State of Emergency Reviews (PlayStation 2)

ESRB Rating
Critic Score
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
User Score
5 point score based on user ratings.

User Reviews

Great idea, POOR execution Lothian (13) 2.43 Stars2.43 Stars2.43 Stars2.43 Stars2.43 Stars

Our Users Say

Category Description User Score
Acting The quality of the actors' performances in the game (including voice acting). 1.2
AI How smart (or dumb) you perceive the game's artificial intelligence to be 1.7
Gameplay How well the game mechanics work (player controls, game action, interface, etc.) 2.5
Graphics The quality of the art, or the quality/speed of the drawing routines 2.3
Personal Slant How much you personally like the game, regardless of other attributes 2.3
Sound / Music The quality of the sound effects and/or music composition 2.0
Story / Presentation The main creative ideas in the game and how well they're executed 1.5
Overall User Score (23 votes) 1.9

Critic Reviews

MobyRanks are listed below. You can read here for more information about MobyRank.
Overall this game is wickedly fun and addictive. Each character that you can control is unique and cartoonish and equipped with a personality all their own. All 185 missions are entertaining and fast paced while creating a progressive storyline. If you are a fan of GTAIII, I would highly recommend this game. For those of the faint of heart, STAY AWAY, it’s just too gory.
GameSpot (Feb 15, 2002)
In the end, the best part about State of Emergency is the way every facet of the game comes together to form a perfect feeling of panic. It's also disturbingly satisfying to find a shotgun or assault rifle and turn a crowded, rioting mall into a complete and total bloodbath. Even once the missions are completed and the levels are all unlocked, State of Emergency has enough going for it to hold your interest. The almost mindless nature of State of Emergency makes it seem a bit harsher than Grand Theft Auto III--where there was at least a clearer method to the madness--despite SOE's cartoonish character design.
Gaming Target (Feb 22, 2002)
A title that once seemed like the greatest game in the world since last E3 turned out to be just an attempt to recreate Grand Theft Auto 3, with lesser results. State of Emergency is in fact a very fun game to play. But again, the repetition and a few poor game qualities give the game a disdain quality. The game is more of a like it or hate it title, but not a love it one. So if you really loved Grand Theft Auto 3, you should also try State of Emergency, even if you are just to rent it, to find out how many ways you can engage in dangerous methods of mayhem that pits you against the opposition of corruption.
Game Over Online (Apr 23, 2002)
I waited for this game with great anticipation and was a little disappointed when I first started playing it. Little quirks, like poor camera, menus and sound, make the game very frustrating at times. However, Chaos mode is an old-school arcade blast and has continued to suck me in the more I play. I think Rockstar has done a very good job in producing SOE but it could have used a little sandpaper on the edges.
IGN (Feb 15, 2002)
I know I have said this at least twice, but it should be said again, State of Emergency is a tried and true beat-'em-up, and it doesn't offer the stunning replay value or depth of some other Rockstar titles. It's very different. In fact, it's sort of like taking one aspect of GTA3, say a gang fight, and blowing it out to a huge proportion. Like 200 times as big. It's intense, wild and even a little shocking, and that's coming from a weathered gamer who's played hundreds of violent games with rarely the blink of an eye. State of Emergency is a calamity in its own way.
As a note to parents, I must stress that this an extremely violent video game, and most definitely not for young children. However, if you're of age and looking to let off a little stress with a good old-fashioned imaginary killing spree, I say go for it.
GamePro (US) (Mar 01, 2002)
Despite its quickly worn welcome State of Emergency's worth a play if you're in the mood to inflict some serious virtual mass destruction. It's also the kind of game you'll truly enjoy if you've ever been wrongly awarded a speeding ticket, victimized by the IRS, or told to stop running by a mall cop.
72 (Mar 12, 2002)
Rockstar Games on onnistunut shokeeraamaan pelikansaa tuoreimmallaan, johon varmasti pyrkikin, mutta lopputuloksena on paketillinen liian aivotonta toimintaa. Moraalisaarnan voi jättää sosiaalitanttojen tehtäväksi, mutta pelillisesti State of Emergency ei ole varauksettoman kehun ansaitseva peli. Toiminta käy liian yksitoikkoiseksi turhan pian, ja vaikka käytännön tehtävistä ja tapahtumista on saatu kelvollisen lystikkäitä, ei siviilien räjäyttäminen singolla ole niin hauskaa kuin ensin luulisi. State of Emergency on kertakäyttökokemus, jonka ostamista suunnittelevat toiminnan ystävät säästävät hermojaan sijoittamalla lanttinsa GTA3:seen.
72 (Sep 13, 2002)
All in all, State of Emergency is a very fun game for a short time and if you want to have a game with which you can take a short spin after having had a stressful day, this is what you should be buying. If you’re looking for a more advanced style of gaming, don’t bother.
As far as first impressions go, this is a brilliant renaissance for the once dominant beat-em-up genre that not only extends the gameplay in new directions, but also breathes in new life in brilliant 3D. After some time, though, much of the luster provided by the superlative sound and graphics begins to fade as you realize that this is an extremely short title posing as an epic undertaking in its revolution mode. The free-ranging Chaos mode is much less deceptive, but even there you quickly begin to feel as if you’ve been cutting down the same gang members and police enforcers forever. While it lasts, State of Emergency is a wild romance that lets you flirt with the dark side of rebellion and gorge yourself on fun, almost guilty, violence. In the end, however, it’s a short honeymoon and it’s only a matter of time before you find yourself staring in sullen silence across the heart-shaped bed at Spanky’s once-adored visage on the game’s cover.
PSX Extreme (Mar 14, 2002)
SOE's controls are straightforward. The analog sticks are used for movement, O is to pick up weapons; X is to shoot, and etc. Nothing complex, just pick up and play. In the end, State of Emergency, while disappointing in the Revolution mode due to its repetitive nature, SOE has its redeeming features such as the Kaos and additional secret modes. Those looking for good mission variation will be let down, instead I suggest renting the game first and see if Kaos mode fits your bill. Technologically, State of Emergency is a processing whore; it can simulate so many things at once it's mind-boggling. Make sure you give SOE a rental and see if it's worthy of a purchase.
GameSpy (Mar 05, 2002)
If you approach State of Emergency expecting anything remotely like depth or maturity, you'll be horribly disappointed. It's a truly mindless shoot-em-up/beat-em-up that revels in extreme and embarrassingly childish violence. Still, the sheer pandemonium and brutal weapons can be pretty amusing, at least until the gimmick of all the explosions and rioting wears off. Unfortunately, that can wear off fairly quickly. State of Emergency is tasteless, simplistic, and uneven, but it can also be a blast, at least for a while.
68 (Mar 12, 2002)
Wer vor der Gewaltdarstellung nicht zurückschreckt und beim Zocken wenig denken möchte, der sollte einen Blick riskieren. Alle anderen werden von dieser Gewaltkomposition unter dem idealistischen Deckmantel der Freiheitsbewegung, nicht zuletzt wegen der groben Schwächen im Gameplay, wenig begeistert sein. Somit ist die Spielspaßwertung stark von der grundsätzlichen Einstellung des Spielers abhängig und kann dementsprechend individuell von unserer Wertung abweichen.
65 (Feb 27, 2002)
Un jeu qu'il conviendra de ne pas laisser entre toutes les mains et qu'il conviendra d'éviter de laisser rentrer dans la ludothèque des joueurs les plus jeunes. C'est un gros défouloir dans lequel le joueur n'épargne personne, fun au début pour peu que l'on aime le style violent et provocant il devient toutefois très vite lassant.
State of Emergency isn't going to cause a riot for demand in the way Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto III has done because it is not nearly as ambitious. Viewed strictly as an arcade title, however, State of Emergency fares much better. Each game in Chaos mode is never the same, there is incentive to achieve high scores, and the action is both fun and funny. If you're looking for depth, look elsewhere, but those who miss the style of games made popular on the Dreamcast should welcome this with closed fists.
PGNx Media (May 23, 2002)
Overall, I wouldn’t recommend this game to anyone, and I would only recommend it solely for renting, because by the time the five days is over, you’ll be done with it. Overall, I don’t think that it lived up to the hype at all, and that will kill this game. Playing this game for longer than fifteen minutes at a time makes you wish that you were one of the many civilians that you just mowed over with your chain gun about ten minutes ago. If you still aren’t moved to avoid this game, please rent it before you buy it. Trust me, you won’t regret it, and you’ll be thanking me.
Game Revolution (Mar, 2002)
while this sort of brutality worked great in Rockstar's 'other' big game, it feels forced and gratuitous here. State of Emergency winds up containing all of the violence of GTA 3 without most of the brilliance and is much better suited for a rental than a buy. Either that, or just go loot your local Blockbuster.
40 (UK) (Mar 05, 2002)
Whatever my tone, this is not a bad game; it's just a disappointing, badly timed one, which if it weren't for the extraordinary sales figures I would honestly not have expected to sell to the same punters. Watch out though Take 2, I doubt they'll fall for the same trick twice. Take 2 / Rockstar may have envisaged an adult toybox of destruction for their next release after Grand Theft Auto, but instead they've been duped, along with the thousands of you who have helped propel this game to the top of the charts. After turning Rockstar into the symbol to shop for, they have, in this writer's opinion, irreparably damaged it.