State of Emergency
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  • Rockstar Games
  • ?
  • Action - General, Other
  • February 2002
  • 1
  • Memory Card
  • 1
  • $4.00
  • Mature
3  |  State Of Emergency: Let's Not Dwell On What Could Have Been
Shevy , 4/9/2005 8:27:32 PM
This review was originally written by Shevy for, a website dedicated to the review of metal, and most recently, video games.

Doomed from the start, people were expecting State Of Emergency to play more like an arcade version of Grand Theft Auto III. There was plenty of hype surrounding the creation of this game, but unlike it's big brother, State Of Emergency simply fell flat on it's face when the two were compared. Instead of looking at this as an actual game, it's almost as if Rockstar built this to hold up in the air and yell, "Hey! Look what we can do! See all these people moving around the screen at the same time? No other game can do this! Isn't that awesome?"

Plenty awesome if you don't mind sacrificing other such things such as graphics, story, and depth. None the less, fast forward to the year 2035. Corporations have become so strong that they have replaced our current government, and they're out to put the squeeze on some organized resistance groups. Beginning the game as either Roy "Mack" MacNeil or Anna "Libra" Price, you join a resistance group called "Freedom" to battle the forces that be in an all out riot. Even though the names are straight from a 70's action flick, the concept and story behind the game is intriguing enough, although that's where it ends.

There are two modes of play: Kaos and Revolution. Kaos mode plays much like a classic/modernized arcade game in the sense that everything is based on points and expanding time. Meld in some Smash TV vs. Fighting Force, and that's essentially Kaos mode. It's a good way to introduce oneself to the pathetic controls, but other than that I've found it to be a complete and unabbreviated waste of time. The better half of the game, Revolution mode, is the story mode. Use your character to meet up with somebody who will then give you a mission. From there you must complete your mission, and then back to see the guy for another one. If you fail your mission, don't sweat having to worry about continues or restarting your game. Just go back and see the guy and it's like it never happened. On a good note, some of these missions are actually somewhat tough and require a smidge of skill and/or devotion to complete. Unfortunately, the level of difficulty stems from the fact the camera angle's are atrocious, the controls are frustratingly appalling, and I've eaten salad's smarter than the artificial intelligence of some of the people you have to work with or protect at times.

Overall, this game got more bad press than it deserved. Yes, Rockstar is obviously capable of releasing a far superior game than this slop...but in the game's defense, it is addicting to try and complete levels, missions, and unlock characters. There's an impressive range of weapons, a small amount of strategy, a short learning curve, and basically, where else are you going to go these days for a modern beat-em-up?

- Cool weapons to be had, including severed enemies' heads.
- Some of the missions are actually pretty damn tough.
- Incredible amount of people moving around at the same time gives the game a very good feel of a riot. On top of this, there's absolutely no slow down even when the screen is packed with people.
- Very small learning curve.
- The "I-know-I-can-get-just-a-little-bit-farther" feel is highly addicting.
- Nice to see some people still care about a simple beat-em-up game.

- The character shown on the front of the game has to be unlocked to be played.
- Very limited hand-to-hand combat.
- The controls and camera angles are absolutely horrid. I can't think of how many times I've died trying to attack an enemy, but instead just run circles around them like a poodle as they pick me off with firearms.
- All characters play the same, they just have different looking moves.
- When you grapple an enemy, every other enemy on the screen immediately stops what they're doing and allows you to finish. Courteous, yes. Even faintly realistic, no.
- Finding your way around some of the stages can be a bit frustrating as the pointing arrow and map could use some serious work.
- Graphics are lackluster at best, and far too cartoony for a game so bent on mindless destruction.
- Not only are the character voice overs done poorly, they're also veritably repetitious.
- Would have been nice if there was some kind of a final boss for each level.

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