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Urban Chaos: Riot Response

It's a story nearly as old as video games themselves: A city has been overrun by rampaging street gangs, and it's up to you to restore order. But in Urban Chaos: Riot Response, you're not some scrapper in a leather vest doling out two-fisted vigilante justice. Instead, you're part of a merciless special police unit, T-Zero, given carte blanche to blast the face off anyone who looks at you funny.

Of course, funny looks are the least of your worries. As you navigate the 12 missions of Eidos' first-person shooter (due out sometime in June), you'll come face-to-mask with a cabal of maniacs who've seized power and turned your city into an explosion-filled wasteland. Armed with knives, guns and Molotov cocktails (and probably all hopped up on something or other), they make for remarkably vicious and aggressive adversaries. Luckily, you'll have access to a wide assortment of police-issue firearms, whatever weapons you can pick up from dead enemies and a "less-lethal" stun gun that can set gang members on fire from the inside out. It's almost a shame that you'll have to take one or two of your adversaries alive.

Of course, while all this sounds pretty intense, it's still nothing out of the ordinary for a shooter.

Three things set Riot Response apart from the crowd: First, the story is told mostly through live-action "newscasts" that chronicle T-Zero's progress over one full year. Second, members of T-Zero are essentially in charge of emergency services, and as such you'll frequently need to shepherd firefighters, EMTs and normal cops (they'll return the favor by keeping you alive and/or helping you squeeze past obstacles). They'll also frequently get taken hostage, and if you accidentally shoot one, you'll get charged with "unauthorized use of force" and will be forced to start the mission over. Of course, staying your hand won't stop them from being killed by enemies or by the pre-scripted, wall-shattering explosions that periodically throw you for a loop.

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