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Urban Chaos: Riot Response (Xbox) artwork

Urban Chaos: Riot Response (Xbox) review


"Rocksteady Studios takes the concept of a city under siege and runs with it, no apologizes included. This first-person shooter is a pure action title all the way, providing a nearly non-stop, hot-blooded, M rated adrenaline rush from start to finish."



Nick Mason came back from his latest tour in Ramadi to visit his father. Prior to this meeting, his dad, a police officer, had written a letter to him pertaining to the current condition of his home city: it wasn't good news. While he was fighting a war in another country, a different kind was brewing in his town as gang activity from the Burners reached a fevered pitch, constantly leaving the city in a state of complete terror. Police officers could only do so much with their training, and that's why he wrote, encouraging his son to come back, to join a new, no-mercy task force, T-Zero, and win back the streets from these vicious thugs... Just a day after the letter was written, a telegram was sent to Nick, regrettably informing of his father's passing; he was on one of his patrols when a group surrounded his car and threw a Molotov inside, then kept back-up at bay as he burned to death.

Nick Mason came back to attend his father's funeral, but also to settle a score.

However, before the new T-Zero officer could even take the fight to them, the Burners made an assault on the police station the unit was currently stationed at, in an attempt to free their fellow gang members. It is here where you take control of Mason as he begins his incredibly violent killing spree that someone like Paul Kersey would be proud of. Not even getting a chance to contemplate the situation, police officers are wildly firing everywhere, a truck has crashed through the station's front gates, and dozens of masked hooligans come filing down walls and into the parking lot. They toss Molotovs galore and boldly charge with cleavers in tow, showing a level of boldness not even displayed by the cops putting up a "resistance". But with a pistol, stun gun, and riot shield, you show the rest how it's done, subduing gang bangers with brutal maneuvers, ranging from headshots, to jolts, and cleavers thrown back. And it all ends with a hostage crisis in the cell blocks, eventually pushing the talkative captor into a room with explosive materials, where... yeah.

Rocksteady Studios takes the concept of a city under siege and runs with it, no apologizes included. This first-person shooter is a pure action title all the way, providing a nearly non-stop, hot-blooded, M rated adrenaline rush from start to finish. Get dropped in front of city hall where an anti-gang rally has, of course, been dissolved by a gang, killing and burning people on sight. You provide cover for a paramedic tending to the wounded as thugs literally come out of the woodwork to stop you, from alleyways, windows, and rooftops. Thankfully, Nick Mason has a few new weapons added to his cache since the station incident, firing crazed mad men off buildings with an assault rifle and blowing heads off with a shotgun, all military-grade. Not satisfied with the results, your avenging avatar hops into a police helicopter, grapples a mounted chain gun, and reconstructs half of a city block with bullets. THEN he jumps into the sewers, killing more people and capturing a gang leader after a nasty confrontation involving more ammunition and explosions. All in a day's work, eh?

Nothing is ever too much for the man, as he's willing and able to accompany fire fighters into burning buildings, fitted with a breather and infrared, as they rescue the trapped. Not even backdrafts can keep him down: the firemen duck for cover, but Mason takes it head on with just a shield to block the flames. He works well with a team, but what happens when he's alone? Certain missions will put him in that bind, forcing you, the player, to go at it without either back-up and a paramedic to hand a limited quantity of heals. Adding tension is a short timer... in a game that's already intense. You'll immediately feel the rush as you make a push through what seems like an army, all to save one person, and safely guide him to an evacuation point with seconds to spare. Heightening the drama during all shootouts are the optional camera angles that show up during random deaths. It's gimmicky, yes, but due to Riot Response's violent nature, it's gratifying watching heads explode and bodies fly out windows in slow motion.

Clocking in at around six hours on your first play, the second Urban Chaos game is short, but that's about right for a straight action title of this type. Any longer would've turned it into a repetitive bore, transforming a sweet experience into a regrettable one. Not everything has to be a 20 to 40 hour epic in order to be great, and that's why we need games like Riot Response, for those of us that, every now and then, just want to pop in a disc and do nothing but blast away bad guys. Rocksteady should be commended, too, for developing a solid title free of bugs and game-breaking glitches, making the graphic mayhem a smooth experience, making Nick Mason's plight a guilty pleasure to remember.

Rating: 7/10

pickhut's avatar
Community review by pickhut (February 29, 2012)

PickHut has this weird fondness for the Sega Saturn. Even though he's aware that most of the game's are either decent or terrible, he still wants to play them.

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