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Bad Day L.A. review

A disaster game in every sense of the word


  • Some jokes are politically relevant
  • Constant swearing! Suck it FCC!
  • Turning the game off


  • Repetitive
  • frustrating gameplay
  • Nauseating graphics and audio
  • Ruins it for future satirical games

Within the first few minutes of playing Bad Day L.A., an old southern coot greets you with the expression "hot Jesus on toast." But this action/adventure/satire/disaster game is not creamy, buttery Jesus on a crisp slice of fresh sourdough. It's not even "I Can't Believe It's Not Jesus." No, Bad Day L.A. is more like rancid snack cakes baked by Satan himself, and it will make you want to vomit.

And what a sneaky Devil Dog it is. Bad Day L.A. came to us disguised as a satire of America's fear-mongering, ignorance-spreading culture. It offered us sanctuary from the countless copycat-manufactured videogame worlds where we regularly perform mass genocide of goblins and aliens, and would have proved to a scornful public that games can be a meaningful art form, a tool to distribute knowledge of dire importance. And if people didn't get it, at the very least, it was supposed to be fun. We're heartbroken (and angry) to report the game is none of what it promised it would be.

It begins with terrorists crashing a plane filled with toxic gas into the Santa Monica Freeway. The chemical explosion spreads green poisonous clouds across Los Angeles, transforming humans into frenzied zombies. Then the city spirals into a state of constant riot, as anearthquake, a tsunami, a gang war and a meteor shower all strike consecutively.You play reluctant, homeless hero Anthony Williams, romping through the wreckage with a crew that includes a Mexican day laborer with a chainsaw and a sick young boy who pukes toxic waste at your enemies. Classy.

More Info

DescriptionPlane crashes, zombie hordes and meteor showers; it's a bolt cutter to the face of bland mainstream culture.
PlatformPC, Xbox
US censor ratingRating Pending
Release date12 April 2006 (US), 1 January 1970 (UK)