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Urban Chaos: Riot Response review

Strap on your steel-toed boots and get ready to bust heads and save lives in a city gone mad

Pros

  • Surprisingly deep and engaging
  • Sidekicks act like real characters
  • Plenty of cool stuff to unlock

Cons

  • Ugly as hell
  • Levels a little too linear
  • scripted
  • Stiffly acted live-action newscasts

The city is on fire, and its districts lie in ruins. Firefighters, police and paramedics struggle to pull average citizens to safety, only to be savagely cut down or burned alive by the hordes of maniacs who now rule the streets. Into this mess strides Nick Mason, a special-forces riot policeman with big guns and carte blanche to bring the situation under control by any means necessary - and he's going to kick him a little ass.

Yeah, we know. You've heard it a bajillion times before, in slightly different variations. But Urban Chaos: Riot Response is more than just a by-the-numbers shooter, and there's a lot more intensity, variety and innovation here than its hackneyed setup suggests.

For starters, as Nick Mason you'll do a lot more than just run around in burning buildings and ruined streets, capping thugs in the head (although that does play a big role). You'll also need to coordinate the actions of the cops, firefighters and paramedics you'll meet in each level, ordering them to take out fiery obstacles or rescue injured civilians as needed.

These folks aren't just cookie-cutter uniforms, either (although the game's female medics all look identical for some reason); the developers went a long way to humanize them, and they become so vital to your survival that it's often a huge relief to see them after wading through scores of masked psychos.

More Info

GenreAction
DescriptionAn ugly but surprisingly innovative shooter that has players restoring order in a city consumed by anarchy.
PlatformXbox, PS2
US censor ratingMature, Mature
UK censor rating,
Release date:13 June 2006 (US), (UK)
Available platforms:PS2
Genre:Action

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

After graduating from college in 2000 with a BA in journalism, I worked for five years as a copy editor, page designer and videogame-review columnist at a couple of mid-sized newspapers you've never heard of. My column eventually got me a freelancing gig with GMR magazine, which folded a few months later. I was hired on full-time by GamesRadar in late 2005, and have since been paid actual money to write silly articles about lovable blobs.
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