Early on in the game, during the Liberty City mission where you have to drop off the drugs with Tony Dio (second from the left on the South Park phones), there’s a hint pickup that tells you that doing the unexpected can often bring greater rewards than following the mission. It’s true at that point – instead of letting Tony pick up the drop, you can just shoot him and complete the mission that way. But is this true anywhere else? From what I remember from my experience with the rest of the game, any deviation from the mission is likely to fail you instantly, and as you can’t go back and retry missions, the game seems to work against its own promise of open-endedness.
I’ve been too much of a perfectionist so far, trying to get that score multiplier as high as it’ll go – but I did discover one more example because of a game bug 🙂
There’s a mission in Liberty City 2 where you’re meant to follow and then kill two rival gang heads (whose names I can’t recall) – I assume that someone was meant to get out of the car I was following, but instead it pulled over to the side of the road and just sat there glumly even when I shunted it a bit to try to get it going. With no other options, I chose to just blow it up – and my contact was annoyed that I didn’t take the chance to get them both, but I got a Mission Complete anyway.