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Scarface: The World is Yours - Extended Playtest
Written by James Hobbs

There's going to be obvious comparisons betwen a game like Scarface and The Godfather: Blackhand Edition, which was released earlier this year. Both games feature tough-talking gangsters, both games are rated 18, and both games feature a hefty amount of violence and general debauchery.

Scarface Wii Screenshot
That screenshot pretty much sums up the game.

Scarface: The World is Yours is on a totally different level to The Godfather, however. From the brief time we've spent with it so far it's clear that it's far, far more violent than any of the scenes depicted in The Godfather. The opening level of the game is one of the most violent escapades I've seen on Wii thus far - you roam Tony Montana's house with an AK47, accompanied by explosions, decapitations, dismemberment, and all manner of other madness. The opening level gives you unlimited ammo, and the motive of the developers is clear - suck you in to the game world with an arcade-style, blood-thirsty battle. It's excellent.

The controls are somewhat difficult to get used to at first, mainly because of the way in which the camera is controlled. The Wii remote is used to swivel the camera around, and as such you have to keep a moderately steady hand to keep it centred. There are 4 different sensitivity settings, designed to make this task easier, but even on the 'Casual' setting it's a little bit disconcerting at first. Thankfully the 'lock-on' feature means you don't have to be completely accurate with the targeting reticule on-screen - by holding the Z button you can lock onto an enemy and use the Wii remote to adjust your aim to a specific body part. By using this you can rack up 'Balls' - get a certain amount of 'Balls' and you can enter the game's Rage Mode.

The violence gets even better when you're in Rage mode - the game switches from a third-person perspective to a first-person, and the hue of the game's colour darkens noticeably, along with some other effects. Mowing down enemies in this manner replenishes your health, and it somehow makes the violence even more brutal. It's nice to see that the developers managed to implement something other than the much-overused slow-motion / bullet-time malarky that practically every game seems to feature these days, and their take on it works fairly well.

Graphically, Scarface isn't too great. There's a noticeably low level of detail overall, with some very poor texture work on many of the structures and objects in-game. The motion-capture work is acceptable, with characters swaggering around appropriately - the most work seems to have ( obviously ) gone into Tony Montana himself. The level of detail never really rises above a sharpened, anti-aliased PS2 game, however, which is a definite shame. On the plus side, the frame rate is consistent, and the special effects that are used look good - there's no dodgy flame effects present. The overall vibe of the film is captured appropriately in-game, and the massive amount of cutscenes, some in-game, some from the film, augment this rather nicely. It feels like a fairly professional and well-rounded package overall, and it's a definite disappointment that the developers didn't push to get the most out of Wii graphically - I'm fairly certain it's capable of more than this.

We'll be blasting our way through Scarface to bring you a full review very soon indeed, so stay tuned.

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