When the lights go down in the city...
Great Scott! The city is in peril and trouble is breaking out everywhere! Fires
are blazing out of control, criminals are on the loose and stupid people are
getting trapped in street gutters! We need a fearless helicopter to save the
day! Who will help us? Blue Thunder?
Ford? No such luck - it's the City Crisis rescue chopper!
I guess that means we can kiss the city goodbye.
City Crisis is an action-oriented helicopter game where you, the fearless
pilot, are charged with extinguishing fires, rescuing people from precarious
situations and tracking down criminals. While mildly fun for a moment, this
flight has enough problems to keep it from lifting off.
You'll find a mere three game modes at the Main Menu - with two-thirds of
them lasting a virtual heartbeat. Training mode will help you get accustomed
to the controls and Time Attack has you flying through rings. Neither of these
modes is fun, period. All of the action takes place in Mission mode.
In Mission mode, you'll have a choice of a whopping two mission variations:
Rescue and Chase. In Rescue, you'll fight fires and save the civilians, while
Chase will have you pinning the spotlight on criminals in getaway cars. This
wouldn't be so bad if there were more to it, but as the game stands, you'll
be able to count the number of missions for each type on one hand. Needless
to say, this is a game that's only good enough for a single night.
From the get go you'll have a choice of three helicopters, two of which just
totally suck. There is also an unlockable VTOL, which is pretty cool. Not a
very wide selection of vehicles, but I'm just happy that a choice is available
City Crisis is simply one big anti-aliasing problem that exploded all
over the place. Signature flickering is everywhere, so all you gamers prone
to epileptic seizures should stay far, far away.
The graphics are just shameful.
The audio experience is decent enough. When all you've really got to do is
replicate a chopper sound effect, there's really no excuse for doing a bad job.
Surprisingly, I enjoyed the background music selection. It fit the action bill
well and bonus points were awarded for the track the sounds like the theme to
MacGyver. That show ruled.
The controls are seemingly simple, but actually flying the chopper is something
else. The main problem stems from the top-down view that you're stuck with.
Lining up with a target is extremely difficult and it's almost impossible to
tell what your altitude is in relation to important objects such as A VERY LARGE
BUILDING. With this kind of depth problem, bumping into objects is about as
common as blue jeans.
On a side note, it's really funny to see the predicaments that some civilians
get themselves into. While most people demanding rescue are trapped on top of
burning buildings, some are stuck in strange places. One person seemed to have
their foot stuck in the street gutter and another needed rescue across the
street from a fire. But what the hey - if you can rescue a man in a pig
suit from a burning building, you can certainly rescue a dog that managed to
get stuck at the top of a Ferris wheel. And speaking of Ferris wheel…
One of the things this game actually does right is the environment. The city
is large enough to hold all of the action and not once did I slam into the invisible
border. It would have been nice to see more people and cars on the streets,
but what it has isn't too bad.
After playing through this game, it's obvious that it would have been much
better as an arcade game. Sitting in a faux cockpit with a flightstick in hand
would probably be pretty fun. But alas, that's not what we have here.
What we do have is a 6-minute action game that's worth nothing more
than a rental. Despite a few minutes of fun, City Crisis is only
worth the quarters you find in your couch. Even Superman
couldn't save this one.