Review by Nipala

"A piece of crap, and not much more."

Urban Chaos is one of those games that makes us all wonder why anybody would really want to put their name on it and say ''Look what I made!'' or ''Look what I published!'' From the moment this game is turned on to the moment (about ten minutes later) when you turn it off in disgust, it's a virtual crap-fest. Ugly graphics, horrid music, and sincerely screwed-up gameplay all come together in one foul package with the name Urban Chaos stamped on it.

Before I begin my smashing, I should let it be known that the design behind Urban Chaos is something I'm fond of. The idea of having a large city to explore and missions to conquer just seems infinitely superior to the kind of level-oriented trash that most beat-em-up titles sport. Instead of conquering ten levels of a game, I can wander throughout a city taking out guys as I please. I like that.

Unfortunately, Mucky Foot's little opus is hardly anything to get excited over. Let's just take a look at the story. Now, I fully realize that most games in this genre aren't well-known for their deep, well-planned plots, but do you really believe that a rookie cop is going to be this good at her job? Maybe my view of the world is a little off, but most people don't become Jackie Chan martial arts masters on their first day of police duty, no matter how good that training was. What I'm basically trying to say is: why a rookie? Where's the appeal in a greenhorn? Do we secretly worship people that are new to a job? I mean, when you spend thirty minutes in a checkout line due to a brand new cashier at the supermarket, do you think to yourself, 'Man, that newbie is a-ok in my book'? No. No you don't. You think about beating the crap out of that cashier with your frozen pizza.

So, I suppose that we have at least one realistic aspect of Urban Chaos inasmuch as I would really like to beat the crap out of D'arci, the main character, for being so sluggish when executing many of her fighting moves. It's not freaking rocket science, D'arci. It's kicking a guy in the nuts. There's a subtle if not overtly huge difference, and you shouldn't be taking this long to do it. Then again, given the way you drive, I suppose I can understand. See, folks, one of the biggest flaws in this game is the driving system. I think Mucky Foot was going for a Grand Theft Auto feel with the ability to hijack vehicles throughout the city, but they forgot the ever-important decent driving system. Basically, when D'arci drives a car, she looks like she's drunk. No, not just drunk. Sean Penn drunk. Ted Kennedy drunk. If there was a little old lady in the street, she'd bypass retirement in Florida and move straight to the graveyard, because D'arci just can't drive. Guess all that training didn't pay off, huh?

Which brings me to my next big irk. Somebody explain to me the purpose of having an optional training mode if you're going to make the player go through a bunch of mandatory training levels. Seriously. Here I am, starting up Urban Chaos, expecting a standard beat-em-up game (and nothing more than simple beat-em-up fun), and suddenly I'm stuck in a bunch of training levels. Good Lord. Did the developers truly believe this game to be so staggeringly difficult that it had to force us to play through some training? You can only tell the player which button punches so many times before it becomes redundant.

To top it all off, Urban Chaos is filled with virtually every graphical flaw the Playstation has to offer. Jagged edges, poor frame rate, pixilated textures...you name it, chances are Urban Chaos has it, and chances are even higher that I've been disgusted by it. There was once a time when I claimed that graphics were never a very important factor in deciding how good a game was. I realize now that I was wrong. In a game like UC, graphics might have been a saving grace. Emphasis on 'might have'.

Yes, Urban Chaos is full of 'might haves', as one could expect. It might have had good music, if the developers had stayed far away from some of those godawful '70s inspired disco beats or badly composed guitar riffs. It might have been fun if the control didn't make it so incredibly frustrating. And it might have been worth the average gameplayer's time if anybody could muster up the energy to give a damn.


Reviewer's Score: 2/10 | Originally Posted: 09/07/00, Updated 09/07/00


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