State of Emergency is one of those games that gets everyone talking, and with good reason too. Avoiding the usual parade of sequels that dominated the release schedule in early 2002, State of Emergency is the first of its kind, an urban riot game. Big points are awarded for originality, and even more kudos for placing gamers in the thick of a chaotic riot. Looting, destruction, and flame-throwers? Oh yes! Do this for real, and you'll get locked up or killed, so why not riot in a game?
In the near future, the oppressive American Trade Organisation has declared a State of Emergency. The authorities are trying to eliminate organised resistance; they are restricting movement across the city to stop the spread of revolt. The game puts you deep within the riot scenes, with the intention of smashing everyone and everything to overthrow the State Authorities.
Like the incredible Grand Theft Auto, this controversial title lets you go anywhere and do anything. Let's face it, it's a riot game. Players can use anything in the game as a weapon, and that includes bits of scenery like bricks and pipes and even dismembered limbs. Yuk! Be careful of rival gang members that will attack without provocation.
State of Emergency is a massive game that will take many happy hours to play through. There are four districts, each with over 30 missions to complete. There is method to the madness: missions include assassinating key American Trade Organisation members, avoiding peacekeeping death squads and rescuing Resistance sympathisers. Playing State of Emergency feels like you're taking part in a truly special experience, a quality that many games fail to capture.
State of Emergency, then - it's a riot! Lily-livered souls need not apply.