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New to the Grand Theft Auto series is Empire Building, one of the key gameplay elements in Vice City Stories which plays an important role in Victor Vance's story." It takes previous ideas from its predecessor. By combining Vice City's "properties" and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas' "gang wars" systems, it has transformed into Empire Building which is similar to the previous game modes, except now, properties are combined with gang territories as well as act as the player's save point.
Empire Building Overview
The main objective with Empire Building is to raise the player's image within Vice City in 1984. In order to make money, the player must open and operate various businesses on property taken over from enemy gangs. This means having to destroy rival Empire Buildings to decrease competition, and buying the leftover land to build up your own Empire Business. More Empire Buildings with high-class businesses means that the player receives a larger revenue which allows the player to easily buy or upgrade their own Empire Buildings or use the money to their leisure.
Starting an Empire
Taking Over an Empire Building
To control a larger majority of Vice City's Empire Building, the player must take over rival Empire Buildings.
To initiate an Empire Takeover on another gang's territory, the player must destroy the gang car parked outside. Once destroyed, attacks on buildings requires both indoor and outdoor combat, with waves of rival's defending the area. The player must eradicate every single enemy outside before being able to enter and clean out the Empire Building they wish to take over as their own. If the player is able to successfully eradicate the rival business and gang members, it will then go up for sale. The player will have the choice to buy the land and build their own property over the wreckage of the remaining site.
After buying the land, the player can then purchase set up one of six businesses at the site.
Empire Building Businesses
Empire Building is based upon 6 different modes which will earn the player different amounts of money, depending on the area they are located and how well the player has contributed to them.
These businesses include:
- Protection Racket - Extorting businesses and protecting other businesses.
- Loan Sharks - Repossessing vehicles and returning them back to the player's Empire Building.
- Prostitution - Escorting prostitutes to their Clients and protecting them against rival pimps.
- Drugs - Obtaining and transporting drugs to the player's Empire Business as well as dealing them among other drug dealers.
- Smuggling - Collect illegal shipments of certain products from places such as the Airport or Docks and returning them back the Empire Building.
- Robbery - Collecting certain briefcases or Securicars and taking them back to the player's Empire Building to collect the earnings.
It is stated in the game that construction on a business will require two in-game days before completion, but in practice this is not the case. Once a business has opened, it will be able to earn the player money and act as a save point for the time it is the player's property.
The location of a territory in the city will determine the business' success. For example, a smuggling business will perform more efficiently when located near the docks or airport than it would if in a residential district. A Protecting Racket business would also work more efficiently if located within the inner part of city, being able to access stores more easily and faster.
The businesses themselves will be split into three categories - low, middle and high, each of which will require an increased amount of investment to provide staff and resources.
It is possible for a business to be attacked by rivals, most likely the past occupants. The more businesses from certain rivals that you take over, the more they will dislike you, and increasingly attack the player's own firms, or try to take back their previous territory.
If you fail to defend your business, it will suffer damage(which can occur by not reaching it in time.) Saving, or starting another mission will cause the attack to end. On the other hand if you are wasted while defending your business no damage will occur. The player can hire gang members to help protect the business and save the trouble of rushing over and defending the area themselves. Employees can be recruited in a similar way that gang members are recruited in San Andreas, by pressing the "UP" button.
Empire Building Revenue
Different businesses cost different amounts, and the more expensive the business the more it returns.
|Business||Small Time (cost, return)||Medium Venture (cost, return)||High-Roller (cost, return)|
|Protection Racket||$1500, $200||$2900, $300||$4400, $300|
|Loan Shark|| $2000
|$3900, $600||$5800, $600|
|Prostitution||$3000, $400||$5900, $800||$8800, $800|
|$11900, $1400||$17800, $1400|
All returns are based on no missions being completed for that type of business.
- Rockstar Games' official Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories website (Flash)
- Rockstar Games' official Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories website (Non Flash)