Urban Chaos: Riot Response (PlayStation 2)

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Written by  :  Tony Denis (454)
Written on  :  Apr 29, 2017
Platform  :  PlayStation 2
Rating  :  3.86 Stars3.86 Stars3.86 Stars3.86 Stars3.86 Stars

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Justice comes through the blunt end of a riot shield

The Good

+ Fun, violent and insane gameplay + Detailed graphics and animations + Lots of unlockable upgrades and replay value + A chaotic atmosphere

The Bad

- Hokey story and characters - Upgrades are tedious to unlock - Occasional trial and error moments - AI and audio can be real stupid at times - Multiplayer doesn't work anymore

The Bottom Line

Urban Chaos: Riot Responce is a doozy of a first person shooter, developed by Rocksteady, who we now know as the people behind the solid Batman Arkham games. Think of it this way: if you're too reckless to play SWAT or just like killing bad guys tormenting normal people and those we consider as heroes, Urban Chaos: Riot Response is the game for you.

The main plot of Urban Chaos is that you're Nick Mason, an officer recently placed into the "T-Zero" riot squad. A gang called the Burners, with a penchant for mass chaos, destruction and burning stuff, has taken over your city and is destroying it bit by bit. It's up to you to work with America's finest, by killing lots of gangsters and rescuing civilians and emergency personnel. It's simple, but it can be a little hokey at times with the semi-camp live action cutscenes that explain the game's next level.

Gameplay is a first person shooter with some tactical elements. Most of the time you will be completing objectives, leading and commanding emergency personnel or partaking in challenge levels. You are usually ordered to shoot to kill every gangster that comes your way, but you can take down enemies non-lethally with your taser (or you can burn them to a crisp by tasing them until they burst into flame). Most of the time, you have a riot shield which is easily triggered with the L1 button for PS2, or Left Trigger for Xbox, to deflect enemies' attacks or as a melee attack. You and your enemies do have a large amount of weapons to use, from assault rifles, pistols, dual Uzis, chainsaws, Molotov cocktails, shotguns and more. Each weapon sounds different and they all pack a serious punch, and often lead to lots of violent and bloody results. In each level, however, are various side tasks and challenges to complete, ranging from headshot counts, non lethal takedowns, collecting masks and not dying. Doing so earns you a medal, and after a few or so you can unlock new weapons, upgrades and more. The gameplay is usually fun and it does introduce some features that never appeared fully before, which is nice.

Graphically, the game is quite impressive for a PS2 and Xbox title. The Havok physics engine works to great detail here, and it looks rather realistic. Lots of details are put into Riot Response's graphics and animations: blood and bullet holes covering your riot shield, buildings burning on every corner, your hands being shown as you climb ladders. The game has a sense of chaos that most FPS games didn't have at the time. Audio wise, weapons are nasty and violent, the enemies often taunt you, and the voice acting is good for the most part. Writing is alright, but more detail could be put into it to make a more...atmospheric title, I guess?

Unfortunately, much as like this game, it's also flawed. You must gain medals on all difficulties too, including challenge missions, which can be quite annoying. Much the gameplay is also trial-and-error, especially in the later parts of the game, as well as being repetitious later on. The AI can be very dumb and all over the place, and the audio, especially the voice acting, can be rather childish, and some particle effects, like blood sprays, can look cartoonish (the meat cleaver is an example of that), and some lines in the game are really ridiculous and feel out of place, considering the game's chaotic nature. Level design can also be broken and inconsistent, and there's not a lot of checkpoints either. Lastly, the game's online servers work anymore on PS2 or Xbox, being a GameSpy title, which is a shame, but it's a given.

Nevertheless, Urban Chaos: Riot Response is a hell of a FPS title, and a sadly underrated title. It's great fun if you want to play something that's considered the anti-SWAT, or just want to see ragdolls get blown away with a shotgun blast to the chest. A definite reccomend.