The gunplay is extremely basic. You can lock on to an enemy and just shoot until the enemy is dead, which usually takes only a couple of shots regardless of which gun you're using. You can perform a gun dive and aim manually for more precise shots, but those tricks are rarely useful. You can pick up any guns your enemies drop, and while there are quite a few different types of guns, they aren't varied enough to be interesting, and usually you'll end up picking up new guns just to get the ammo. Melee combat is a bit more fun, just because it looks and feels so ridiculous. You can punch and kick your enemies in a variety of styles--which you can learn at dojos located throughout the city--and you can also grapple and dive-tackle your enemies. When grappling enemies, you can slam their heads against a wall, sock them in the kidneys, or, if you're stealthy enough, break their necks.
This game is full of bugs--some are kind of funny, while others will drive you mad.
The developer did a good job of capturing the physical geography of New York City, but the life within the city feels completely unnatural. There are only a few different character models for non-story characters, and you'll often see whole crowds of the same exact character walking down a street. It's also a bit strange to see the same character model used as a prostitute and as a delivery driver cruising around in a big box truck, or to see a police officer driving a fire truck. The sound is way off too, and sometimes you'll hear a person on the street talk in two or three accents as he or she spouts off random--and usually very profane--phrases.
Those types of odd glitches are everywhere in this game. Some of the major bugs have been worked out for the PC version, but there are still plenty of bizarre and annoying moments in the game. There are serious collision-detection issues where you'll have to try several times to grapple a person, and edge-detection problems where you'll get stuck on the edge of a platform and just tweak out for a while. Sometimes you'll see a character disappear, and if you're inside a building, you'll often see people running for the door only to stop and tweak out as they reach the door.
The graphics are rough as well. It isn't a matter of dull textures or blocky character models (which this game has plenty of); it's a matter of an unstable frame rate, flickering textures, and copious amounts of jarring draw-in. Sometimes when you're driving, a car will suddenly appear right in front of you, which makes high-speed chases particularly frustrating. The frame rate is unstable no matter what you're doing, even on a PC that far exceeds the recommended system requirements. Sometimes when you enter a business, the game will slow to a crawl and stay that way until you go back out onto the street.
There's some real talent on hand to provide the character voices, but it feels wasted on the clichÃ© characters and uninteresting story.
The sound is fairly decent overall. The soundtrack includes licensed music from Redman, Blue Oyster Cult, The Misfits, Danzig, Grandmaster Flash, and many more. You can rank each song according to your preference, so if you hate one song, you can give it zero stars, and it won't come up in the random playlist that you hear as you drive around. There's some good voice talent on hand, but it feels wasted on this mess of a game. Christopher Walken and Laurence Fishburne both have prominent roles here, but it feels like they were used for the sake of including some celebrity voice talent, not because their dialogue brings anything to the game. The dialogue in the game is composed almost entirely of the "F" word and variations thereof. The profanity is used to the extent that it sounds foolish rather than edgy or tough. The sound effects are all standard gunshots and explosions, and none of them are remarkable. The vehicle sounds are somewhat varied, and it does sound cool when you commandeer some elderly woman's exotic sports car and roar off down the street.
True Crime: New York City is just a mess of a game that should be avoided regardless of whether or not you enjoyed the first True Crime game. The gameplay has a few almost-decent spots, but the technical problems far outweigh any faint hope this game ever had of being enjoyable. If you're curious about what a video game looks like before it goes through adequate testing and quality assurance, then by all means give this one a look. And if you do happen to give in to that morbid curiosity, the PC version is the best version to get--although that's not saying much.