'Grand Theft Auto: Vice City' - Best Android, iOS apps from 2012

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5Grand Theft Auto: Vice City 
(Developed by Rockstar Games)
Available for: iOSAndroid 
Released: December
Price: $4.99

Ten years after Rockstar Games first launched Grand Theft Auto: Vice City for consoles--and three decades removed from the Eighties-era excess that shapes its hyper-violent narrative, pastel-hued visuals and percolating synth-pop soundtrack--the landmark game has returned via iOS and Android, and while the screens may be smaller, the action remains larger than life.

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City follows the exploits of Tommy Vercetti, a mafia henchman released from prison in 1986 after serving 15 years for the murders of 11 men. After returning to Vice City (a thinly-veiled Miami knockoff), Vercetti resumes his former life, but when a drug deal goes bad, he vows revenge on the mob bosses who set him up. Each subsequent Grand Theft Auto mission furthers Vercetti's rise to power, escalating from drive-by shootings and petty thefts to bank heists and murder plots; establish the right alliances and execute the right opponents, and Vercetti ends the game as Vice City's unrivaled crime kingpin.

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City essentially redefined console gaming when it debuted in 2002: Its myriad strengths include a richly detailed, open-ended digital milieu awarding gamers unprecedented control over the user experience, a compelling and complex narrative, sharply defined characters, voice performances from big-name Hollywood actors, in-game radio stations spinning licensed pop hits, and cinematic visuals shaped by influences like ScarfaceMiami Vice and MTV. After successfully translating its Grand Theft Auto III and Max Payne franchises to mobile devices, Rockstar applies the same lessons here, updating the graphics, character designs and lighting effects for high-resolution displays while adding custom controls optimized for touchscreen devices; rest assured that it all looks and sounds better than ever. If you loved Grand Theft Auto: Vice City way back when, you'll love it all over again on mobile.