The missions given to you tend to involve shooting up or beating up (there is a big distinction between gun fighting and kung fu) a room full of bad guys, or simply have you racing against the clock in your car. In between, you can roam around and solve simple street crimes (mugging, car jackings, etc), or earn upgrades for your driving, shooting, and fighting abilities. The upgrade mechanism is important because while it's an entertaining way to add new gameplay elements several hours in, the early game leaves you with so few moves that the game is hard, or worse, boring. The game also features a Good-Cop/Bad-Cop karma system that rewards or punishes you for doing the right or wrong thing. Arrest criminals in non-lethal manner to get better endings, or terrorize the populace and have both citizens and police turn on you.
While it can be an entertaining take on the Grand Theft Auto genre, True Crime tends to suffer from hit and miss execution. For every compelling game element, there's another equally awful one. There are several mission types that are completely devoid of any fun, melee fighting favors button mashing even after the nearly-useless string of upgrades, and the controls and camera seem to work against you more often than for you. Ultimately, hardcore Grand Theft Auto fans and the infinitely patient may be in for a treat, but everyone else is advised to think twice about this game.--Jon "Safety Monkey" Grover
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