Lara Croft? No Way!
Early previews of the PC version likened Urban Chaos to Tomb Raider. Not a bit of it - Urban Chaos doesn't tie you down to a linear level structure, but instead offers you several routes to take, from several missions, in order to achieve different goals. There are several training missions for the beginner in combat, fitness and vehicle driving. Each can cater for various skill levels and once completed various missions start to reveal themselves. It doesn't stop there, as within each mission there are a number of different tasks to complete. All sorts of different tasks, like preventing suicides and rendezvousing with known criminals, are available to complete. Due to the non-linear nature of the game, these missions may only appear once and in one mission before becoming inaccessible again. The city isn't just a muted venue either - as a somewhat unpopular city cop you'll face a lot of verbal abuse from the location's criminal occupant. The free-roaming nature of the game isn't all that well complemented by its graphics. The characters and backgrounds look a little edgy and badly defined at times. The animation too is a little jerky and the cop cars a bit clunky, lacking taste. Sonically the game isn't all that impressive either, they fail to complement such a clever game otherwise. The sound effects are surprisingly atmospheric, even if the musical interludes lack proverbial punch. The echoing hoots of the back street gangland and the voice-overs of the central characters are suitably plush, if a little questionable in the latter case. The gameplay is the single factor that keeps Urban Chaos from sinking though. It's involving and imaginative. The city sprawls in all directions before you and it's full of characters to interact with. From the suited businessmen hurrying around to the young men and women going about their daily business, everyone is happy to stop and chat to you, be it about current cases, or just a hunch on your part. And if they annoy you enough, you can nick 'em! Like Grand Theft Auto and Driver, you have free reign over the city and what you do. In contrast with these other similarly themed titles though, the occupants of the city are fully interactive, as is much of the scenery. If you see someone walking down the street, you can walk up to them and have a chat, arrest them and throw them into the brig, beat them up or even gun them down. Your options are endless, but you must beware that if you don't behave yourself you may just find yourself in trouble with your work-mates. Being an evil law-disenforcer isn't what Urban Chaos is all about however. A group of occultists are attempting to aid Nostradamus' predictions of Armageddon for the year 1999 in whatever ways that they can. Havoc reigns supreme and your job is to try and prevent them from achieving their goals. It's a deep and engrossing plot that twists and contorts as you play.
Urban Chaos offers a lot of enjoyment for your pound (Euro?) and will definitely keep you occupied for several weeks. If you enjoy Tomb Raider style games, this will appeal greatly to you, and if you like adventure games, the same is true. There's very little available on the market right now with this level of interactivity. Even though the graphics and music let it down a little bit, the atmospheric sound effects and gameplay are quite the opposite.
In conclusion, Urban Chaos is fantastic fun to play. Graphically it isn't all that impressive for the platform, but the depth of the title is astounding at times and the amount of different things that you can do is quite phenomenal. Would I recommend you to pick up Urban Chaos for the Playstation? Well, if you have a suitable PC, I'd suggest that you purchase that version instead, but on the Playstation it does the job almost as well.
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