Thunderbolt logo

State of Emergency

You should feel sorry for the owners of the lesser console, that being PS2. Do you realize that they had to pay $49.99 for this game? They bought it because Rockstar made it, and they just assumed it was good because of their logo on the box. Who would have known that the creators of Grand Theft Auto would make a mundane and repetitive game that wasn’t called Grand Theft Auto 3? State of Emergency is the very definition of repetitive and gratuitous violence, and unlike Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, it doesn’t have a good plot and great cast of characters to back it up.

SOE is supposed to be a riot simulator, like larger scale ground missions from Grand Theft Auto 3. But the thing is, the ground missions in Grand Theft Auto weren’t chaotic enough, so Rockstar decided that they would throw in hundreds of different characters running around levels, looting and pillaging during a huge riot in the areas the game takes place in. The basic storyline of the game is the cliché “Evil Corporation with plans of world domination takes over your country and you’ve got to stop it” deal. There’s really no reason to play the game for that though, as the basic gameplay actually correlates to “run around huge levels killing the gangs that you are supposed to until you kill their boss, then kill the next guys you’re supposed to kill, then kill the next guys…”

The game is actually pretty fun for about the first 5 minutes of gameplay. Running around the levels killing people with the wide-variety of weaponry the game provides is a lot of fun at first, and then you realize the camera is crap and you can’t actually see where you’re shooting or what at. The neat thing is that flame-throwers and AK47’s are conveniently lying around just asking to be picked up, allowing you nearly unlimited carnage. Once you’ve cycled through the weapons though, there’s really nothing else left to do.

The game’s AI is one of the worst parts of the game. Enemies often just stand there next to you, not attacking you until you move, then like twenty of them pop out of no where, all bombarding you but not providing any sort of real challenge as most of them go down in a few hits. The weapons are also unbalanced too. The average minion goes down in just a few punches, but apparently the games characters are He-Man, because 10 direct shots to the chest with Uzis doesn’t seem to kill them as effectively. Then you have the civilians of the unnamed city, who run around like chickens with their heads shoved up their asses mindlessly running back and forth. It is pretty fun to mow down a crowd of them, and I must say that it’s pretty cool to have fifty or so on screen at the same time with no slowdown, but they ultimately just get in the way.

At least the multiplayer modes added to the game are somewhat decent for about 20 minutes. A friend came over to play the game, and we admittedly had fun for 15 minutes of the games Kaos Mode, which is apparently so chaotic that the developers had to spell it incorrectly. The basic gist is that you try to kill as many corporate cronies as you can in the limited time to get the highest points. There are even 4 environments to reign carnage through. Other modes include Deathmatch, which is pretty neat in that you can recruit civilians with the push of a button to attack your friend. Last Clone Standing is a redundant and mundane multiplayer mode in which you just kill enemy after enemy that don’t even bother to attack you back.

The graphics are fairly good. According to Comrade Skittles, this very graphics engine will be used in the next Evil Dead game, which may or may not be a cool game, but at least it will have somewhat decent graphics. The characters all look pretty good, but most of them look like washed up Grand Theft Auto characters. The real bright spot are the explosions of the buildings and the fact that there are so many characters on the screen at the same time. I must say, it really is impressive that they got so many on screen at the same time. The texturing of the environments however is a bit bland. Custom soundtrack support is by far, the best features on the Xbox. Thank God that Rockstar had some good sense in including support for it. The sound effects of the game are a bit bland, standard siren noises to gun shots, but nothing that really stands out.

Don’t be fooled by the price tag! Just because it’s cheap doesn’t mean it’s worth it! SOE is a redundant, repetitive, bland action game with no redeeming qualities outside of 30 minutes of somewhat fun gameplay. Rent the game if you really must experience the “Kaos,” but I implore you to steer clear of this title. Ick.

3 out of 10

The author of this fine article

is an Associate Editor at Thunderbolt, having joined in February 2003.

Gentle persuasion

You should like us on Facebook.