State of Emergency

State of Emergency

released on Feb 12, 2002

State of Emergency

released on Feb 12, 2002

In State of Emergency, the player can choose from one of five different characters: Spanky, an ex-gang member; McNeil, a disgruntled ex-cop; Bull, a criminal in prison; Libra, a lawyer; and Phreak, an orphan. The player must complete a variety of missions, ranging from Rescue missions to "Kill This Person" missions to "Blow Up This ..." missions. The player has many different weapons at his or her disposal, including shotguns, machine guns, pistols, knives, rocket launchers, tear gas launchers, flame-throwers, gatling guns, pepper spray, molotov cocktails and more. It is even possible to use street props, such as boxes, construction cones, benches, signposts, trashcans, and more. Breaking and entering stores allows the player to use the items there as a weapon, such as a DVD player or a television. There are many different enemies such as gang members, skinheads, and The Corporation forces.

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"Awarded "Top Overall Game of E3" by!" reads the back of State of Emergency's box in big, bold white letters. It's sometimes easy to forget with the reception of this game that it did show well when it was first revealed. Incredibly dense crowds running around, looting and rioting without any significant cost to performance, it's one of those games you could point to in the early days of the PlayStation 2 and say, "last gen couldn't do this." Unfortunately, State of Emergency lacks good gameplay to back up any of its tech.

Revolution, State of Emergency's "story mode," tasks you with completing over 175 individual missions spread across four maps. I've heard a lot of complaints about the game's length, particularly bemoaning how short it is, and yet Revolution is so tedious it feels like State of Emergency is ten times as long as it actually is. Missions frequently repeat and rarely ask anything interesting of you. Go to this shop and guard it, go to this other shop and throw a firebomb into it, do your taxes, brush your teeth.

Escort and defense mission are plentiful and are the absolute worst because of how paper thin your escort target's health is. Waves of heavily armored goons pour out from the god damn walls to jump them, and by the time you swing the camera around, they'll be on the ground getting their skull stomped in. Once you memorize where the enemy's spawns are and know to anticipate them, you still have to contend with the game's horrible targeting, which will likely cause enough enemies to slip through your fingers that every attempt starts to feel like dumb luck. Maybe you'll get it this time, or maybe your escort target will get stuck behind a bunch of tables in the food court and you have to reload the game.

Despite this, I still felt like I'd push through and finish this thing, especially given my weird pre-occupation with it. I have vivid memories of moving between states in my teens and having nothing else to do on the ride there other than read the same issue of EGM with a State of Emergency cover story over and over again. This single event managed to tattoo the cover onto my fucking brain for twenty-two years, and when building my catalog of games for my PS2's hard drive, it finally felt like it was time to laser that sucker off. Only it wouldn't load. Some sort of compatibility issue. Now I have a complete-in-box copy of State of Emergency. That's about where I'm at right now if you've been wanting a mental health check.

And yet, all this journey has led to is me abandoning the game, shelving it indefinitely. I died with only a few missions left to go in the mall, having spent a solid 40 minutes on a single escort mission that for all the aforementioned reasons became this unscalable wall. I accidentally hit "replay level" instead of "quit," which loaded me back in on the first mission. Mistake number one. Mistake two? Backing out of the mission to reload it from the menu, which caused the game to autosave and terminate all my progress.

Watching that little loading bar at the top slowly tick to the right like I'm trying to load into Backloggd's notifications page left me ample time to contemplate what I'd done and what game I'd put in instead, cause I sure as shit wasn't finishing State of Emergency. Sure, this is mostly on me and my carelessness, but the way this game handles your save data isn't great and deserves some of the blame.

I think there's something here if you just play Chaos mode, which more or less turns State of Emergency into a 3D arcade brawler. You run around and cause havoc to keep time on the clock, and you know what? It's not bad. It's not great either, but it's something I can actually see myself coming back to from time to time. It's just a shame all the unlockable content is tied to Revolution mode, which I almost certainly will not touch ever again.

Anyway, they should make a State of Emergency 2, really hammer out all the issues. I'm sure it'd be great.

Dreadfully boring game. I'm not sure how we let R* get away with stuff like this. It wasn't even fun - it was like Dead Rising without a story or interesting mechanics and with humans instead of zombies.

this game is kinda important to me because as a kid i thought it was the coolest looking shit ever. then i got it, and i played a good chunk of it and i liked it, but my copy was bad so i couldn't play the last stage.

now i beat every stage in the very fun arcade mode, and tried the "revolution" story mode which is boring as hell. i will very likely never come back to beat revolution, because it's just a series of boring ass misions. however, the arcade mode is still fun as fuck because its basically the child of crazy taxi and GTA rampages.

still, it's a really simple game so you see everything it has to offer in one short session.

Worst Rockstar Game Ever!
I guess it was a demo for GTA:SA fighting mechanics, then they decided to release it as a full game. Not worth playing...It's not even a good arcade game! One Star, For Rockstar!

In theory, I like the idea of this game.

Like, it's sort of got some Crazy Taxi vibes? I love the art direction and environments. It's also pretty neat to see so many civilians swarming these areas on a PS2.

Unfortunately it's just not very fun to play. I ran through the 4 levels on the score attack mode, and they're just kinda frustrating. The "story mode" isn't really much more fun either.

I actually think there's a really neat idea for a game here, and I do actually think State of Emergency is worth checking out, but yeah not a great game.

Fun little arcade game.
I can see how you'd dislike it if you spent money on it, but I didn't, so I don't mind the story mode being terrible