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Urban Chaos: Riot Response

Memory Usage
FPS (First Person Shooter)
90KB Minimum
May 2006

Will You Respond To The Chaos?

Review Date: 24/07/06

Rocksteady Studies was founded in December 2004 and is based in North London, which employs over 25 people in the small office, also the company is partly owned by Eidos. This FPS game Urban Chaos was originally called Roll Call until a few months before release, which is there first game to be developed by them.

The story is of many riots breaking out all over New York from a gang called The Burners, that not only burning buildings but also take hostages. You play as Nick Mason, a member of T-Zero a new anti gang unit that uses high-tech military grade hardware. With millions of funds behind this new squad and a "Zero Tolerance" policy, your first test is to stop the Burners as they attack the police station. As the game progress you soon realize that theses group of psycho hockey wearing masks are more than just a gang.

The graphics are not stunning but has good detail through out the game down to each single different object as well as the characters. All the objects in the game uses havok engine which is a program that companies use in some of there games to give everything from weapons, people, cars, boxes and any other items found around the game to give a realistic movement. For an example if an explosions goes off then objects like boxes will be blow away, as well as the enemy being blasted back with a high powered gun. So as you can see this game has some good animation to it as well as some other some details that makes the game impressive like when using your riot shield, any bullets that hit it will mark it with scrapes and even when uses as a weapon to ram into the enemy it will break there nose, leaving a blood splat on your shield.

The sound and voice acting side of things is done very well. As each level begins you start off in a way with a mission briefing of a TV news report show called Channel 7 news reported by a woman called Lani York, here she talks about what the public thinks of the new unit T-Zero, how the story progress and what is happening with the burner gang. This part is done with a real actor with in cuts of real video clips. As through the whole game the enemies shout out orders and abusive language at you as they really want to kill you. Each of the guns has its own unquiet sound when firing and the riot shield is great when you ram it into others faces giving you a nice slow crunching sound as it goings into slow-mo for each shield kill.

The controls can be confusing a bit at times as there are so many weapons to use but it's nicely designed so that you can change quite quickly. With three buttons assigned to different type of weapons like firearms, projectiles and melee weapons, you can easily switch or/and cycle through them with the square, triangle and circle buttons. As usual the R1 is fire plus the R2 is for secondary fire, where as single hands guns it turns on a flashlight which is very helpful as many parts in the game there is no lights or that have been broken. The riot shield is one of the most important weapons as not only you can block bullets and projectiles with L1 holed down even when walking. As well as the shield being excellent for defense can be used to attack with the shield ram and also you can throw projectiles over the top while still behind cover of the shield.

Another thing to mension is that you can give orders to people that help you out through the game with the uses of the d-pad. The left and right direction tells them to follow or to stop and take cover. Up on the d-pad is the action order depending on the person, you can tell them to heal you, break down doors, put out fires or give you coving fire.

The gameplay follows you nick mason a T-Zero officer, visiting lots of different places, you are to stop the gangs, capture leaders and help out any people along the way. You are not along thought in the fights, as you progress through the levels killing of the gangs, you team up with other people. One point a bomb goes off and the building is left in flames with civilians trapped inside, so the fireman tells you this and hands over very important equipment called the breather which is basically a gas mask but with a heat vision build in. This comes in very handy when enemies are hidden or when there is a lot of smoke. Back to the fire now thought, you enter the building with the fireman, searching around for people you come across fires and blocked up doors and with help of the action button the fireman will put out the fires and break through blocked areas. Ones found the fireman can pick him up and you must lead them back to safety of the medic while defending them from any further attacks from the gangs.

Although the paths of each level is the same, I still find it varied and funny when replaying it as each area can be played out different ways. Where as you could go in guns blazing, plowing through them with a machine gun and blasting them with a shotgun. Later on it is a lot hard to do this as there much more of them with better guns, so you could always use your shield to block any bullets and when ready shot a red explosive barrel to take a load of them out. Another good way if you have any smokes, throw a few grenades which will block view, for which you can then turn on your heat vision letting you see through the smoke and giving you a great advantage to take head shoots of all the enemies.

There are many other great ways to take out enemies like using your shield and taken a few quick pot shots with your pistol or throw a riot grenade over the top of your shield which packed with bold bearing that will knock out many enemies. When you get the mad ones rushing towards you, just bash them with your shield or flip out your taser and pump him full of electric.

There are another 2 features in the game, one being you on a minigun of a helicopter ripping things up and the 2nd that happens every now and again is the hostage takers. Here a gang member has a hostage but you have no clear shot until he reloads and ones he does you can zoom in which is done in slow motion to that a shot. Here you most holed your nerve in this intense situation and by taking out the enemy you are rewarded with a cool death scene of him being shot back into a electric box that fries him, falling into a oncoming train and many more, one being my favorite where he falls into a bath and the reporter on the scene which was the victim smashes a TV over his head and then electrifying him also.

There are some great levels but are pretty short, which leaves the game to be completed in about a week. But that's when the replay value kicks in as there any many unlockables. Which includes new weapons like smoke and riot grenades, shotgun and also loads of upgrades which will give you bigger and more clips for your guns, better zooms, flashlight attachment, grenade launcher attachment, armor and much more.

Every level has its bonus missions, which are for example kill 20 or more with headshots, incapacite 10 enemies, find 5 hidden gang masks, complete level without dieing plus some that includes capture of gang leader. Each one of theses earns you a medal which will earn you the unlocks when you have the right amount. Capturing the gang leaders is the only one that will not give you medals but unlocks an emergency bonus level, which is a time limit level where you most save a hostage and get him back to safety. You can also earn medals from the emergency level and extra medals from playing a harder difficulty called Elite and an unlockable terror mode.

With all of this to unlock, it will not only add a few extra weeks of play but also gives you new and better equipment that makes the gameplay easier and more fair. The last thing to mention is that the online mode and as this was one of the reasons I wanted this game I was disappointed with as it's the worse online mode I've played. The game modes are very poor and the levels are small and are not designed for multiplayer. The main think I did not like about online is that you can kill and be killed to easily as head shoots can easily be done from a far distance with very little skill involved. I've played online myself a few times over many days and the most I've seen online is about 10 people at max in total on the servers which shows its not a popular online game and has nothing special in this area.

This is a good game to buy if you are a person that likes to unlock everything in a game, Try to get it for £20 at most, as you be disappointed if you spent anymore. As for online play stay well clear of it as any other game that says network play on the box will probably be better.



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Review Date: 24/07/06


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