True Crime: Streets of LA is a 2003 open world action-adventure video game developed by Luxoflux for PlayStation 2, Xbox and GameCube. It was ported to Windows by LTI Gray Matter, to mobile by MFORMA, and to OS X by Aspyr. It was published for all systems by Activision, except the OS X version, which was published by Aspyr. The PlayStation 2, Xbox and GameCube versions were released in November 2003, the PC version in May 2004, the mobile version in November 2004 and the OS X version in March 2005.
The game tells the story of Nicholas Kang, an uncompromising Los Angeles police officer who is recruited into the Elite Operations Division in order to investigate a series of bombings in Chinatown. As he delves further into the case, he discovers it may be connected to the disappearance of his police-officer father twenty years previously. The game features a 240-square-mile (622 km2) re-creation of a large part of Los Angeles, including most of Beverly Hills and Santa Monica, with most street names, landmarks and highways reproduced accurately.
True Crime received mixed to positive reviews. Common criticisms were graphical and technical problems, an unlikable protagonist, and poorly implemented gameplay. Many critics, however, praised the ambitious nature of the game, the differentiation between itself and Grand Theft Auto III, the branching storyline system and the overall ‘feel’. The game was a commercial success, selling over three million units worldwide across all platforms, and the True Crime franchise continued in 2005, with the release of True Crime: New York City for PlayStation 2, Xbox and GameCube.
The game begins with Det. Nick Kang (voiced by Russell Wong) being recruited into the autonomous Elite Operations Division of the LAPD at the behest of Chief Wanda Parks (C. C. H. Pounder). Kang is the son of Henry Wilson, a detective whose disappearance twenty years previously has remained unsolved. He was recently suspended from the police department for repeated incidents of excessive force, but Parks believes he has what it takes to help the E.O.D. break a case involving a series of bombings in Chinatown. Kang’s gut tells him the Triad is behind it. Parks partners him with Det. Rosie Velasco (Michelle Rodriguez), an ex-gangbanger turned cop.
Kang and Velasco head to a diner in Chinatown where they see a Triad member harassing the owner. During the ensuing confrontation, Velasco is shot and wounded. Parks puts out an APB on the Triad’s getaway car, which is soon spotted at a Chinese bar. Kang heads there, learning the driver works for Jimmy Fu (Keone Young), a small-time criminal. Kang visits Fu, who tells him “something big is about to go down,” and reveals he is working for Big Chong (Keone Young), an enforcer for Ancient Wu’s Triad, which is thought by many to be a myth.
At the precinct, George (Christopher Walken), an elderly desk sergeant, tells Velasco about Kang’s background; his father, Henry Wilson, was involved in a drug trafficking scandal in the 1970s, during which he disappeared. Internal Affairs believed Wilson skipped town, but George never believed it. Meanwhile, Kang tails Chong and sees him bringing large amounts of money into a building owned by Cyprus Holdings, a company linked to the Russian mafia. Kang follows Chong to a spa, where he observes him meeting a Russian named Rocky (Gary Oldman). Rocky complains Chong is not laundering the money from Chinatown quickly enough. Chong tells Rocky that Ancient Wu is unhappy, but Rocky is unconcerned, telling Chong, “the General is in town looking for his money. That’s bad news for all of us.” Kang confront them, killing Chong, but Rocky escapes.
- OS: Windows 98/ME/2000/XP
- CPU: 1,5 GHz
- RAM (memory): 128 MB
- Videocard: compatible with DirectX 9 graphics card with support of technology T&L and 32 MB RAM
- HDD: 3,1 GB free space and 200 MB free space for swap-file Windows
- DirectX 9.0b