3. Although the character models look dull, the vehicle models, despite being repetitive, look very good, a step up from other open-world games released during the sixth generation, with gorgeous reflection effects and the city, especially at night, looking like a track from a sixth-gen Need for Speed game.
  4. The idea of a True Crime game taking place in New York City is a pretty good idea for a True Crime game, even though it was badly executed.
  5. Despite the gunplay being dull, you can actually aim freely, and even use Precision Targeting with all weapons outside of handguns, something Streets of LA lacked.
  6. You can change your character's outfit and hairstyle, again something Streets of LA lacked (you can change your character's appearance in Streets of LA, but only by using cheat codes.)

Reception

True Crime: New York City received mixed-to-negative reviews. The Metacritic scores consist of 60/100 for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox versions, 59/100 for the GameCube version, and 54/100 for the PC version. The game was a commercial flop, selling only 72,000 copies across all platforms in its first two weeks. This led to Activision abandoning the franchise completely.

Videos

Trivia

  • True Crime: New York City was supposed to be the first game in a two-parter of games set in New York, but the second game was cancelled following the critical and commercial failure of the game.
  • The game received a censored version in Germany, which also led to the original uncensored version to be banned in the country shortly afterwards.
  • The game was to receive a sequel titled True Crime: Hong Kong, but was cancelled, later picked up by United Front Games and Square Enix, and rebranded as Sleeping Dogs.

References

  1. Ported to the Nintendo GameCube and Xbox by Exakt Entertainment, while Aspyr ported to Microsoft Windows. Hands-On Mobile developed the mobile version.

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