Review by Savott

"Urban Bliss"

First off I'd like to say that this game was really hated among the gaming world, and most people will overlook it. But once you get into the game, you can't help but wonder what happens next, and have the sudden need to explore the city.

STORY

You play as a rookie cop named Darci Stern in a troubled place called Union City. A new gang which calls themselves the Wildcats have been terrorizing the city, and it's up to you to put a stop to them.
That's pretty straight forward, but also a little cliched.
Aside from Darci, you play as the mysterious Roper. Being an ex-cop, Roper knows all about the streets, and is no stranger to danger.
What starts off as a simple urban war against gangs, unfolds into something much more sinister than anyone ever would have imagined.

GRAPHICS

This is where the game takes a hit.
The graphics are a bit blocky, and the facial animations are dull. Also, there are only two different animations for each Wildcat gang member, and absolutely every cop other than Darci looks the same. Granted this is a PSone game, but Eidos still could have done a whole lot better.

Sound

The voices for the main characters are very good. The actors that were chosen were perfect, and it really seemed more like a movie than a video game. Darci's voice always seems to have a sense of urgency during a mission, which shows her commitment to her work. And Roper's voice is usually dark and moody, which adds to the mystery of his character.
But what lacks is everyone elses' voices.
Every Wildcat gang member has only two different voices. They have a deep one and a more higher one. Also almost every cop you meet will have the same stereotypical Irish accent, and the few who don't have shoddy New York ones.
The music is kind of a combination of dark techno and house. Although you only hear it during a fight, or when Darci is sprinting. But when the music isn't on, you'll usually hear some pretty bland street noise.
The music is pretty good, but unfortunately they chose to only have it during certain times.

CONTROLS

The game may take a hit here also, depending on how quick you learn. If you're a quick learner, then it should only take a short while to figure out the controls.
But if you're slow on the take, then you'll have difficulty. Even some quicker players may still have trouble.
Moving around during battle can get frustrating, as you may be fighting more than one opponent and have them constantly hitting you, and the sluggish controls don't really help.
Also the camera always seems to be against you, especially when you're on the rooftops of Union City buildings. When you try to jump from building to building, the camera seems to twist, and you may end up falling to your death.

GAMEPLAY

Now this is where the game shines!
Urban Chaos is a free roaming game, which basically means you can run around doing whatever you want. As a cop, it's your job to protect the citizens...Or arrest them. All around the city you'll see the random pedestrians walking around. Don't like the look they gave you? Arrest them. You can arrest anyone you want, other than cops. You can also shoot anyone you want, but killing too many will result in your captain giving you warnings, and ultimately firing you so watch out.
Aside from the pedestrians, there'll also be cars driving around the streets of Union City. As a cop, you can ''commandeer'' any car you see driving around and use them for your own purposes.
The weapons in Urban Chaos go from simple baseball bats, to knives, M16s, handguns, grenades, shotguns, or Darci's hands and feet for kicking and punching. At the start you have no weapons. You must ''borrow'' them from the Wildcats you arrest. And you don't have to arrest them unless the mission calls for it. When it's a Wildcat you're against, you can arrest them or eliminate them, it's up to you.
Exploration in Urban Chaos is also the key. The game is sort of level based, what with you ''walking the beat'' of one part of the city, then on to the next after that. But even with the level basis, there are plenty of objectives and even some hidden objectives in each level. You just have to look.

So all in all Urban Chaos for the PSone is an extremely fun game. If you're a fan of free roaming type games, then this is something worth your time.
The graphics may be a bit deterring, but the game surely makes up for it with its great gameplay.


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 10/29/02, Updated 10/29/02


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