The heart of True Crime lies in its story. Through out its span of eight missions, every episode in each missions serves the purpose to move the story along (there are an average of seven episodes per mission). The story is constructed in such a way that cut scenes are all linked by a single game type. An episode is usually simple stuff, such as driving to a certain destination (sometimes with a time limit), sneaking past a group of goons, beating everyone up, and filling your enemies with lead.
Mind you, success is not a requirement to progress in the game. On the back of the box, True Crime boasts that “you never have to repeat the same mission twice” – and it’s true. If you make it through an episode successfully, then you’ll naturally be taken to the next one. If you fail, however, then you’ll be given the option to replay the episode or to continue the story. Different cut scenes will play depending on success or failure, but often you’ll end up at the same place regardless. There are key missions where if you fail, you’ll be sent on a different branch of the story which will result in a different ending. So, the main incentives in playing missions over again are to gain access to more upgrades and to get the best ending.
Hitting a Girl
Fortunately, the successful completion of an episode also unlocks the ‘failure’ cut scenes and story branches, so you can go back and explore those alternate realities after you’re through with being a good cop. Even if you beat the game with the best ending, you’ll have good reason to go back and play the alternate ‘failure’ paths as they contain story and gameplay moments not found in the ‘intended’ path. For example, the alternate branch for mission four includes an absolutely unforgettable True Crime moment: beating up a bunch of strippers. Yes, that’s right, Nick Kang walks into a strip joint, and before he knows it, he’s going hand to hand with all the lovely ladies in their bras and thongs.
It’s right up there with fighting the naked tattooed twin concubines in the House of Wu.