When I was asked to review the new PS2 release State of Emergency II my first thought was, “There was a State of Emergency I?” My ignorance of the original had me wondering what this game could possibly be about. I kept coming back to the idea of a game involving severe snowstorms in the Tri-State area. The goal being to collect as much bread, eggs and milk as possible before the roads get too bad thus ensuring your character has plenty of French toast to eat while he’s trapped at home watching NewsRadio on DVD. Sadly, this would have made for a far more interesting game.
In SoE2 you control a rotating, ragtag group of freedom fighters bent on overthrowing a government controlled by the evil Corporation. (Is there really any type of freedom-fighting unit other than “ragtag,” and are there any “good” corporations in the future? Of course not silly!) So now that you know the plot is contrived from various sci-fi sources, let’s discuss the uninspired gameplay. Each character has a unique skill like sniping, climbing, dual weapon control (whoa) and of course “strength.” But with names like Spanky, Bull and Freak you really can’t be expecting too much originality. So grab a gun to tear around town Grand Theft Auto-style, killing the Corporation’s minions, taking over their vehicles and generally sticking it to the man with the most obvious, overdone methods you can imagine.
There are various modes of play, all equally crappy. Fans of the original will probably rejoice, but rest assured, next time a state of emergency hits I won’t be holed up with this clunky turd wasting away my snow day. I probably won’t stock up on the bread and dairy either. Refined socialites like myself are more concerned with cigarettes, beer and NewsRadio DVDs.
Best Feature: At $32 suggested retail, this game gets the “Nice Price” thumbs up. Worst Feature: You get what you pay for. Weirdest Feature: It inspired me to stop playing my PS2 and read a book instead.