As the name suggests “The Word is Yours” is a game based on the classic gangster movie Scarface, but offers an intelligent alternative to the normal movie tie in.
The game starts with you controlling Tony Montana through the final scene of the movie complete with his “Leetal friend” but with his fate in your hands you can prevent his climactic demise. What you can't prevent is the destruction of his empire at the hands of the law and rival gangs.
Back on the street without a penny to his name Tony immediately sets to getting his empire back the only way he knows how. Selling cocaine and killing people. As you progress you can buy all the trappings of a crime lord and tart up your mansion.
The gameplay is what you might uncharitably refer to as a Grand Theft Auto clone with a couple of twists.
Control is as you would expect for a GTA alike with the advantage of the ability to free aim with the Wiimote. An extra mechanic added to the game is Tony's rage which is added to by good aiming, daring stunts, and taunting your enemies. When it maxes out you can enter rage mode moving the camera into first person, making you invincible and giving you a health boost for every person you kill.
Every time you negotiate you have to do a test based around holding down a button and releasing it at the right moment like an old skool golf game. It's a shame the Wii motion controls couldn't have been introduced here.
Playing as Tony you roam around the four districts of Miami getting your turf back in one of three ways: Selling drugs to make money, Wiping out rival gangs to reduce the competition and Buying legitimate businesses to use as fronts.
Clearing out gangs is as simple as driving around till you spot some toughs then gunning them down. Once their leader is dead they will scatter and you have to make sure you kill all of them or they will come back a bit later. Why they have to be exterminated and won't join your gang is not explained..
To do drug deals you phone your contact at any time who sets you up. You always have to do some kind of random mission which involves collecting something, dropping something off or doing someone in to set up the deal. Depending on how big your operation is you progress through making deals with street dealers for a few grams, to distributing through your warehouses to front businesses, finally running your own shipping from Cuba bringing it in by the Kg. This part of the game works really well.
Buying front businesses is the way you progress through the story arc. This involves running some kind of mission for the owner and then handing over the readies. Every so often this results in some kind of set up or story trigger that sees you wiping out a rival gang leader.
This is where the game falls down for me. Only one mission is available at a time and though some of them are great fun some of them are marred with poor mechanics making them virtually impossible to complete. This would be fine if you could pick and choose but the linearity forces you play dreadful missions again and again.
It's a shame some of the missions are so flawed as the actor playing Tony (Hand picked by Al Pacino no less) is excellent and has something to say for every occasion and the graphics are good considering it is a PS2 port, but as it is I can't recommend it.