State Of Emergency Review
In light of recent events here in the United States, it seemed like a good time to give 2002’s State Of Emergency a spin in my slimline Playstation 2. State Of Emergency, published by the notorious Rockstar Games is nothing less than a riot simulator. The game pretends to have some sort of subversive “overthrow the evil corporations” plot line, but I failed to see much merit in the random acts of violence directed towards authority figures and rival rioters. That is one thing that the developers of this game got completely accurate. Much like in real life situations of civil unrest, the vast of majority of the participants appear to just be “in for the chaos” in State Of Emergency, rioting for the sake of rioting. Clearly Rockstar Games was looking for something to raise the indecency bar they’d set with 2001’s Grand Theft Auto 3, and latched on this title in development by Scottish company VIS Entertainment.
The Grand Theft Auto series, as unacceptable as it is, at least connected with the liberal, unemployed masses and went on to sell millions of copies of the games in the series. State Of Emergency did not fare as well. Even the most generous reviews back in 2002 gave the game a six or seven out of ten. So, what exactly went wrong? You’d imagine after a game glorifying the criminal underworld, liberal gamers would flock to a title that let them role-play as rioters unhappy with ‘whatever’ and destroy things for no reason at all.
Looking at the game objectively, it’s just not very good. The controls and camera angles are terrible. The graphics, when compared to GTA 3, are cartoonish and a huge step down. State Of Emergency just smells of shovelware, rushed out to try to take advantage of the thousands of gamers looking for a new violence fix after completing GTA 3. I found nothing endearing about having my female rioter pick up a machine gun and start gunning down riot police who were trying to restore order in a world gone mad. At least in GTA 3, there were minor consequences for killing the police. In State Of Emergency everyone is already trying to kill everyone else, so there is no negative consequences for murdering the officers of the law as they bludgeon rioters to death.
I didn’t play this piece of trash long enough to get to the missions the player is tasked with political assassinations. I can see why Washington state politicians reportedly denounced this game upon its release. Rightly so. The only high mark I’ll give this game is in sound. They managed to capture the real sounds of urban destruction, and even though the generic ‘extreme’ rock music is grating, the sounds of explosions and the beating of lawbreaking citizens by the police are accurate to what real riots in the United States sound like.
It is worth mention that within three years of this game’s release, VIS Entertainment filed for bankruptcy. Shocking. Garbage like this game was all to common in the late 1990s and early 2000s. I’m sure I’ll have to suffer more of those titles for reviews on this site, but I highly doubt any will be as reprehensible as State Of Emergency.