Scarface: The Rise of Tony Montana

As any rapper will tell you, everybody wants to be a gangster. It's all about the money, diamonds and, erm, women. Oh, and big four-wheel-drive cars, too.

There seems to be very little emphasis on the dirty work – something Scarface: The Rise of Tony Montana revels in.

In short, Scarface is to glamour what McDonalds is to fine dining. You play as Tony Montana, memorably played by Al Pacino in the movie this game is based on, a Cuban emigrant and recent recruit of a local drugs dealer.

Working your way up the corporate ladder, you begin by escorting underworld dignitaries, collecting protection money and whacking late payers. It's all very grimy and unflattering stuff and, other than the occasional word of praise from your kingpin, your exploits go largely unnoticed.

Slowly and quietly though, your status increases and you get jobs with bigger responsibilities and monetary rewards. Maybe one day you'll earn enough to retire and live the American dream that you left your homeland to seek. But that's a fate that's someway off in Scarface, as you engage in the three types of gameplay on offer.

The action mainly revolves around a third-person romp through various hideouts and villas, wielding an imposing weapon (including Scarface's infamous chainsaw) as you seek and destroy your objectives.

Viewed from above, you're tasked with little but to kill everything that moves, and it's far less entertaining than it sounds.

Movement is an absolute pain, largely because you need to walk down corridors laid out on diagonal axis and most mobile phone handsets only offer controls that let you walk in the vertical and horizontal directions. This means you're forced to move in a continual zig-zag around the levels, a niggle that's very annoying.

The combat is equally disappointing. Laying waste to a room full of goons with a chainsaw or uzi could have been brilliant (if not a little worrying) fun as you charge around, laughing like a maniac as you get messy. Instead, an auto-targetting system means you just need to walk or face in the right direction and then press '5', which serves you make you feel detached from what's taking place on-screen.

It only gets worse when you're facing three or four goons and you're packing a firearm. It can take two or more hits to kill your average bad guy with a shotgun, yet because the auto-target keeps switching to other characters, the chap you wanted to drop stays standing. When he's also packing a piece and firing at you, it all gets very testing.

The other two elements of Scarface – drive-by shooting levels and the occasional round of blackjack – are just as big a let-down. Driving levels involve you doing no more than pressing number keys in order, while the blackjack games (it's a card game a bit like pontoon) seem tacked on and of little overall consequence.

It all means Scarface is yet another unimaginative movie tie-in, something that is hard to forgive when a game like Mafia Wars has made a much more enjoyable fist of the whole organised crime and gang warfare genre, and done so without the big-name recognition.

Scarface: The Rise of Tony Montana

Formulaic and unimaginative, Scarface fails to shock or entertain