Saturday, 19 November 2016

Saturday Soundtracks: Grand Theft Auto Vice City Theme

Kicking off with a cheeky Commodore 64 reference to the burgeoning home computing revolution at the time of the game, Vice City is a stylish follow up to the first Grand Theft Auto to grace the Playstation 2 console and rather than continue with a present-day story looks to the past for inspiration and motifs - the 1980s.

As the superb introduction video illustrates, this GTA was trying more than ever before to be a stylish movie, with all the nods to famous TV shows of the time (Miami Vice, Magnum PI etc) in both visual style as well as the cheesy synth pop that echoes the same shows, complete with saxophone and guitar riffs.

This was also the first title in the series that ushered in a complete story, where the protagonist is a fully rounded character with his own reactions and lines, meaning that you actually felt that you were controlling someone's destiny rather than Claude's mute avatar that was a blank canvas for the player to fill. As such it's the first total GTA experience that would define the sequels, a full story from rags to riches.

And it would be rude of me not to cover the soundtrack; from early hip hop to synth wave and from funk to stadium rock (not to mention two sets of chat radio), there's something on every radio station for every taste and situation, doing an excellent job of recreating a car drive in the 80s.