" The worst part about this is that if you open fire on them for being morons you automatically fail the mission "
Title: World’s Scariest Police Chases by Activision
Format: Action/driving simulator for PS One
Reviewing Monkey: Simi N.
The Hype: 20 fast-paced missions, extensive weapons, dynamic AI, reactive environments, multiplayer cooperative mode.
What This Monkey Thought...
Graphics: When you have a game that involves a lot of chases, you’d think it would be a good idea to make sure that the players had a good sight distance. Apparently the makers of this game didn’t quite figure that out, but while you can see the cars and buildings, they look decent, especially for PS One. There is a good amount of detail put into the cars such as headlights that actually illuminate (if only a tiny bit), brake lights, backup lights, sirens & lights, and in and undercover car they show the cop on the passenger side put a light on the top of the car. There is a lot of decent texturing on the roads and buildings, but these would be better if they didn’t constantly shift as you drive by. And of course there are a bunch of little touches like rain, and water reflections, these do help in the overall effect of the graphics. 3.5 out of 5
Sound: The sounds are realistic, including the announcer’s voice (that’s right they use the same voice as on the TV show) which really adds to the hilarity of the game. The announcer says all these cheesy lines, but he sounds so serious, it must have taken a million tries before he got them down without cracking up. Other than the announcer the sounds are still good, from skidding tires, to police sirens, the gunshots sound great (though compared to the reloading sounds, they are very muffled), and the communications between control, and yourself sound accurate. 4 out of 5
Game Play: In a game like this the way the vehicles handle is very important (since driving is the bread and butter) and in that department this game is perhaps a bit above average. The problem is mostly with the analog control. The programmers didn’t seem to make it precise enough. If you use the analog sticks you will find yourself either skidding out of control, or not being able to make slight turns. I just gave up and started using the D-pad. The best thing about the way this game plays is that as a player you are always presented with new challenges. As a result of this the game makes you use your brain (I know, who would’ve thought), if you are to be successful in a mission, you have to not only get good at driving and shooting, but you also must plan what streets to take to either give you the quickest route, or to avoid being tailed, sometimes you have to ignore the guide arrow and make your own way in order to win. But one thing that is really annoying is the traffic that you will encounter around town. First of all it isn’t entirely random, I have noticed that for a given mission there are three traffic arrangements (this may not be true for all missions), so you can eventually plan around the traffic ahead of time. Also the people drive like idiots, they constantly swerve in front of you and make illegal U-turns causing you to crash into them. The worst part about this is that if you open fire on them for being morons you automatically fail the mission and are told that the "captain wants to speak with you." What a bunch of crap! 4 out of 5
Level and Environment Designs: As I eluded to earlier in the game the levels all have different objectives, but they all take place in the same city. This isn’t really a bad thing for several reasons: first of all, each mission will take you through different areas of the city, second of all after you have played a bunch of missions, you begin to get a feel for the city layout, and can better anticipate your route, and finally your missions provide you with plenty of vehicles, times of day, and weather conditions that make each mission distinct. However, the actual environment graphics are kind of poor. Specifically the pop-up is terrible. It sucks when you’re speeding down a street and a car appears out of nowhere in your lane giving you very little time to avoid hitting him, this leads to repeated restarts, and huge fits of rage. 3.5 out of 5
Multiplayer: Finally a game has come out with a cooperative two-player mode. It is good to see in this day and age where everything is centered on direct competition. The real cool thing is that this mode is very unique. One person acts as the driver of the cruiser, while the other person acts as the shooter. You can take turns if you like. This mode would be a total success if the shooter could take out the suspect’s car faster by hitting certain parts of it (like the tires perhaps), but alas in this game it don’t matter where you hit it as long as you hit it. 3 out of 5
Replayability: There are a lot of things that game makers can do to give their games more replay value. These guys got most of them. The first big thing in making an action game replay-able is that it is fairly short. There are a total of twenty missions, certainly not too many, but the missions provide enough of a challenge so the game doesn’t seem too short. Also, when you play missions there are many things that are calculated in your success including, time of mission, property damage, etc. If you do well enough, you will get a commendation, which unlocks something special in pursuit mode. This is a bit of added incentive to go back and see if you can do the missions better than before. Of course the two-player mode included makes the replay value much higher. But the pop-up will always be an annoyance, and who wants to be annoyed over and over again? 3.5 out of 5
Story/Dramatics: There is no story that links one mission to another; rather each mission is its own separate story, and usually a pretty thin one at that. Take for example mission number fourteen; two militant brothers each steal a tank and are rampaging through the city destroying everything in their path. So of course you and your standard issue police cruiser are called upon to stop both of them. This is the kind of unrealism that is pervasive in this game. Whenever you are involved in a drug bust, or high-speed chase, you are on your own; there are never any police around to help you out. And the clincher is the super cheesy lines delivered at the beginning and end of each mission by the host of the show, which in an attempt to be overly serious will make you laugh yourself out of your seat. 2 out of 5
Instructions and Learning Curve: The instructions are very thorough, if a little bland, and get you ready for training. After you get down all the basics in training mode, you will probably think yourself ready to take on each mission right away. But the fact of the matter is that each situation has a learning curve. Eventually you find out what routes are better, and what weapons do more damage, and how you can cause more damage to your target than you receive yourself. This is a lot of learning to do no doubt, but it makes the game more challenging and thus, more fun. 3.5 out of 5
Installation and Real System Requirements: The game probably does a good job of pushing the limits of the PS One. I mean the graphics aren’t that great, but there is a lot of stuff going on all the time. It’s good that it supports both analog control, and dual shock (although it would be better if the analog control was worthwhile), but it only takes up one memory card slot and is the fastest saving game I have ever played. The mission load times are king of slow, but not ridiculously so. But then, it doesn’t check both memory card slots…tsk tsk tsk, for shame! 3 out of 5
|The graphics aren’t good, the analog control is bad, but the rest of the game is solid. The missions provide plenty of challenge, and there is plenty of variety in mission objectives, weapons, vehicles, you name it. And to top it all off there is a cooperative mode!|
The Good: Great mission variety, plenty of replayability, super fast saves, and you get to drive around shooting the hell out of bad guys’ cars.
The Bad: The graphics are lacking, the stories are implausible, and the damage that you deal, or incur is strangely rationed out.
The Overall Ugly: This game could be awesome on the PS2. The biggest detractor is that it has poor graphics. If that doesn’t totally turn you off to a game, I would definitely suggest giving it a try.
What it's Worth: I could see paying $21.00 for this game.