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SummaryDecent graphics, decent handling, time limit too tight
The GoodAlarm for Cobra 11 has lots of cars quite a few "exciting" missions, decent graphics for 2006 game, supports full controller remap, supports splitscreen
The BadDefault campaign too limiting (fixed 25 missions plus 2 bonus missions), single race are limiting as well, no internet multiplayer, plot is usually quite silly
The Bottom LineAlarm for Cobra 11 is basically Germany's version of "CHIPs", the highway patrol, with two main characters going after criminals on the freeway or in the streets, and occasionally, running away from them. Nitro is one of the games that attempts to capture the feel of the TV series, but lets you drive the cars.
The town is quite large and has wide variety of roads, from city streets to parks, highways to country roads, and such. The game has a very good "GPS" that tells you which way you need to go, so getting lost is not a problem.
The officers, often working plain-clothes or undercover, has a wide variety of vehicles, usually a MB or a BMW, but occasionally Audi or Porsche. There are even a few missions featuring a Toyota Supra and the two "special" missions featured a SEAT. In any case, the mission will let you know which car to drive. You can choose among the 3 dozen cars available in single race after you unlock them from the campaign.
The vehicle handling is quite nice. The cars usually understeer with the occasional snap oversteer if you maintain power in the corners. The different vehicles do behave differently, and nitro is usually NOT available in the missions, and you don't need them.
The missions are your standard variations: checkpoint, pursuit and smash (put down the target), pursuit and disable (hold the vehicle for X seconds), and escape (do not let yourself be overtaken). There's one special mission where you need to dock with the vehicle (come along side it for X seconds).
For most missions your path is pre-defined, and deviation from that will result in a "reset" where you are placed on the street in the correct orientation (you can also do manual reset when you crashed and ended up stranded or upside down and such). However, some of the checkpoint races are semi-freeform... They tell you which checkpoint, you figure out best way to get there.
In actual gameplay, the civilian vehicles burst into flames at the tiniest excuse, even diesel vehicles.