I'm not afraid to admit it; I actually enjoyed the first State of Emergency. As a budget game with arcade game play the first game was enjoyable in the same sort of way Crazy Taxi was fun. If you could get past the silly story, shallow control and tedious game play, then you could be entertained for a short amount of time by some mindless fun. It certainly didn't measure up to the hype that was built around it, but the original State of Emergency was a fun guilty pleasure that I'm proud to have in my collection. State of Emergency 2, on the other hand, throws away everything that was fun about the first game and turns it into an ugly beast of a game that has almost no redeeming qualities.
Believe it or not, State of Emergency 2 has had quite an adventure just getting to store shelves. Announced years ago, this State of Emergency has gone through three publishers and a bankruptcy, but here it finally is ... for better or worse. After all this time I had to wonder why anybody would even bother finishing the game, the game does not feel fresh and has an extremely dated look. But regardless of why they decided to finish the game, here it is, State of Emergency 2 in all its glory.
Although this game shares its name with the 2002 action game, State of Emergency 2 has a completely different look and feel. Now the game controls much like a first-person shooter, except that it's stuck in the third-person. You use the left analog stick to run around while using the right analog stick to control your aim, allowing you to shoot any direction you want. This is a perfectly good control scheme that has been used well in many quality video games, but the frantic pace of State of Emergency is not the place for this type of control set up.
New to this sequel are the crazy missions you need to go on in order to beat all twelve levels of the story mode. Things start out strong, you play an inmate who gets a little help escaping the his death sentence. After avoiding what seemed like inevitable death you kill about a hundred prison guards and ultimately start a prison riot. Other levels reward you for sneaking around, working as a team, and other third-person shooter clich?s. The game even features crazy turret gun levels and drivable vehicles. Of course, none of these missions are very good, with terrible vehicle controls -- no matter if you're using a helicopter, a speedboat, or a tank. The best you can say is that State of Emergency 2 has a surprising amount of variety; unfortunately none of it is very enjoyable.
The problem with this game is not the variety of missions; it's how uninspired most of them seem. There is not one part of this game that hasn't been done better by literally dozens of other titles. To the developers credit there are a couple of ideas in the game that come as something of a shock, I enjoyed being able to switch between characters in some levels and while playing as Spanky, the Latino gang leader you may remember from the first game, you are able to issue commands to your hommies on the street. None of this stuff is really new to the genre, but they took me by surprise when they were introduced. You can sometimes see glimpses of potential in this game, but there's just too much in this game working against your enjoyment.
State of Emergency is messier than the day after a riot. New gamers will be turned off by the trial and error game play while fans of the original won't recognize this mission-based sequel. Either way, just avoid this completely average PlayStation 2 game!
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!