American McGee Presents Bad Day L.A.
Reviewed by Cyril Lachel on
Bad Day L.A. has all of the ingredients to become a memorable action game, but somewhere along the way the developers mixed in something sour to create one of the most disappointing games of the year.
You might think that a game that features a drunken homeless hero battling terrorists, surviving earthquakes, witnessing meteor strikes and dealing with zombies would be a lot of fun. You might think that a game that spoofs homeland security, current events and silly disaster movies would be ripe for satire. But judging by the muddled mess that is Bad Day L.A. you would be very, very wrong.
American McGee's Bad Day L.A. has a lot of good ideas to work with. The idea of having a Grand Theft Auto-style third-person action game in the middle of one disaster after another seems like a pretty solid game. With the media trying to scare us 24 hours a day, it's not hard to imagine a pretty entertaining video game spoof. But Bad Day L.A. is not that spoof; instead we are met with an action game that is short, painful to play and no fun what so ever.
In Bad Day L.A. you play Anthony, a homeless man minding his own business on the busy city freeway until all of a sudden, with no warning at all, he is witness to a terrorists attack on Los Angeles. Within the first few minutes of starting Bad Day L.A. you are privy to airliner crashing on the freeway and unleashing some kind of weird chemical weapon. From this moment on Anthony knows that he's in for one heck of a wild ride. In fact, this chemical attack is just the beginning of his terrible day, a day that will throw just about every terrible scenario his way.
On the surface this sounds like a great premise to a game, natural (and human) disasters are great fodder for video games, yet somehow Bad Day L.A. fails to capitalize on the fun of a meteor strike or a horrific flood. The biggest problem with this game is that it all feels like a chore. No matter what disaster you're dealing with, you just get the sense that there are better things you could be doing, it just seems like you have to work in order to have a good time.
While the game will be compared to the Grand Theft Auto series, Bad Day L.A. is really nothing like Rockstar's crime simulator. You don't have free reign of the city, you can't drive stolen cars, and you won't be playing a bunch of mindless (yet fun) mini-games. Instead of being an open-ended sandbox game, Bad Day L.A. is a linear action game that only allows you to interact in a small area. If you stray too far from the mission you will get a short animation that tells you to turn around. You can still shoot innocent civilians on the street, but even that isn't as satisfying as it should be.
This product was submitted by the publisher for review. As a rule, Defunct Games does not review games we spent money on. However, that does not always apply to classic/retro games. This specific product, however, came straight from a PR guy for the purposes of being reviewed!