In this series of Blog Posts I wish to share with you a number of fantastic games of which never recieved a sequel, yet very much deserve them. As with all my Blog Posts I would love to hear your comments and am open to ideas for future parts, I hope you enjoy the read, first up is...
U R B A N C H A O S:
R i o t R e s p o n s e
In May 2006, the fantastic yet highly Underrated "Urban Chaos: Riot Response" was released in Europe, seeing release in the US the following month. Developed by "Rocksteady Studios", the British Developers behind the Critically Acclaimed "Batman: Arkham Asylum", "Urban Chaos: Riot Response" was a brutal, gritty FPS available for both the Original X-Box and the Playstation 2. Telling the story of "T-Zero" Member Nick Mason the game takes place during the overtaking of an American City by the infamous "Burner's", hockey mask wearing psychopaths armed with (Among other weapons) Molotovs, lighting the city ablaze. Whilst wielding a rather generic story, the game featured fanstic combat, implementing a smart twist on FPS Cover use, through the use of the brilliant Riot Shield. See an enemy boasting a Spas shotgun aimed in your direction seconds away from firing? No problem. Not only does the shield protect you, but it also assists in mowing down approaching enemies, allowing you to brutaly slam the shield forward, resulting in a pool of blood splashing on the other side and a dead enemy. The shield was easily your best friend throughout the game, and became essential on the harder difficulties, with sprays of bullets becoming stopped in their course. Asside from your trusty shield were a number of equally satisfying weapons, from the incapacitating taser, to the scoped pistol capable of achieving Gears resembling headshots, resulting in a cinematic slow-motion sequnce.
The game throws a numerous amount of scenarios in the gamers direction, from dealing with Hostage Situations to escorting Medics to injured civilians in a given area, whilst participating in the latter, it becomes a nececity for the gamer to use the command wheel, being able to give orders to the follower, asking them to take cover or stay away whilst you scout ahead and clear the path of thugs, when having the assistance of a Fireman, the player can ask for him to open doors for you with the fir axe. If these orders arent made the mission will end in failure. When approaching a Gang leader you are promted to "Bring them in alive", with the tactic proposed for you to move closer using the shield before switching to the taser and incapacitating them, it is tactical gameplay such as this that makes the game more believable, and adds another layer of depth to the title. The game requires a great deal of thought, this being due to the multiple class' of enemies to be faught, from the (As I call them) Throwers, of whom are capable of limiting movement by burning certain areas of the ground through the use of molotovs, to the (As I call them) Brutes, of who rush the player mindlessly swinging machetes in their direction, sprint around the back of the players shield and more, enemies must be approached in different manners.
The game offers a fantastic insight as to "Rocksteady Studios" view of a heavily gang controlled city (Much like the upcoming "Batman: Arkham City"), the visuals looked at their time brilliant, taking the gamer to burning city streets, scorched building interiors, factories, warehouses, rooftops and many more, contributing to the impression that the Police where not in control. The voice acting was simple, but at times effective, with Firemen mourning their deceased partners, swearing vengeance, the mission briefings and more. The gang members admitedly sounded highly generic, swearing endlessly and insulting the gamer and hurling threats, however, these did their job, the gamer are supposed to resent the Burner's, and the steriotypical voice acting is a highly contributing element to this. The sound effects were great, making the gamer feel as though within a destroyed society, the wailing police sirens in the distance, the roaring of the flames overpowering the speech of nearby allies, the coughing of the players character when not using a mask to prevent inhilation of fumes, the smashing of glass windows, the explosions, shots in the distance giving the impression of a wider threat.
Whilst "Rocksteady Games" have achieved fantastic reception by gamers and critics alike through their recent "Batman" title, perhaps they can use this newfound fame to their advantantage and return to their debut title. Their recent experience with designing open world enviroments for the upcoming "Batman: Arkham City" could serve as a tremendous addition to an "Urban Chaos" sequel, taking the fight against crime to a larger playground, and also with the altering enviroments of "Batman: Arkham Asylum", "Rocksteady Studios" could create a progresively crime stricken city, more and more caving in to the effects of endless vandalism and combat, deteriating continuously due to th growing gang population. "Rocksteady" created a fantastic and well-reviewed title with "Urban Chaos: Riot Response" and I for one, am hungry for more...