Scarface: The World is Yours

Gamestyle Archive intro: fond memories of the original OTT PS2 version of Scarface that captured the feel of the original perfectly. Writer JJ, Published July 2007

Developer: Radical Entertainment

Publisher: Sierra


When Gamestyle reviewed the PlayStation 2 version of Scarface: The World is Yours we were certainly impressed.  Rather than revisit the storyline of the film, it took the grand finale and used it as a blueprint for a new adventure in Tony Montana’s world.   Many wrongly labelled Scarface as a viable pit stop for anyone waiting for Grand Theft Auto V, but in fact it proved to be an excellent addition to the genre.  Now the violent tale arrives on the Nintendo Wii, thankfully displaying no obvious restraint and full of its customary bravado.  So the obvious question we ask of most Wii releases applies; a worthwhile port or just another title that fails to utilise its new host’s capabilities?

If you are familiar with the film, then you will automatically realise just how much fun you can have as Tony Montana.   A ruthless Cuban gangster who previously ruled the Miami underworld, you must rebuild your empire long after the wolves have departed with every last scrap of power, drugs, money and the trappings they bring.  However Montana still has his pride intact, combined with a ruthless streak and desire to gain revenge on those who dared plot against him.   And whereas Tony ruled before with no consciousness, now his enemies have even more reason to fear his wrath.

For anyone old enough to purchase Scarface, being Tony Montana is the real joy.  Its not everyday you experience such a role as this, the reckless freedom, lack of morals, outright self-belief in your own ability and being above the law.   It may not feature the voice of Pacino but the replacement voice actor is more than adequate, perhaps providing more venom and scope than Al would have brought to the project.  Shaking the nunchuk prompts a series of witty comments that seem endless for most given situations.  At times Gamestyle would just try out the range of remarks to see what delights and sound bites of wisdom Montana would utter. Whereas elsewhere such samples soon become repetitive and diminish in value, here it just confirms the work that has gone into developing this release.

Our fears of a scaled down version have been cast aside as Radical Entertainment have done a tremendous job in porting the PlayStation 2 title to the Nintendo Wii.   While Scarface does not offer the variety and wealth of options that an instalment of GTA provides it still represents a sizeable title.  Arguably with the exception of Zelda this is the longest adventure on the system and raises the genre barrier set previously by The Godfather.   You can follow the main goals and set up deals, taking over drug rackets or simply engage in turf warfare or even developing your mansion into the ultimate bachelor pad.  The choice as they is yours and thankfully there are no hidden icons across the map, removing the need to explore every blade of grass.   Instead Radical Entertainment have stayed true to the source and created a rampaging white-knuckle ride without any filler, should you decide to get onboard.

Visually it is miles better than The Godfather and shows up many of the PS2 ports that the system has been receiving for what they are.   Agreed, it does lack the polish of the original, but excluding the resolution they stand side by side extremely well.  The layout for the most part remains untouched and residents either on foot, or on the road happily populate the streets.  Even the rich selection of music from the period has made the journey across onto the Wii.

The biggest improvement comes with the control method, which at first seems blighted by the camera control option.    This is partially due to the shortness of the training introduction that is identical to the one you’ll find on the PS2 version.  This was conceived to show you the basics, but the Wii edition provides a level of control beyond that seen originally.

The nunchuk controls your direction and shaking it unleashes the rage attack, where Montana goes more ballistic than usual.  The twist comes from the Wii remote that acts as the camera by simply pointing it at the screen.   There are several options that control the speed and scope of the camera, and due to the training mode you’ll have to try out each in game to find the one that suits your style.   Once a favourite has been found, the combination works extremely well as the remote also acts as your target sight.  The Z button allows you to lock onto targets and strafe when needed, resulting in a more fluid, practical and hassle free experience.

Few titles nowadays grow in stature yet almost a year on from its original release, Scarface: The World is Yours remains as strong and potent an experience as you’ll find.   With the Wii tending to favour cute juvenile experiences of late, we’re thankfully that Tony has graced us with his presence one more time.

Gamestyle score: 8/10