Hey, remember Scarface? How about that ending, with Tony Montana taking on an army of thugs with his “little friend” and managing to kill most of them…except for the guy creeping up from behind with a double-barreled shotgun? Guess he didn’t see that coming. Too bad they didn’t leave it open for a sequel, because the continuing adventures of Tony Montana probably would have been pretty cool.
Slight variations on that conversation have probably happened thousands of times since the 1983 release of Scarface, which featured Al Pacino as a tough-talking up-and-coming crime lord who makes a fortune dealing cocaine in Miami, only to lose it all by taking his eye off the ball and becoming way too focused on getting high on his own supply. Through the power of video game magic, Sierra and Radical Entertainment have teamed up to answer the question: What would have happened to Tony Montana if he had escaped from the mansion? What about his empire? And the video game answer to that question is that he’d lose it all and have to perform a number of Grand Theft Auto-like tasks to get it back.
Rewriting the ending to a movie just so you can justify a sequel is a tough pill to swallow, especially when you’re dealing with an ending as memorable as the one in Scarface. It’s likely that some fans of the film will never be able to get over that hump and despise the game for existing in the first place. But if you can deal with that concept–you’ll take control of Montana shortly after the “say hello to my little friend” line and orchestrate his getaway yourself–you’ll find a foul-mouthed and bloody adventure that does next to nothing with the characters. In the film, you saw Tony Montana grow from a simple refugee to the king of the coke world. In the game, the shock of losing his empire causes Tony to clean up his act and get off the yayo so he can start dealing again. Then you basically kill everyone who wronged you, all while talking about the need to have balls. The whole experience feels flat and often self-conscious. It’s like the makers of the game watched the movie, picked out a few common words that Tony Montana would say (cock-a-roach, balls, f***, chico, and coño), and then set about writing dialogue that uses those words as often as possible.