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Profiling the mind behind TRUE CRIME: STREETS OF L.A.

Cinescape speaks with TRUE CRIME's executive producer, Chris Archer, about the new game

By James Stevenson     November 26, 2003


L.A. cop Nick Kang continues to ask for directions in TRUE CRIME: STREETS OF L.A.
© Activision

Earlier this month, Activision released the critically acclaimed TRUE CRIME: STREETS OF L.A. (read our review here) CINESCAPE recently had an opportunity to talk to Chris Archer, the executive producer of the game whose credits also include CREATURE SHOCK and TONY HAWK for the N64. Who better to describe what the game is about than one of its creators?


"We sought out to take the genre to a new level of evolution by delivering a game that lets players experience driving, fighting and shooting all at the highest level. Additionally, we have accurately recreated 240 square miles of LA. This is a feat that has not yet been accomplished in gaming providing gamers with this type of size and accuracy together," explains Archer.


"We

L.A. cop Nick Kang continues to ask for directions in TRUE CRIME: STREETS OF L.A.

also integrated a branching storyline where players play continuously through the main storyline without having to repeat missions. Players simply deal with the consequences of failed missions and their decisions. A unique RPG element is integrated where players can upgrade their driving, fighting and shooting skills through driving courses, dojos and shooting ranges throughout LA. We also have an incredible soundtrack that includes 50 original songs from West Coast Hip Hop stars such as Snoop Dogg, Westside Connection (featuring Ice Cube, WC, and Mac 10), Coolio, Warren G, and more. I can't reveal all the secrets, but there is a ton more that gamers haven't seen yet."


The first game that TRUE CRIME will inevitably draw comparisons to is the current top-selling GRAND THEFT AUTO series. Many gamers might be tempted to just call TRUE CRIME a rip-off of the GTA games, but Archer calls it an evolution.


"GRAND THEFT is a great game and while TRUE CRIME is very different once you get down to the specifics, all of these games have the same roots," explains Archer. "Some of the earlier car combat games on the PSX, like VIGILANTE 8 and TWISTED METAL, evolved to eventually produce a game by the name of DRIVER, which further evolved into another game called GTA. Now, TRUE CRIME will continue the tradition and evolve the genre even further. It's all a natural progression in gaming."


One of the biggest differences between GRAND THEFT AUTO and TRUE CRIME is how the latter game allows you to continue the storyline, even after you fail a mission. It's one of the more unusual mission structures ever to be implemented in a game.


"They [the gamers] simply must

L.A. cop Nick Kang asks questions later in TRUE CRIME: STREETS OF L.A.

deal with the consequences of their decisions, failures and successes. Ultimately, players end up with three different endings depending on their performance, giving TRUE CRIME great replayability," adds Archer. "Additionally, during your free-roam experience you have the opportunity to solve random crimes in the city, upgrade your character's skills, moves, weapons and vehicles through acts of skill and challenges, as well as tons of secrets and hidden missions. The player will always feel that they are playing the first time each time they play TRUE CRIME."


When it simply comes down to it, the game is amazing even to those who spent months working on it.


"Every day, I am in awe of what Luxoflux has put together in TRUE CRIME," says Archer. "I can't really break out one thing that is most appealing. I think the idea that you can do pretty much anything in the game (driving, fighting, shooting, stealth, etc.) and the depth of each of these elements while having a strong branching storyline is an awesome achievement in gaming."

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