Scarface: The World is Yours


Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 7

Sound: 8

Gameplay: 8

Overall: 8


Becoming the longest alternate ending in the history of the film, Scarface: The World is Yours starts at the end of the classic movie. As venerable Tony Montana, players break out of the drug lord's mansion instead of falling face first into a puddle of blood. Losing everything, Tony starts over from the bottom rung of the Miami drug scene, and it's up to the player to gain it all back.

This creates an interesting scenario for a movie based game. Besides rewriting film history and completely changing the point of the movie, Scarface has a lot riding on it to deliver as far as the story is concerned. Sadly, that's the one area the game misses out on entirely.

Scattered between countless drug runs, murder, escort missions and other various side missions is a story struggling to keep pace with the rest of the game. By the time the next plot point arises, you've forgotten the previous cinematic. Slightly upgraded character models seem to be the only noticeable change from the Xbox and PlayStation 2 versions.

Thankfully, the game play is engrossing enough to keep things interesting through an extensive array of missions. An obligatory third person Grand Theft Auto knock-off, Scarface doesn't manipulate the formula enough to feel fresh. What it does is build on that same concept, and in the end, it's a better game.

At the heart of Scarface is targeting, a multi-tiered system that allows for locking on and manual firing. Holding down the auto targeting button allows for precise shots that can lead to a number of gruesome injuries. Becoming the standard for Wii ports, the remote acts as the right analog stick, aiming accurately and controlling the camera. It’s a far better aiming device than it is a camera controller, though disorientation caused by a sudden wrist movement is easy to recover from.

To give a purpose to the manual targeting, you’ll increase Tony's "Balls" meter with each successful kill. Yes, it means exactly what it says, and can also be filled by spewing vulgar taunts, risky driving or carrying on full conversations with civilians. When filled, Tony can enter a rage mode, making him a dead-on shot from a first person view and regaining life with each kill. This is a solid upgrade on the Wii, as the ability to rapidly shift targets allows for higher counts before the clock ticks down.

The system works nicely to keep the difficulty fair. It takes a second to activate the rage, and a life can be taken in that time. It's well balanced to make the player feel both powerful while maintaining the challenge.

Not all of Montana’s work is gunplay though. The game's concept is to rebuild Tony's empire, and this needs to be done the only way Montana knows how. Dealing crack is critical to earn cash and respect on the streets.

Money can be used to dress up the mansion (with items that can be moved anywhere in the house through a clunky interface), buy businesses to take over turf, or bribe cops and gangs to keep them off your back. The more turf and fancy items you have, the higher your respect and the quicker the story moves along.

Knowing when you're in trouble would be helpful since dying causes you to lose all cash currently on Tony. All cash must be deposited into a bank (which doubles as a save point) or you're at risk to lose it.

With such a focus on cash, Scarface meanders around in dull side missions that become grating in later hours. Dealing drugs, laundering money, bribing cops, and intimidating gangs are all performed through a weak interface that mimics classic golf games.

You simply press a button and time it correctly so you've filled it to the correct spot. Nothing has been done to create a new system for the hardware. It’s repetitive, and it’s harder to miss than it is to succeed.

That said, Scarface is saved by satisfying shooting mechanics and a sense of taking one of the truly great film characters under your wing. Watching the empire grow, local gangs cowering in fear and owning businesses is enough to carry this title to success. The World is Yours ends up being nothing more than Miami, but there's plenty to do and most importantly, it's entertaining even with the quirks.


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Last updated: Monday, August 20, 2007 10:29 PM