Developer DC Studios, which operated out of Edinburgh, Scotland and Montreal, Canada, has been forced to shut its Scottish studio after the commercial failure of State of Emergency 2.
There is one nice touch in State of Emergency 2. During the introduction to the game, the name of the publisher and then the name of the development studio roll by as neon signs in the generic future-o-city of the game's environment. It's subtle enough that you could almost miss it, and shows that at least during one stage of development, real attention was paid. Sadly, that's the only nice touch in State of Emergency 2. By then we've already seen a prostitute touting her services and heard the first in a long line of tedious expletives thrown about like swearing is going out of fashion.
With the franchise (wisely) dropped by Rockstar after the original urban chaos beat-'em-up was roundly and deservedly panned, DC Studios has decided to alienate even the fans of the frankly terrible original by completely ignoring its few selling points. Gone is any real pretence of a riot simulation or hand-to-hand combat, so we're left with quite possibly the most astoundingly generic third-person action-adventure that could be created by actual human beings. So utterly boring is the game that it's a surprise to flip open the manual and not find the credits simply read 'created by the Lloyds TSB mainframe when it wasn't doing interest calculations'.
While the original State of Emergency had only the barest semblance of a plot, here the plot is extremely heavy-handed (the CORPORATION is BAD and they want to sell DRUGS that make people OBEDIENT so you must ESCAPE PRISON and STOP IT) while the setting and playable characters remain entirely underdeveloped. Your characters range from tediously stereotypical caricature of a fat Mexican Spanky, through 'How about we just copy Carrie-Anne Moss in the Matrix?' Libra, to Mac, who looks like Lenin's embalmed corpse got up and decided to fight injustice... in the future.
SouthPeak Interactive has announced that it has picked up the publishing rights to State of Emergency 2 - and revealed that a PSP version is in the works, too.
SOE2, the sequel to Rockstar's 2002 street brawler, was originally down as a PS2 exclusive and was to be published by Playlogic. It's being produced by DC Studios after the original developer, VIS Entertainment, went bankrupt.
We're promised that SOE2 will be "grittier and more realistic" than the previous games, but rest assured that our old friends Spanky, MacNeil and Bull will be back. The game will feature aerial and vehicular combat along with "hilarious cheats", apparently, and you'll be able to control gangs and interrogate hostages as you attempt to bring down evil government organisation, "The Corporation".
Speaking at the Leipzig Game Convention this week, Playlogic Entertainment revealed that it had signed a worldwide publishing agreement with DC Studios for State of Emergency 2 on PlayStation 2 in Q4 2005.