State of Emergency PS2
Review by Jon Leasor Rockstar Action
Graphics: 9 Sound: 8 Gameplay: 7.5 Overall: 8.5

People that thought that Grand Theft Auto III was too graphic and violent will have no clue to what those definitive words mean until they play or watch State of Emergency.  

The premise of SoE is that you must help a revolutionary force overthrow a vile corporation that took over the nation's government, and pushes for its citizens' conformity. At the start of the game you can choose between using an ex-cop or lawyer, but through completion of an area (4 in total) you can unlock different characters. 

The first stage is located inside the Capitol City mall, where you must liberate it from "The Corporation". There can be a total of 200 people running around any given area. Some are carrying TV’s, VCR’s, washing machines etc., that you can take away from them and use as a weapon or as a tool to break open store windows. 

There is a good reason why this game was rated Mature by the ESRB. Violence and gore run rampant throughout this game, it's certainly turned up a couple of notches from GTAIII, that’s for sure. Besides being able to equip yourself with classic Rockstar weapons (uzi, grenade launcher, bazooka etc.) you can actually use your victims body parts to inflict pain, suffering and destruction. There is something sadistically satisfying in being able to take out your frustration on hardly innocent looters when you fail a mission. The missions are mixed between fast and furious to murderous and meticulous. At times having the correct weapon with you will determine whether or not you succeed. 

Graphics - 9.0 The graphics are superb, while most of the detail is given to the people in the game; the surrounding area is fairly well done. It compares closely to GTAIII in graphic blood-flow and explosions.  

Sound - 8.0 The sound gives the feeling of utter chaos completely surrounding you. From people saying "He’s gone crazy!" when you rampantly break windows, or to the extreme screams of unbridled fear brought on by your massacre of hundreds. Explosions sound genuine, as do the sound effects of your arsenal. The one let-down of the sound within the game is that the background music stays the same for every level. Rockstar should’ve added a soundtrack change option like they did in GTAIII.  

Gameplay - 7.5 The gameplay at times can be frustrating. It can be extremely difficult to keep track of police forces or contacts that you have to guide from one place to the next. This is mainly due to one of its best features: hundreds of people. Rockstar tried to circumvent this annoyance by placing colored arrows above important characters heads, but if they are in the distance it can be a little confusing. Having a proverbial "Eye in the back of your head" is a great help when dealing with some missions.

A targeting system is not present in the game, which does add an enjoyable difficulty, but would’ve been a blessing in some circumstances. Along with all these slight gripes though, this game has a great replay value to it.
Overall score - 8.5 Overall this game is wickedly fun and addictive. Each character that you can control is unique and cartoonish and equipped with a personality all their own. All 185 missions are entertaining and fast paced while creating a progressive storyline. If you are a fan of GTAIII, I would highly recommend this game. For those of the faint of heart, STAY AWAY, it’s just too gory.


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Last updated: Friday, November 14, 2003 10:00 PM