Could be so much better....
Aug 20, 2002
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Playing a bad guy is always fun, even if your a good guy pretending to be a bad guy. The graphics are probably this games best feature, at night, the lights 'bleed' when you look around and when a car crashes, you can see the damage. You can break individual headlights or break lights, or all of them if you like, however you can't do true physical damage to the cars such as lose a wheel. The traffic is nice, it uses turn signals, but that's really the only positive thing you can say about it.
This game is horribly flawed. While the cities may be very, very large, the amount of pop up you get and the distance you can see is terrible. Being able to only see about a dozen car lengths in front coupled with only 5 cars being the most you can see on screen leaves you dodging the magical cars that leap onto the screen. The FMVs are terrible, not only are the animations stiff and hardly human-like, it is obvious that the voice acting and script were done after the animations as the mouths hardly even move, yet along try to shape words. The sound doesn't always sync with what's on the screen and the subtitles usually don't match the dialouge. The music is quite bad, there is one track for each city and is very bland, a semi recognisable midi tune or some dynamic chase music would have not gone a miss. The cars all sound pretty much the same, the only real difference is the sound of the horn and that is just a slightly different pitch to the others. All the cars you can drive are similar in appearance (all most all are sedans) and quite similar in performance. The game follows the great tradition of cheating by making any car you chase or any car chasing you much, much faster than you and always shrugs off accidents like they didn't happen, this becomes glaringly obvious when the police chase you. Even if you're in a police car, they will catch up to you even if you have a huge head start. When they ram you your car will spin off, out of control and take heavy damage, usually with you pinned against a wall, the police car, however, has only been slowed down and has spun so it is lined up to hit you again, which it does at an impossibly fast speed, over and over. The game is completely linear and almost every mission has a time limit, while some missions make sense to have a time limit, such as racing to catch the ferry before it leaves, it is very annoying for a lot of the other missions that have a time limit for absolutely no reason. I prefer the method in Grand Theft Auto of only some missions, usually involving explosives, having time limits. The traffic is a complete pain, they drive at a speed that is just as fast as walking, going any faster than this will get the police after you. The traffic is completely oblivious to everything going on around them, they wont bat an eye at someone driving down the wrong side of the road or the car that is blasting down the road much faster than themselves or the person who just rammed them, they will just go about their business, maintaining speed and using their turn signals. This may have been different if the horn did something, the horn only makes pedestrians scatter, but they scatter on their own, defeating the purpose of even having a horn. There are dozens of places in the game where you can fall through the level and crash the game, this points to a rushed release.
The Bottom Line
I don't recommend this game unless you think flaws only make a game better. I suggest you go play World Scariest Police Chases or The Italian Job instead, similar games that have far better execution.
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