True Crime: New York City is an urban adventure video game published by Activision and developed by Luxoflux for the Xbox, PlayStation 2, and GameCube consoles. It was released to Windows-based computers on March 24, 2006. It is a sequel to True Crime: Streets of L.A. As of April 2009, the Xbox 360 is not backwards compatible with the Xbox version of the game.
Plot summary Edit
Marcus Reed is a gang member who inherited his incarcerated father's criminal empire in New York. Several years later, Reed is betrayed by a friend and assumed dead after an ambush. Covered in blood and injured, Reed shows up unexpectedly at the traitor's house to exact revenge. After a bloody, running gunfight with gang members, Reed corners the betrayer in a building basement and guns him down. Dropping his empty Uzi, Reed is almost shot and killed by another gang member, but an NYPD detective named Terry Higgins saves Reed. Isaiah Reed (Marcus' father) and Higgins have been friends for a long time. Higgins tells Reed he should be ashamed of the level he's sunk to. Although Reed willingly offers to allow Higgins to arrest him, Higgins refuses. He says he's going to cover up Reed's involvement in the shoot-out, but this will be his final chance to clean up his act before he's left to the mercy of the NYPD. Reed agrees, and shuffles off to tend to his injuries. As he does so, Higgins sighs and says, "Merry Christmas."
Five years later, Marcus Reed is now an officer of the NYPD, having worked the beat for four years to become one of the precinct's best street cops with Higgins' mentoring and guidance. At the urging of Higgins, he applies to test for his detective's badge and a transfer to the Organized Crime Unit. After passing the test with flying colors, the head detective does not believe he is ready so Terry takes Reed out for a few basics, afterwards Reed and Higgins go to visit Reed's father in jail. The visit is cut short by a phone call to Higgins. A contact for a case he's working on has called a meeting in another part of town. Marcus Reed and Higgins hurry to the contact point. Before getting out of the car, Higgins instructs Reed to come in guns blazing if he's gone for too long. As Higgins walks into the building with a briefcase, Reed leans over to pick up some of Higgins' cigarettes that have fallen out of the glove box, and suddenly, a massive explosion sends the undercover squad car flying through the air.
Back at the precinct, Reed is informed Higgins was killed in the explosion. Reed is denied a place in the OCU, for now. Marcus is then informed he will be going back out on the street as a plainclothes cop while the department investigates Higgins' murder. As Reed resumes his duties, he is contacted by FBI agent Gabriel Whitting, who requests a meeting in a parking garage downtown. Whitting informs Reed a member of the OCU is a mole and likely organized Higgins' death. Whitting does not know who but does know the mole had connections with four major crime syndicates: the Magdalena Cartel, the President's Club, the Palermo Mob, and the Shadow Tong. Whitting wants Reed to investigate these four crime groups to track down Higgins' killer. After being given a folder with information on the Magdalena Cartel, Reed sets off on his mission of revenge.
Reed's first investigation is the Magdalena Cartel, believed to be responsible for 75% of New York's cocaine trade. Before his death, Higgins had made contact with rich socialite and philanthropist Teresa Castillo a.k.a Mother Teresa, who he believed may be able to help him get inside the cartel. After Marcus proves himself to Teresa by taking down a local drug dealer, Teresa gives Reed information leading him to a Magdalena safe house, where he chases down their leader, Rey. However, Rey turns out to be head of the Latin Lords, the main rival of the Magdalena Cartel; the Cartel was using Reed to take out their competition. Reed discovers Teresa's real name is Magdalena Rojas, and it is she who runs the cartel. After being told that the cartel smuggles their drugs in South American Artifacts through the Zuma Museum, Marcus goes their and interrogates the director of the museum, who tells him that they sell the shipments to the Salvation War. He goes there, and is immediately knocked out by a doctor with a baseball bat. He wakes up tied and drugged, where Teresa is. She explains to Marcus that her real name is Magdalena Rojas, widow of Umberto Rojas, the original leader of the cartel who was killed by the CIA 6 years ago. She then explains that she's late to the opera, and has her goon lock Reed in the yard with the other mental patients. He fights through them and the staff with the help of a peaceful patient named Zeke (played by comedian Lester Green AKA Beetlejuice), escapes the hospital and races to the opera house where Teresa is. After a shootout, he arrests her, but she tells him she doesn't know who the mole is, only that as their information was always accurate, she knows it is someone high up in the OCU.
The President's Club is an African-Amercian crime organization. It's the fastest growing crime syndicate in New York, with former Crips and Bloods working together. The gang got its name from the head leader and the lieutenants using the names of the U.S. Presidents featured on dollar bills, and the group makes its profits off a designer drug called "Pop", which was previously in Asia and is now here, courtesy of this club. Marcus first goes to bring down President Lincoln, who ran a drug den/shelter. Marcus arrived on the scene and knocks out the doorman. Marcus proceeds to make his way through the den, defeating all the guards and dealers. As Marcus arrived in the main hall, Marcus finds Lincon watching TV with some drug dealers, and runs to a platform. Marcus defeats all the dealers and follows Lincoln, who stands in front of a gisnt fan wielding a minigun. Marcus dodges Lincoln's bullets and neutralizes him. Lincon tells Marcus that he gets his drugs from President Hamilton and that he can be found at his club Tadow. Marcus arrested Lincoln and headed off to the club. Arriving at the club, Marcus found everyone on the floor lifeless. Marcus first believed them to be all knocked out from pop. Seeing a man he thought was in a daze, he shook him by his shoulder, only for his head fall off. As Marcus fell to the floor in surprise, Hamilton's voice rings out, wondering if Reed was Lincoln and asking him for help. Marcus soon made his way through the club, bypassing lasers and found a witness cowering in fear. The witness, President Hamilton, then explained that the killers were Yakuza hitmen sent by their leader Kobi, who the club is at war with. Hamilton also says that President Jackson is going after Kobi. Marcus tracked down Kobi to a hotel where he found two young ladies being escorted by two Yakuza enforcers, but as Marcus approached the group asking for Kobi, one of the enforcers pulled a gun on Marcus. Marcus pulled out his badge to show he was a cop. As he asked again for Kobi, the older lady revealed that she was Kobi. As Marcus ordered Kobi into the limo so they could drive off, President Jackson and his men arrived so they could "WASTE THOSE YAKUZA BITCHES!" After a long car chase, Marcus killed Jackson and the thugs, and Kobi thanked Marcus for his deeds. Marcus asked why Kobi was at war with the Presidents. Kobi revealed that the man Marcus just killed was President Jackson, and that her men had already killed Hamilton, and President Grant is next and after Grant, only Benjamin will remain. Kobi revealed that Benjamin, the head of the President's club, is really Lionel Jones, a hotshot music video producer. Kobi met Lionel, who was broke, in Japan and used his contacts to sell pop but Lionel decided to go into his own buisness using the Yakuza's pop. Kobi ordered her men to hunt down and kill all of the Presidents, initiating the war. Kobi then revealed that she and her men are on the way to Lionel's drug factory to kill him herself. Marcus told Kobi that that wouldn't happen because he's putting her under arrest, but Kobi pushed Marcus out of the limo, causing him to fall out onto the street and drove off. Knowing where the factory was Marcus raced his way there. As Marcus arrived on scene, Marcus found the President's Club and the Yakuza were in the midst of a gun fight with President Grant leading the fight. As Grant's men killed two more Yakuza, Marcus busted through the skylight, gunning down both sides. Grant, surprised at his dramatic entrance, ordered his men to kill Marcus while he moved a large truck of pop out of the factory. Marcus chased after Grant, killing Grant's men. As Marcus headed outside, he found more Presidents Club goons, and Grant trying to escape in his truck. Marcus destroyed the truck by shooting the truck's tires. Grant surrendered on the spot, and Marcus ordered him to tell him where Lionel was. Grant revealed that Lionel was at his music studio, Zen Records. Marcus then raced to the studio but was knocked out from behind as soon as he entered. Marcus re-awoke strapped to a chair. Lionel entered the room, angered that Marcus had destroyed his operation, arrested his men, and broke into his building. As Lionel stood over Marcus, he armed himself with a katana and prepared to execute Marcus himself; but before he could do so, a goon busted into room explaining that an intruder was on the roof. Lionel, angered that someone was in his garden, remarked that "nobody fucks with MY zen", then proceeded to leave the room with his men, leaving Marcus on the floor. Marcus soon broke from the chair and headed for the roof, killing Lionel's goons along the way. Arriving on the roof, Marcus found Lionel and Kobi fighting each other with katanas. Kobi turned around, surprised to see him, only to be stabbed through the abdomen by Lionel. Marcus then dueled with Lionel and defeated him by knocking off his armor by smashing it with pieces of bamboo. With no armor on, Lionel escaped on a nearby zipline to another building. Marcus soon followed and captured Lionel. Holding Lionel over the side of the building, Lieon revealed that the mole called himself "El Jefe". Marcus arrested Lionel, ending the President's Club.
The Shadow Tong was a Tong based in New York City, Manhatten Island. The Shadow Tong was once led by Benjamin "Uncle Benny" Shen, who led the Tong out of Chinatown for years and had the knockoff merchandise market cornered, but he disappeared without a trace and the Tong was taken over by his adopted, American bred son, Leeland Shen, who voided all of Benny's agreements, began extorting local businesses, and even worse, brought the sweatshops back to Chinatown. Leeland Shen was a cocky, insolent piece of work; Gabriel Whitting even called him "one brutal son-of-a-bitch". Leeland's got his syndicate sewn up so tight, there's almost no way of getting to him. Needing to get close to Leeland, but because of Leeland's uptight hatred for new recruits, Marcus tries to find Leeland's missing stepsister, Vivian Shen, who recently ran away with her boyfriend and became a goth dancer. Marcus finds Vivian on the dance floor performing but Vivian refused to leave, and her boyfriend refused to let her go. Marcus told him to back off, threatening to "knock those plastic fangs down your throat". Vivian's boyfriend, along with all the goths in the club, decided to fight Marcus. Marcus defeated the goths and the boyfriend, persuading Vivian to go with Marcus. Marcus took Vivian outside but Marcus noticed that his car was gone. While looking for his car, the goths, now armed, arrived outside to kill Marcus; scared by the guns, Vivian agrees to tell Marcus where she lives. Marcus pushed Vivian into the limo's driver seat while he protected it from the goths. After killing the goths, the two escaped to Vivian's home. Arriving at the restaurant, Marcus introduces himself as "Jimmy Macc" and tells Leeland that he wants to make a deal with Leeland on behalf of The King: offering distribution uptown in exchange for a 50% cut. Leeland, however, refused to make the deal unless Marcus could prove himself capable, so Leeland ordered Marcus to go see Old Lin. Arriving outside Old Lin's building, Old Lin told Marcus to drive his truck around town to his partners, and should none of them pay due to Leeland's rise in prices, Marcus should beat them up. After Marcus was done with the deliveries, he returned to Lin's building. Marcus went to Lin's office, and asked where Leeland was. Lin asked Marcus if he had a gun, with Marcus responding that Lin's doorman had taken his gun when he came in. Old Lin then tells Marcus that he knows "Jimmy Macc" is "Officer Reed." As Marcus stood there, a thug from behind put a gun to Marcus' head. With the gun to his head, Old Lin mockingly said "Bye Bye"; however, Marcus acting on the draw, dodged the bullet and disarmed the thug. Old Lin, in terror, escaped the office and fled to a secret elevator. Marcus then headed through the building, defeating Lin's goons as he made his way to the garage. As Marcus entered the garage, Lin opened fire on him, causing Marcus to take cover behind the parked trucks. Marcus then jumped out from behind one of the trucks and disarmed Lin. Old Lin then explained that Leeland's slave operation was done within a huge Chinese tanker at the docks. Marcus arrested Old Lin and headed for the docks. Marcus arrived at the docks and made his way inside, but as Marcus made his way into the ship's belly, he was captured. Marcus was then brought before the Captain of the ship, Jiang. Jiang asked what Marcus was looking for, to which Marcus responded, "Looks like I found what I was looking for." Marcus broke out of the goon's grab and chased after Jiang. However Jiang, being faster, climbed up a ladder to a higher level. Retracting the ladder, Jiang ordered his men to kill Marcus. Marcus defeated the thugs and went after Jiang. Chasing Jiang through the ship's belly, Marcus finally caught up to him. Jiang stated that Leeland was hiding out in Uncle Benny's old heritage house, planning to sell it. Marcus arrested Jiang and headed off to find Leeland. Meanwhile, Leeland had justed opened the heritage house to some gangsters, including Redman. Suddenly, Marcus busted through the door and ordered Leeland to freeze, while asking him who was the mole. Leeland, however, grabbed Redman as a hostage and put a knife to his throat. However, Redman headbutted Leeland, who escaped through a secret passageway. Marcus then jumped through the door, making it just in time. Marcus chased Leeland through a huge sesame, across piles and through tunnels. As Marcus entered another tunnel, the door behind him shut, leaving Marcus blind in the dark, where he was then knocked out. Marcus then awoke stapped to a large stone brick with his hand's cuffed. Leeland entered and "introduced" Marcus to Uncle Benny, where his skeleton was strapped to a wall with a guan doa sticking out of his stomach. Leeland then explained that the Shadow Tong was born in this room, that it used to be a hideout for prosecuted Chinese, and that Uncle Benny never told anyone about it until Leeland killed him, thus allowing him to take over the Shadow Tong. Then, out of nowhere, Vivian arrived, releasing Marcus and stating that Leeland wasn't the only one who knew about the secret room. Leeland, surprised to find Vivian here, asked what she was doing. Vivian stated that she knew all along that he and his mother planned to kill her father, and that maybe Marcus would give him what he deserved. Leeland, angry at Vivian, knocked her to the floor and prepared to kill her, but Marcus came to, ordering Leeland to keep away from her. Leeland mockingly asked if Marcus would arrest him, but Marcus stated, "Yo, when this is over, you're gonna be begging to be arrested." The two then dueled it out with Marcus winning, but Leeland, refusing to give up, escaped higher up by climbing a wall. Marcus then made it up as well, after dodging carts being thrown by Leeland. Leeland then led Marcus through another tunnel and into a subway tunnel. As Marcus reached the end of the tunnel, Leeland armed himself with two knives. The two dueled once again, with Marcus again winning. Marcus then grabbed Leeland and pinned him to a train track, with an oncoming train fast approaching, but just as quicky pulled him away after he stated that the mole had his money dropped off at locker 125 at Grand Central Station. With this information collected, the Shadow Tong was finished.
Good Cop Ending: Victor Navarro comes to Grand Central Station to find Marcus Reed and Gabriel Whitting waiting at his locker. Whitting tells Navarro he has a warrant and tells him to open his locker. Navarro does so, revealing a clothes bag and some golf clubs. As Navarro taunts Reed, however, the bag falls down, revealing millions of dollars in cash. Navarro is carted off and Whitting asks Reed to get some rest. Down in the subway station, Reed is greeted by the one person he least expects: Higgins, alive and well. Reed realizes the truth at last: Higgins was the mole. He knew Whitting was on to him, so he faked his death and framed Navarro for his crimes. When Reed arrested the crime heads, he had unwittingly protected Higgins from gang vengeance. Higgins attempts to get Reed to join him and enjoy the money in Mexico, but Reed is angry with Higgins for tricking him.
Annoyed by Reed's self-righteous attitude, Higgins produces a folder filled with pictures of Reed's rampage five years ago, threatening him with them if he ever thinks of revealing Higgins' actions. Reed defiantly replies he would "do my time standing up, just like my pops" and orders Higgins to surrender. Higgins runs onto a subway car as Reed follows in hot pursuit. Higgins unhooks the cars and starts to make his getaway. Furious, Reed shoots wildly at the train car, striking one of the wheels and causing it to flip over. The rest of the subway train collides with the overturned train car, with Reed running desperately toward the back of the train, barely escaping the huge explosion. Later, Reed talks with Whitting and Dixon as Higgins' dead body is pushed away on a stretcher. In return for catching Higgins, Whitting promises to give Reed's father another chance with the D.A. Reed walks out of the station. Marcus' father meanwhile, narrates the end of the story in the background, saying how much he is proud to see his son stayed in the way of honor despite the fact there were two bad examples in front of him (King and Higgins).
Bad Cop Ending: Victor Navarro comes to Grand Central Station to find Marcus and Gabriel Whitting waiting at his locker. Whitting tells Navarro he has a warrant and tells him to open his locker. Navarro does so, revealing a clothes bag and some golf clubs. As Navarro taunts Reed, however, the bag falls down, revealing millions of dollars in cash. Whitting arrests Navarro on the spot. As Navarro is carted off, Marcus taunts Navarro, saying, "Don't drop the soap." Infuriated, Navarro grabs a gun from one of the officer and shoots Whitting, killing him. Marcus chases Navarro onto a run-away subway train. After a brief gunfight, Navarro ambushes Reed and knocks his gun off the train. Reed and Navarro have a fistfight, and Reed wins by throwing Navarro off the train. As Navarro's body is carted off, Dixon comments she never would have pegged him a dirty cop. She tells Reed to get some rest.
As Reed sits on a bench, Higgins shows up. Reed reveals he's known the mole was Higgins since he took down the last crime syndicate. Higgins asks him why he killed Navarro. Reed replies he simply hated Navarro. Higgins congratulates Reed, saying they are alike, and tells Reed to come with him to Mexico. Reed, however, is furious at Higgins for using him. Higgins hands Reed a bag full of cash, but Reed instead pulls out his gun and shoots Higgins in the head for betraying him while right after remarks, "Mother fuckers with no loyalty... don't deserve to live". Reed starts to enter a subway with the cash, but stops and sits back down on the bench, staring at his badge with shame awaiting his punishment.
Differences from True Crime: Streets of LA Edit
True Crime: New York City includes all of the features of the previous game, namely a "sandbox"-style of gameplay, option to fight crime, the choice to be a good cop (fight crime, take down perps non-lethally, etc.) or a bad cop (kill innocents and fellow officers, using lethal force, damaging property, accepting bribes, and causing chaos in general), and different endings (though simplified to either a good cop or bad cop ending instead of the previous game's branching storyline). Also, instead of allowing the player to proceed down a different mission path upon mission failure, they have the option of doing an informant mission to get back on track with the main storyline.
The game is also said to have upgraded old features and added new features, along with better graphics and sound including the use of motorcycles and new weapons. The player can no longer dual wield assault rifles and shotguns, but the game has a much improved aiming and auto targeting system. Additionally, players are now able to customize their own arsenal of melee weapons and firearms, instead of being limited to a single, upgradeable pair of pistols.
Also the main character is allowed to buy civilian cars that resemble real life cars (i.e. Toyota Supra, Cadillac CTS, etc.) and turn them into police cars. Also they are allowed to enter several buildings like eateries, hotels and clothing shops.
True Crime: NYC received mixed reviews from critics. IGN and Team Xbox scored the game a 7.8 out of 10 and 8.4 out of 10 respectively, while GameSpot gave the game a 4.6 out of 10. Some reviewers admired its vast depiction of Manhattan and improvements in gameplay, including the innovative transportation options that set it apart from previous free roam games. Others derided its story, bad frame rates, and technical issues that seemed to have resulted from a rushed release for the Thanksgiving/Christmas season. Its sales fell short of Activision's expectations.
The game also does not depict all five of New York City's boroughs, opting instead for the 24 square miles (62 km2) of Manhattan. In comparison, True Crime: Streets of L.A. depicts 240 square miles (620 km2) of Los Angeles. New York City has a total land area of 303.3 square miles (785.5 km2). However, New York City's skyscrapers and overall density would have taken high demands from the consoles available at the time of the game's release, evident by the choppy frame rates with the finished product's Manhattan.
There were also complaints of game-stopping glitches that prevented some players from continuing the game using the game's on-screen instructions, although work arounds were discovered. Also guns would stay in precision aim mode, weapons would be held, as well as an inability to enter cars. Sometimes doors wouldn't open or Marcus would fall into a glitch and get stuck there.
In contrast to the console versions, the PC version released in March 2006 suffered from very few glitches. One GameSpot reviewer writes; "While the PC version manages to address some of the more egregious glitches that appeared in the console versions of the game, it still doesn't feel like a finished product".
NYPD response Edit
Although the game was developed with the input of former NYPD detective Bill Clark (executive producer and technical advisor of NYPD Blue), NYPD commissioner Raymond W. Kelly and the city's largest police union did not approve of the way the department was depicted in the game. Each copy of the game came with a paper insert that stated the NYPD had no involvement with the game, and the name of the police department was changed to PDNY in the game.