Review by PickHut

"Mekeo City... not a fun place to be."

Crime has gotten out of hand in the city of Mekeo, making the mayor resort to replacing the normal police force with bounty hunters. You are one of these bounty hunters, and your job is to drive around town in a souped-up "police car", find criminals, and blow them up on the spot. That's basically what you do in CrimeWave, and even though it's a simple premise, things get really heated at times. As you attempt to hunt down these criminals in an overhead perspective, catching up to them will be a challenge as you weave in and out of traffic and avoid turrets planted around buildings.

You can take your chances and veer off the road for a shortcut, but you really have to look out for walls, crash through fences, and squeeze between tight alleyways as smoothly as you can to even pull off a "shortcut". The targets, which range from an ice cream truck to a plane, won't go easy on you once you eventually catch up to them. They'll drive erratically, start shooting missiles every which way, and trick you by slowing down so they can hit you as you pass by. Of course, they also just keep on speeding away, which normally results in some pretty intense, high speed chases.

CrimeWave is a fun game.... when someone describes it to you. It pains me to say this, due to the fact that it had huge potential to be great, but this game sucks. And it's mostly thanks to the absurd AI. The first problem you automatically encounter is the awful traffic, where all the "innocent" drivers just act absolutely nuts. As you chase down your target, the silliest things happen, like a car speeding out of no where at an intersection, crashing right into your vehicle, or when you try to pass a truck up ahead, and it'll just suddenly feel the need to wiggle around the road pointlessly. There are even times when a car just flat out decides to turn around and drive towards you for the hell of it. And don't even bother trying to drive on the opposite lanes, either, because the vehicles are dead set on hitting you every time. To top it all off, the cars seem to stick to you like magnets once you crash into them. When you try to move away, they just follow along with you. I know their job is to get in your way, but this is really ridiculous.

The traffic is frustrating enough, but add the other problem, destroying the criminals themselves, and you're in a world of hurt. The first and second cars you have to destroy are normally pretty easy, but even then, they can be pains in the ass. They act like a bunch of speed demons when you try to catch up to them, but once you actually get anywhere near them, they will mess with you by slowing down immensely, turning around, hitting walls, and just shooting at everything. It's hard to adjust to, since you usually have to come to a complete stop and slowly back up a couple of times, all because the cars suddenly decided to act extremely stupid and unpredictable. And by the time your vehicle is in the right position to strike, the criminal is usually driving off again.

But things just get harder when you're trying to destroy the final vehicle for the sector you're in (usually the fifth criminal). They're completely different from the rest, varying from a giant, evil garbage truck (?) to a huge, green tank, and despite being big and bulky, their speeds are incredible. There's zero room for error, since you'll have to make risks by taking tough shortcuts and be absolute perfect when dodging traffic. Make one mistake, and it'll take forever to catch up. All of this is made even more annoying due to the fact that you have a very short timer to contend with.

It's really just frustrating, because these are problems that easily could have been caught and fixed after play testing it for the first time. Driving through a city in a beef-up car and hunting down criminals in insane, high-speed chases is a cool idea for an arcade-style game. But what you get is one big mess that could have been avoided immediately. Hell, they could have added some options like switching the intelligence of the cars or the ability to turn off traffic. CrimeWave has other problems, but the game's AI makes them look like nitpicks, not to mention destroying any sort of fun you could have had.


Reviewer's Score: 3/10 | Originally Posted: 03/07/07


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