As the game starts you take control of Tommy Vercetti (voiced by Goodfellas star Ray Liotta) who gets involved in a bungled drug deal and must set himself up from scratch as a crime boss.
Unlike in GTA III, you're not restricted to being a small-time hood any more; the game now allows you to purchase property (porn studios, strip clubs, cab companies and so on) and run extortion rackets.
This cleverly widens the scope of the game while keeping the controls and gameplay pretty much the same.
It also means that you still spend the majority of your time driving cars very dangerously and shooting and maiming anyone that happens to get in your way.
Indeed, in most respects the game is very similar to its predecessor--the graphics, for example, are improved but hardly ground-breaking--though there are numerous minor additions, most notably the chance to ride motorbikes--which is particularly satisfying--and fly proper aircraft.