You are Tommy Vercetti. Released from maximum security prison after 15 years of isolation, your boss Sonny Forelli is not very happy about your re-appearance in the city.
Tommy was arrested for a very gruesome incident, and the word on the streets was that the Forellis had set Tommy up. Tommy however was as loyal as a hitman could be, and never revealed his connections to the Forellis.
Considering all this, a trip to the south sounded like a good idea, so you're sent off to Vice City with business as an excuse.
On arrival in Vice City, all does not go well. Tommy is betrayed, and his allies turn out to be his enemies. Once Forelli demands his money back, Tommy sets off with a corrupt lawyer to fight back and take over the glamorous paradise.
Instead of 8-Ball, Tommy's sidekick will be Lance. They meet in the beginning sequence when Tommy loses his money, and Lance's brother gets shot. As Tommy was a good friend of Lance's brother, Lance feels connected to Tommy, and together they work to get revenge.