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Raw Danger review

Mediocre
AT A GLANCE
  • Interweaving storylines
  • Disasters galore
  • Innovative BT system
  • Awful interface and controls
  • Tedious cutscenes
  • Pointless puzzles

When a city cradled in the shadow of a dam boasts it’s the safest place ever built, gut instinct warns us that trouble’s a’ brewin’. Unfortunately for the residents of Geo City, gut instincts seem to be in short supply (alongside motor skills, common sense, and fashion taste), so when the dam actually crumbles, they’re totally unprepared. It’s your job to keep the key players alive, and in the process, unravel the sinister truth behind the dam’s collapse. Raw Danger is an adventure-style disaster survival game in the same vein as 2003’s Disaster Report (it's actually the sequel).

You play through the night of the disaster five times, with five seemingly innocuous, unrelated characters. As you progress, you’ll discover that choices made in one story branch affect the paths of others. For example, if you shimmy up a pipe as one character, you're taking the easier route, but you’ll knock over a road sign that’ll block the path of another character. In the corner, you’ll see that second character puzzling over where to go, and you’ll remember that moment when you play through his story later. It’s unfortunate that these interactive moments are few because they are one of the few compelling aspects of this game.



The other intriguing idea is the BT system. The game utilizes “Body Temperature” as a measure of health. As you walk through the rain or splash through puddles, you get more and more wet, so your body temperature decreases. When you get too cold, you start limping or even blacking out. You can warm yourself back up with heat packs, hot soup, or heat sources (electric heaters, ovens, gas stoves). Umbrellas and atrocious-looking raincoats scattered throughout the game let you arm yourself against the cold as well.

However, no matter how great the concepts are, if they aren’t executed well, they’ll hinder the game, and that’s the case in Raw Danger. It doesn’t matter how exciting it is to see a tsunami-like wave crashing across a bridge, you’ll still get frustrated if you can’t get out of its way not because you’re a bad player, not even because objects can be hard to see, but simply because the controls are unresponsive and clunky, a fatal error in a movement-dependent game.



The interface is just as poorly designed. Every action (even exiting the save menu) seems to take an extraneous two to three button presses. The un-skippable, poorly placed (yes, often right after a save point) cutscenes are unnecessarily long, oftentimes with the camera panning across absolutely nothing. The graphics are hard on the eyes, and the animations have the characters running around like stiff robots.

In the end, the shoddy interface, graphics, and controls do more than step on the toes of some interesting concepts - they massacre them.  A very niche audience will adore this game, but the rest of us shouldn’t bother. It’s just not worth it.

 

More Info

Release date: Jun 12 2007 - PS2 (US)
Jun 08 2007 - PS2 (UK)
Available Platforms: PS2
Genre: Adventure
Published by: Agetec
Developed by: Irem Software Engineering
ESRB Rating:
Teen: Blood, Language, Use of Alcohol, Use of Tobacco, Violence
PEGI Rating:
7+

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