True Crime: New York City

True Crime: New York City
True Crime: New York City
North American cover art
North American cover art
Developer(s) Luxoflux
Publisher(s) Activision
Aspyr Media (PC in USA)
Composer(s) Sean Murray
Platform(s) PlayStation 2, Xbox, Nintendo GameCube, Microsoft Windows
Release date(s)
  • NA November 15, 2005
  • EU November 25, 2005
  • JP July 26, 2006
Microsoft Windows
  • NA March 24, 2006
  • EU September 29, 2006
Genre(s) Third-person shooter, sandbox
Mode(s) Single-player
Media/distribution DVD, Nintendo optical disc

True Crime: New York City is an urban sandbox-style action-adventure videogame published by Activision and developed by Luxoflux for the Xbox, PlayStation 2, and GameCube consoles and Windows based computers. It is the second game of the True Crime series, released after True Crime: Streets of LA. As of February 2011, the Xbox 360 is not backwards compatible with the Xbox version of the game.



The game begins with Marcus Reed, the protagonist, assuming control of his father's criminal empire after he is arrested. A few years after Reed takes control, he is betrayed by a friend and almost killed. He survives the betrayal with the aid of NYPD detective Terry Higgins. Higgins is a close friend of Reed's father and offers to cover up Reed's criminal activity, calling it his “last chance” before he's given to the NYPD.

Five years later, Reed is an NYPD officer himself, working under the mentorship of Higgins. One of Higgins' contacts calls and asks for a meeting. At the contact point, an old warehouse, a bomb goes off with Higgins inside. Back at the precinct, Reed is contacted by FBI agent Gabriel Whitting, who informs Reed that one of the detectives in his precinct is a mole, and likely is responsible for Higgins' death. Whitting does not know who the mole is; only that he is connected to four major crime families in the city. Whitting asks Reed to investigate these families and try to find the mole.

Near the game, another cop named Victor Navarro is arrested as the mole. At this point, the game has two possible endings. In the bad ending, Navarro escapes the grip of the officers leading him away, grabs a gun, and kills Whitting. He then boards a subway train, with Reed in pursuit. Ultimately, Reed throws Navarro off the train, killing him. Later, while Reed is sitting alone in the train station, Higgins sits next to him. Higgins had faked his own death and framed Navarro to escape being arrested by Whitting. Higgins hands Reed a bag of cash and asks him to join him in Mexico. Reed, however, is angry at having been used, so he kills Higgins.

In the good ending, Navarro is taken away without incident. Later, Reed is approached by Higgins with the same offer of comfortable living in Mexico as in the bad ending, but Reed simply refuses. Higgins then threatens to expose Reed's past, but Reed responds that he would pay for his crimes with honor, and orders Higgins to come quietly. Higgins run onto a subway train, with Reed in pursuit. Ultimately, Higgins is killed when the train derails. Back at the train station, Whitting promises to talk to the DA about Reeds father as thanks for catching the mole.


New York City

Times Square as depicted in True Crime: NYC

True Crime: New York City features a GPS street-accurate recreation of the New York City borough of Manhattan and its many landmarks.

A major difference from previous open world video games is many buildings are accessible to the player besides just the locations related to the game's story. These include restaurants, hotels, apartment buildings, pharmacies, clothing shops, car dealers, dojos, record stores, and more. Besides shopping opportunities at some locations, the random street crimes found in the first game often occur within building interiors as well. Players can also purchase food (which increases health) from New York City's many hot dog stands.

Bridges such as the Brooklyn Bridge that lead off the island are present but blocked off. However there is a glitch where Marcus can get past the otherwise unclimbable fence at the Willis Avenue Bridge climbing over a barrier and cross the bridge but will respawn back in Manhattan when he gets to the other side. Parks such as Washington Square Park and Central Park are accessible; the Statue of Liberty is not but can be seen from Battery Park. Using the debug menu to access the debug camera reveals the statue's tablet bears the same inscription as in real life.

Times Square features the familiar bright neon lights, and the Naked Cowboy can be found playing his guitar. There is also a replica of the TKTS booth. Grand Central Terminal is the only major landmark that can be entered any time by the player, but the actual subway stop there is inaccessible for most of the game. In the game's story, the other major landmark that is featured as a setting is the American Museum of Natural History.

Other landmark buildings such as the Empire State Building, the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, the United Nations headquarters, St. Patrick's Cathedral, Rockefeller Center and the Chrysler Building are present but can not be entered, and a few areas, particularly in northern Manhattan (such as the Columbia University campus), are recreated exactly as in real life. The Guggenheim Museum, the Manhattan Municipal Building, the MetLife Building, the MetLife Tower, the Flatiron Building, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Citigroup Center, and the Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle feature accurately in the game, and Belvedere Castle and the Bethesda Terrace in Central Park are both present. The World Trade Center site is depicted in its 2005 condition: cleaned up and closed off.

Through use of the debug camera, it has been discovered there are incomplete versions of Governors Island, The Bronx, Roosevelt Island, Queens, and Brooklyn. These areas are mostly inaccessible, as most attempts to spawn the player will lead to the player being respawned in Manhattan, or the game crashing. However, certain sections of these unfinished boroughs allow the player to spawn normally, and even drive a vehicle in some instances.


Besides traveling on foot or taking vehicles as in the first True Crime game, the player now has the ability to use the extensive and accurately recreated New York City subway system. Though both the Brady Games strategy guide's subway map and the printed map that comes with the collector's edition show the various subway lines using different colors as in real life, the player does not need to transfer to different lines in the game to get to the various stations.

The stations themselves are all presented in the same basic set-up, but the signage at each station does change to reflect whichever station it is supposed to represent. The station at Grand Central Terminal is inaccessible during most of the game (although it can be seen past the gates that block the stairs), but it is featured as a prominent setting for the game's finale. Manhattan's high population density is not recreated in the game, and this extends to the subway stations and subway trains, which are completely empty except for the final train mission at Grand Central. However in debug mode you can access a test mission and in that mission all the subway stations have people in them.

Players can also get a ride from the iconic yellow NYC taxicabs that drive around the island (the taxis can still be commandeered like other vehicles if the player scares off or incapacitates the driver).

Both new modes of transportation require a minimal in-game fee.


You can buy new vehicles at either the precinct or at the various car dealerships throughout the city. You can buy a rusty old beater for a few hundred dollars, or a shiny new sports car for thousands of dollars. However, the most prominent car seems to be the game's Ford Police Interceptor (modeled after the Ford Crown Victoria), as others are not shown nearly as much.

Bonus game

Like the previous game, this game features a bonus round after the game is completely finished. This time, instead of getting 1 hour (game time, not real life) to arrest perps, you must escape Manhattan. The city is in a riot against you (i.e. Redman)

You have 3 minutes to escape from Lower Manhattan to Hell's Kitchen but you can add more time by killing prostitutes and homeless people to add 5 seconds per civilian, and you have a surprise blocking your way: Zeke from the game's Magdalena Cartel storyline. He wields a bazooka. Also, killing civilians earns more health (some health boxes are available on the street as well) since the riot involves SMG's, assault rifles, rocket launchers, pistols, etc. Civilian AI has also improved, they pick up weapons instead of simply ignoring them.

You have help by having random guns scattered throughout Manhattan. Your only transportation is the enemy's cars and Redman's Hummer H1, but you cannot repair the car if they shoot at it. Some problems include having poor shooting accuracy, meaning it takes several rounds of bullets to kill one civilian.

Differences from True Crime: Streets of LA

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, etc.) or a bad cop (kill innocents and fellow officers, 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. Lamborghini, the Cadillac CTS, etc.) and turn them into police cars. Also they are allowed into several buildings like eateries, hotels and clothing shops.


True Crime: New York City received lukewarm reviews from critics. IGN scored the game a 7.8 out of 10[1] and Team Xbox gave it 8.4 out of 10,[2] while GameSpot gave the game a 4.6 out of 10.[3] 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.[4]

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. Entering debug mode and crossing the (otherwise closed) bridges reveals large undeveloped portions of the adjacent boroughs of New York City, with identified streets, traffic and pedestrians, but no buildings, trees or other streetside props. Strangely New Jersey is not depicted and is instead replaced by a large body of water.

There were also many complaints of bugs and performance issues and of game-stopping glitches that prevented some players from continuing the game using the game's on-screen instructions, although workarounds 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.[5]

NYPD response

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.[6] Each copy of the game came with a paper insert that stated the NYPD had no involvement with the game.


Though pre-release interviews with game developers revealed True Crime: New York City was to have been the first part of a two-part series,[7] the second part was eventually canceled. Luxoflux itself was shut down on February 11, 2010.

At the 2009 Spike Video Game Awards (held December 12, 2009), a trailer was debuted showing the first seventh-generation entry in the True Crime series, titled True Crime: Hong Kong, it took place in an Asian setting; with the lead character going undercover to infiltrate a Triad gang.[8] The publisher Activision announced the cancellation of the sequel in February, 2011, however it was picked up by Square Enix on August of the same year.[9]


External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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