True Crime: New York City

Game review by
Aaron Lazenby, Common Sense Media
True Crime: New York City Game Poster Image
Parents recommendPopular with kids
Gritty tale of crime and redemption -- adults only.

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 6 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 14 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Players who choose to be a dirty cop can plant evidence, use violent interrogation methods, and arrest the innocent. Not the most flattering depiction of law enforcement.


Non-lethal violence is an option, but the gameplay also includes shotgun blasts, severed limbs, immolation, and abuse of police authority.


Players encounter writhing strippers, flamboyant pimps, and violent prostitutes. But it's the fully stocked sex shops that push this game into the red zone.


The full range of street-soiled language, including f--k and b---h.


Motorola, Red Bull, and Puma all enjoy high-profile placement in this virtual New York. In the real world, Puma is selling a True Crime special edition shoe.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Drugs and drug cartels play a major role in the storyline and action often takes place in bars.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this game is in a league with the Grand Theft Auto series when it comes to virtual brutality and vice. The narrative is in the gutter: Pimps beat prostitutes, and are later cut in half in gruesome car accidents. A drug lord uses inmates at an insane asylum to do her killing. Illegal sweatshops serve as way stations for human trafficking, and pornographic evidence reveals their darker utility.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 16 and 17-year-old Written byFoley Wickson June 28, 2014

Not so bad!

Although there might be bad language, I believe 13 year olds use this language all the time when we're not looking. Yes I do agree about the sexual content... Continue reading
Adult Written bybalusa April 9, 2008
Teen, 17 years old Written byTheTrillonaire July 5, 2013

OK for kids 13+

I love this game since 2006.
Teen, 16 years old Written byUSCTrojan May 27, 2012


I got it when i was 11 years old.
Now i lost the game,but getting it this week.
What i don't like about the game is i don't know how to jump or sprint...

What's it about?

In the second entry in this mission-based, cops and robbers game, True Crime continues to revel in graphic violence, explicit drug culture, tawdry sex, and a slippery moral terrain. Players control Marcus Reed, a murderous ex-gang member who was saved from the streets by the tough love of a caring cop. When his mentor is ambushed and killed, Marcus (now also a police officer) is enlisted by the FBI to crush the crime syndicates running New York and help get to the bottom of his advisor's murder. Armed with an arsenal of heavy weaponry, Marcus cracks down on street crime -- he also runs errands for his gang lord father, does favors for informants, and tries to determine whether he's a good cop with a criminal past or an undercover thug with a badge.

Is it any good?

Players' decisions earn points that determine their prevailing tendencies toward good or bad. Unfortunately, these choices don't do much to alter gameplay. The game misses a great opportunity to explore the complicated moral world of law enforcement, basically throwing out the good cop/bad cop classifications as soon as gameplay starts.

While the game includes meticulously reproduced streets of New York, gameplay can be very frustrating. Common technical glitches mean cars will at times float in the air, or sound effects will get caught in annoying loops. Graphics are fuzzy and frame rate is slow. All in all, skip this title.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the mature material. Does the violence and sex serve the story, or does it cross the line to become gratuitous? Is it more fun to play by the book, or dabble in evidence tampering, extortion, and excessive force? Do you think doing "bad things" in a video game can be a healthy release -- or can it lead to real life bad behavior?

Game details

  • Platforms: Xbox
  • Price: $49.99
  • Available online? Not available online
  • Developer: Activision
  • Release date: January 30, 2006
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • ESRB rating: M for Blood and Gore, Strong Language, Strong Sexual Content, Use of Drugs, Intense Violence
  • Last updated: June 3, 2019

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