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Calling All Cars!

As David Jaffe’s brainchild, you can expect the following from Calling All Cars!: fast cars, crazy weapons, and a variety of locales to drive at. With the advent of QORE, Sony Computer Entertainment of America’s monthly interactive magazine for the PSN, Calling All Cars! is being included in the annual subscription. This means that many gamers will be finally be playing it for the first time, having missed out when it originally launched in 2007.

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Calling All Cars! is a 3/4 perspective racer, similar in style to RC Pro AM on the NES. The objective of the game is to try and catch the crook, and then take him to one of the various scoring areas. Depending on where you take him, you’ll receive different amounts of points. For example, taking him to the police station only nets you 1 point, but taking him to paddywagon, which is moving around the stage at random, gets you 4 points. After a player has captured the crook and scores, he’ll respawn somewhere else on the map, and this continues until the end of the round. Whoever has the most points by the end of the round wins.

While the crook is in a player’s car, the other racers in the game can attack the driver with the crook to try and knock him loose. This can be achieved two ways: through the use of weapons, or crashing into the car at a high enough speed. There are a few different kinds of weapons, including a homing missile, a giant hammer, and a large magnet.

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Perhaps the most impressive part of Calling All Cars! is how the developers managed to get the controls down so well for this sort of game. Not only does everything control well, but also the camera is almost perfect. Due to the nature in which the game plays, your car will go behind objects withing the game many times. The way this is handled is by making said objects transparent the moment your car moves behind it, and so keeping track of where you are is a much easier task than it could have been.

There are various jumps, objects, and terrains on each map, making each of them unique. The physics are great and everything handles very well. Graphically, there is a nice cel-shaded appearance employed that runs very smoothly. There is certainly a unique style that is reminiscent of a comic book, with nice, crisp lines accompanying the simple but effective coloring.

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Perhaps the only disappointment that comes with Calling All Cars! is the lack of content. With only basic offerings online and offline, it feels sort of empty. There are a few unlockables, but nothing that significantly adds value. Also, there just isn’t much in the way of singleplayer options, with only two main modes available. However, the main achievements stand clear, and it’s easy to overlook the lack of content for the sheer fun and insanity that comes with just playing. Calling All Cars! is simple and does its job well, making it a must-have on the PSN.

8 out of 10

The author of this fine article

is a Staff Writer at Thunderbolt, having joined in February 2008.

Gentle persuasion

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