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7. State of Emergency
2002 | PS2, Xbox, PC
Copies sold in US: Close to 800,000
Average score: 68%

State of Emergency was actually kind of a cool game, albeit a balls-out stupid and repetitive one. Imagine Dynasty Warriors in a modern environment, with rioting crowds instead of Chinese armies and gore instead of strategy, and you'll have a rough idea of what it's like. It was notable mainly for letting you wade into fast-moving crowds to stomp the shit out of random people, and also for its striking similarity to Grand Theft Auto III (that is, assuming you stripped out everything that made GTA III interesting and just left in an endless series of beatings).

The company line: "Like Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto III, State of Emergency offers the player virtually unlimited scope for mayhem, and huge, sprawling urban environments to explore through missions or nonlinear action. … The environments are intricately interactive; almost any object (including body parts) can be picked up and used as a weapon."

What the critics said: Even though plenty of critics had harsh words for the game when it came out, most gave it relatively high scores anyway, largely because of how awesome the game is until you realize you're just doing the same thing over and over. Gamepro's Major Mike, for example, called State a "very fun game whose premise wears thin a bit too fast," while our sister mag PSM wrote that State "will leave most players saying, 'That's it?' all too quickly."

Not everyone tried to soft-pedal the game's weaknesses. Entertainment Weekly slammed State for its limited scope, calling it "too bloody repetitive." But it was Electronic Gaming Monthly that summed up the game - and the delayed reaction to it in the weeks and months following its release - the best, saying that "after the blood-soaked honeymoon is over, you'll see the game in the harsh morning light and wonder if it was worth it."



Why you bought it anyway: A lot of people apparently bought State of Emergency thinking it would be like Grand Theft Auto III. It wasn't an unreasonable assumption, given Rockstar Games' logo on the box and the similar look, feel and rebel attitude shared by the two games. Even if you knew better than that, though, the idea of going all insane-vigilante with fists, feet and high-end weaponry in the middle of a madhouse riot was damn near irresistible.

What went wrong? Being the first game of its kind, State of Emergency was able to coast by on novelty. But once that novelty wore off, we were left with a grindingly repetitive beat 'em-up that never changed much aside from its mission goals and its scenery. That shallow design collided violently with expectations that had been raised sky-high by Grand Theft Auto III, and the fact that State of Emergency played a lot like GTAIII with most of the cool stuff stripped out only made State look worse. By the time the Xbox version rolled out with a new multiplayer mode (and little else), even the first game's biggest fans had lost interest.

Most infuriatingly positive quote: "Think about it," says GameZone.com's Kevin Krause, "it's a game that encourages you to break stuff - what could be more fun?" We're not sure, Kevin. A good game that encourages you to break stuff, maybe?

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54 comments

  • Moosebomber - December 15, 2008 1:57 a.m.

    i liked enter the matrix. but then again, when i played it, i was 11.
  • aqibloz - July 30, 2009 2:21 p.m.

    "more focused on looking slick than on actual fun." u just described gta4. . .
  • FancyRat - October 12, 2008 3:45 a.m.

    "Aside from the Driver series having its own sizable (if by that point dwindling) fanbase..." What?
  • jingneji - October 12, 2008 5:20 a.m.

    marvel imperfects was a good games but it had it ups and downs but i still liked it
  • chilipeppersman - October 17, 2008 4:47 a.m.

    for the people who said they liked enter the matrix, that game truly sucked and you dont know good games if you think ENTER THE MATRIX was good, so good job GR. fuck all the company lines too, they are full of donkey shit
  • Patius - October 17, 2008 2:22 p.m.

    Eh, in 6th grade, Enter the Matrix was fun. Then again, there were lots of games that we enjoyed back then that suck now that I look at it.
  • twishart - October 19, 2008 1:15 a.m.

    I've purchased NONE of these games, and have only played Wii Play ONCE. Thanks GaymesRaider.corm!
  • thereaper52 - October 21, 2008 10:06 p.m.

    i loved enter the matrix only because of the slo mo wall kick fuckin A++ to the matrix
  • samboy218 - October 25, 2008 5:27 p.m.

    50 cent what?
  • Graham - October 27, 2008 3:36 p.m.

    I'm so proud of the fact that I've never bought any of these games and, to be honest, I don't know that I've even played any of them. I almost sat down with my roommmates copy of Spiderman 3 once, but after watching him get pwned repeatedly by that lame quicktime event against Sandman at the end, I thought better of it. Also, that other Matrix game, zymn, was Path of Neo. It had its fair share of bugs and lousy collision detection, but it was pretty fun overall. A good five-day rental type of game.
  • Jimmyjammy - October 30, 2008 1:31 a.m.

    When will 50 cent die? I can but dream. How pissed off would you be if you were one of the nine people who shot him and he didn't die?
  • oreomonkey - November 2, 2008 4:27 a.m.

    I liked Enter the Matrix but im sure if I picked it up again right now I would agree that its crap... Wii play was good for the remote
  • MacGyver1138 - November 6, 2008 7:39 p.m.

    Zymn, like graham said, the other Matrix game you were thinking of was the Path of Neo. It was still pretty buggy, and it had some weird fights (Giant, bipedal ants come to mind) but it was way better than Enter the Matrix. At least Enter the Matrix let you see Monica Belucci and Jada Pinkett Smith making out. That made the game almost tolerable.
  • BordersOfInsanity - November 23, 2008 8:13 p.m.

    i actually liked golden eye rogue agent, and driv3r was alright.
  • mugen_ - December 8, 2008 1:26 a.m.

    saw 50 cent's game for 99 cents, they had about a fifty copies.
  • zymn - October 11, 2008 12:47 a.m.

    fiiiiirssst. or, whatever. uhh... wasn't there a matrix game where u played as neo? and it was like you vs. vampires or somethin? anyways, great list. funny as always.
  • TheGreatHobbe - October 11, 2008 4:46 p.m.

    CURSE YOU COMPANY LINES, YOU TRICK US ALL!!!
  • Pablos102030 - October 12, 2008 6:49 a.m.

    Screw you guys, I liked rogue agent. The multiplayer was awesome.
  • bron1417 - October 13, 2008 8:06 p.m.

    back when "The Matrix" game first came out i actually liked it,i didnt buy it but i liked it enough to play it and at the time it was tight. but still it's a shame there are crappy games but that's why we have GR. nice article guys btw.
  • Rodrigo90 - October 13, 2008 8:35 p.m.

    "proving once again that no cliché is too stale for a writer who wants to see himself quoted on the back of a box." A Hilarious "Ouch" xD

Showing 1-20 of 54 comments

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