State of Emergency
By: Rory on February 18, 2002
The second in a duo of crime related games from Rockstar, State of Emergency may be one of the most insane, gruesome, and fun games of all time. Fast paced and exciting, SOE will impress and disgust the most hardened gamer.
The story goes like this, after the federal government fails, all power goes to The Corporation and they now control every facet of life and the people have no freedom. You play as one person involved with the resistance movement to the Corporation, called Freedom. You start out with two playable characters, an ex-cop and a lawyer, and have to earn the rest of them.
The game has two main modes, Revolution and Chaos. Revolution is the mission/story based part of the game, in the way of GTA3, you find a leader, get a mission and proceed the story by doing the missions. There are a total of 175 missions in the game, and some feel very innovative (ex. kill the heavily guarded scientist and steal his security card), yet some of them feel very basic (ex. excort this guy to safety). Either way they are still fun to do and you will enjoy them, unless you don't like killing people.
In Chaos mode, it is just a point based mode where you have to be as insane as possible. You get points for blowing up buildings, breaking windows on cars and buildings, killing cops and corporation supporters. As you rack up points and cause utter mayhem, you will proceed through the four areas of the game and be chased by more and more cops. There is a time limit on this mode though, and the only way to stay in the game is killing cops for time or being lucky enough to find some around the riot area.
The graphics may be one of the strongest points of the game. While the textures don't look like The Bouncer or even Tekken Tag Tournament, the game supports up to 250 characters on screen at once with zero slowdown. You won't believe it until you see for yourself, the amazing prowess of this game. The only problem some will have is the camera angle. Many times it gets you into sticky situations that only a molotov cocktail can fix.
Everything in the game is interactive, pick up any bench, trash can, chair, etc. and throw it at whoever you want. That's not all though. Say you just blew off a guys head, arm, or leg with a shotgun - well in State of Emergency you can pick up the appendage and beat up whoever you want with it, even its former owner who is laying on the ground.
The gore of this game is equally unbelieveable. As I said before, appendages can be blown off and used as weapons, you can beat people who are already dead and gone and have the blood splatter in your face. You can take an axe to the heads of the police and watch them fall right off. When you fire the guns at a group, the level of blood gets insane as it spills all over the floor. While it is possible to turn off the blood the game is still as violent as ever in terms of what you can do.
Overall, the game is one of the best brawlers since the SNES days and everyone who can put up with the intense level of gore MUST get this game. Definitely not for the squeemish or the young, this game deserves the M rating and "Warning Check ID" sticker all the way. While the minor flaws can be annoying, State of Emergency is still one of the top games for PS2 - and definitely one of the most fast paced, action filled games ever created.
Overall Score: 8.7 out of 10