City Crisis
System: Playstation 2
Publisher: Take 2 Interactive
Developer: Syscom Entertainment
Released: July 2001
Genre: Action/Adventure
Capabilities: Memory Card, Dual Shock 2 Analog & Vibration Feedback

Review Written: October 12, 2002

The Game

Iím never going to forget the sales pitch I got for City Crisis from the salesman at Software Etc.

ďThis is a hot collectorís item; itís the only PS2 game to not have the game name published on the side of the box.Ē

Yes, Iím serious. No, I didnít buy the game for that reason. Judging the game by its cover, it looked similar to the PC game, SimCopter, which was one of my all-time favorites. SimCopter was a flying/action/adventure/simulation game. City Crisis appeared to be a similar game where you put out fires, rescue civilians in danger, and help the police track down criminals.

Graphics

The visuals in City Crisis wonít take your breath away. Youíll notice right away that the various skyscrapers and other buildings that surround you donít have the highest amount of textures and detail in them. They look like they came out of an early PSone game, with giant towers only having the same row of windows, with no reflections or other detail being apparent. The helicopters look great, but thatís expected because theyíre the main part of the game.

One thing that City Crisis does well is animations. Youíll notice all the little details are well done with the water guzzling out of its cannon, with loads of mist. The fires will be surrounding with scorching flames, and black smoke. That seems to be the only high point for the graphics in City Crisis. As I mentioned above, the textures are nowhere near the quality of your average PS2 game. City Crisis also suffers from lots of pop up, and fog. Sometimes, it can get so bad that it makes the easiest mission the most challenging! Then thereís one more problem which is another big pain, and that is the camera. It just doesnít want to focus on what youíre doing, and itíll randomly off center itself from the action for the hell of it!

Sound

I hate the voiceovers in City Crisis. Some lady, who sounds like she has the worst hangover in the world, navigates you through all the menus and tutorials in the game. The background music for City Crisis is something that you would hear out of a Sega game like Virtua Tennis. Itís more of those upbeat, fantasy tunes. Theyíre all right, not the greatest stuff in the world, but certainly not the worst either. The sound effects are all right on the mark, with all your crashes, flames, and engine revs all sounding the way they do in any other game.

Game play

City Crisis has an easy control scheme. The analog sticks act as your way for maneuvering the helicopter. You can also get it to hover in place with your shoulder buttons. Most of the choppers come with water cannons and missiles to help you put out fires. The fires can be a pain to put out, and you have to watch where you fire your missiles, and how much water you spray. After a while, you have to let your cannon recharge after depleting its meter. You have a time limit to do all this by, or else everything blows up. The weird thing about putting out these fires is that you see the police and fire department vehicles circling the building in danger, but they donít do a damn thing to help you out! In SimCopter, theyíd help you put out the fires! 

Thankfully, putting out fires isnít the only thing you can do. You also have the option of helping the police capture criminals on the run. This is achieved by putting your spotlight over the criminalís get away vehicle for a specific amount of time until the police catch up with him. The other thing you do in City Crisis is rescue injured civilians. You do this by lowering yourself down on a bungee cord, and bringing the person up with you. You then take them to the top of a hospital to finish the mission. Just like before, you canít call any ambulances for help like you could in SimCopter.  

Replay Value

There are a few things to unlock in City Crisis. You only start off with a couple choppers available. You have to beat the other modes to unlock them. Once you complete the main missions in City Crisis, there is a ďfinal missionĒ that is unlocked that requires a lot of skill to beat. Other than that, there isnít much else to keep you addicted to City Crisis other than a high score table you might want to get on top of. A multi player option wouldíve been nice, but one isnít to be found. 

In Brief

+: One of a kind game on the PS2, Only game to not have its name published on the side of the game box

-: Lots of graphical problems, barely any extras, you canít have the proper authorities assist you when you need them most

The Final Ratings Rundown

Graphics: 2.5
Sound: 4.3
Game play: 5.2
Replay Value: 1.7

Overall: 3.4

Rounded to fit GameFAQs Score: 3

Comments

City Crisis didnít end up in what I was expecting it to be. This has some fresh concepts that you barely see used today, but this title is plagued by some major graphical problems, and lack of freedom in game play. Iíd want to see a sequel for City Crisis, hopefully with all the glitches fixed, and a lot more features implemented. If they donít, and youíre interested in this type of game, then I recommend hunting down a copy of SimCopter. You can find it in a variety of ďSimĒ bundles that EA has released recently.

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