True Crime: New York City

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True Crime: New York City
True Crime - New York City Coverart.jpg
Developer(s) Luxoflux (PS2 & PC)
Exakt Entertainment (Xbox & GC)
Publisher(s) Activision
Aspyr (PC)
Hands-On Mobile (Java ME)
Composer(s) Sean Murray
Platform(s) PlayStation 2, Xbox, GameCube, Microsoft Windows, Java ME
Release date(s) PlayStation 2, Xbox & GameCube
NA 20051115November 15, 2005

EU 20051125November 25, 2005

JP July 26, 2006 (PS2 only)
Microsoft Windows
  • NA March 24, 2006
  • EU September 29, 2006
Java ME
  • WW March 21, 2007
Genre(s) Action-adventure
Mode(s) Single-player
Distribution DVD, Nintendo optical disc

True Crime: New York City is an action-adventure video game set in an open world/sandbox environment. It was released for the PlayStation 2, Xbox, GameCube and Microsoft Windows. The game was also released for mobile phones. It is the second game of the True Crime series, after its predecessor True Crime: Streets of LA.


True Crime: New York City features a GPS street-accurate recreation of the real New York City borough of Manhattan and its many landmarks. A major difference from previous open world video games is that many buildings are accessible to the player beyond those related to the game's story. These include restaurants, hotels, apartment buildings, pharmacies, clothing shops, car dealers, dojos, record stores, gas stations and more. Besides shopping opportunities at some locations, the random street crimes brought back from 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 out of the island are present, but blocked off. However, there is a glitch where Marcus can get past the otherwise un-climbable fence at the Willis Avenue Bridge 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 acessible 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 it does 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 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. 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 Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House, the One Chase Manhattan Plaza, the Flatiron Building, the Alfred E. Smith Houses, the One New York Plaza, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Citigroup Center, the Trump World Tower, the JW Marriott Essex House 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.

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 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 taxis 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. Players can buy new vehicles at either the precinct or at the various car dealerships throughout the city. Old cars are available for a few hundred dollars, and newer, faster ones can cost several thousand 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.

Like the previous game, this game features a bonus round after the game is completely finished. This time, instead of getting one hour (game time) to arrest perps, the player must escape Manhattan.


The game begins with Marcus Reed assuming control of his father's criminal empire after he is arrested. A few years later, he is betrayed by a friend, and both he and his father are almost killed during a Christmas night celebration. He survives 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 is probably 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, which takes up a majority of the storyline along with several minor subplots.

Towards the end of the game, an officer named Victor Navarro is identified as the mole. At this point, the game has two possible endings, based on the player's badge rating and ultimate status as a Good Cop or a Bad Cop.

  • In the bad ending, Navarro escapes 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 Reed's father as thanks for catching the mole.

Development and release[edit]

Promotion at the Electronic Entertainment Expo 2005

As part of the video game's launch, the sports company Puma announced a unique sneaker mission within the game and the production of a special edition shoe. Within the video game, players must find all of the special edition True Crime RS-100 sneakers scattered throughout the city and return them to select, real New York City retailers featured in the game. Once the mission is completed, players unlock an exclusive Puma outfit for the game's main character, Marcus Reed, to wear. In addition, player can buy the exact physical copy of True Crime RS-100 sneakers featured in the game within the same New York City stores.[2]


True Crime: New York City received mixed reviews from critics. IGN scored the game a 7.8 out of 10[3] and Team Xbox gave it 8.4 out of 10,[4] while GameSpot gave the game a 4.6 out of 10.[5] 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.[6]

In contrast to the console versions, the PC version released in March 2006 suffered from very few glitches. GameSpot reviewer wrote, "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."[7]

NYPD response[edit]

Although the game was developed with the input of former New York City Police Department (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.[8] Each copy of the game came with a paper insert that stated the NYPD had no involvement with the game. The name of the in-game police department was changed to the Police Department of New York (PDNY).


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,[9] the second part was eventually canceled. Luxoflux itself was shut down on February 11, 2010. At the 2009 Spike Video Game Awards a trailer was debuted showing the first seventh-generation entry in the series, titled True Crime: Hong Kong. It took place in an Asian setting, with the lead character going undercover to infiltrate a Triad gang.[10] The publisher Activision announced the cancellation of the sequel in February 2011. However, it was picked up by Square Enix in August of the same year.[11] In 2012, it was revealed that the game was renamed Sleeping Dogs.


  1. ^ "Take On The Underbelly of the Big Apple in True Crime®: New York City for Mobile Phones". Hands-On Mobile. March 21, 2007. Retrieved September 15, 2013. 
  2. ^ "PUMA(R) and Activision Partner On Latest True Crime(R) Game; True Crime(R): New York City Hits Stores with Unique Sneaker Collector Twist". Archived from the original on 2007-07-18. Retrieved 2013-08-15. 
  3. ^ "Games, reviews, previews, nieuws, tips, video's en trailers - IGN Benelux". Retrieved 2013-08-15. 
  4. ^ "True Crime: New York City Review (Xbox)". 2005-11-17. Retrieved 2013-08-15. 
  5. ^ "True Crime: New York City Review". GameSpot. 2005-11-15. Archived from the original on 2012-11-03. Retrieved 2013-08-15. 
  6. ^ "MCV UK". Archived from the original on 2007-06-11. 
  7. ^ "True Crime: New York City Review". GameSpot. 2005-11-15. Archived from the original on 2012-11-03. Retrieved 2013-08-15. 
  8. ^ "NYPD commish rips Acti cop title". 2005-09-26. Retrieved 2013-08-15. 
  9. ^
  10. ^ McElroy, Griffin (2009-12-12). "". Retrieved 2013-08-15. 
  11. ^ "True Crime: Hong Kong gets Cancelled". 2011-02-09. Retrieved 2011-02-09. 

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