State of Emergency Preview

Check out an exclusive trailer from Rockstar's upcoming urban riot game, along with new details.

Keeping it real.

Since it was shown at this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo, State of Emergency has been turning heads. Developed by Scotland-based Vis Entertainment, the PlayStation 2 game will put you in the role of one of five members of a rebel underground trapped in a quarantined city. A mysterious corporation seizes control of the country and declares a state of emergency in the city when people begin protesting on the streets. A rebel underground is formed to overthrow the corporation, which is where you come in. You choose the role of one of the five members of the underground: Roy MacNeil, aka Mack, a disgruntled ex-cop who rebelled against The Corporation's brutal enforcement methods; Anna Price, aka Libra, a lawyer whom The Corporation pressured to sell out her clients; Hector Soldado, aka Spanky, a charismatic ex-gang member tired of The Corporation's treatment of the innocent people in the city; Eddy Raymonds, aka Bull, an ex-sports star who refused to participate in Corporation-sponsored match fixing; and Ricky Trang, aka Phreak, who was orphaned in high school when his parents were arrested as political dissidents by Corporation security. Each character will possess unique attributes and special hand-to-hand fighting moves to help him or her wade through the chaos in the city. The game will have a mission-based structure that develops as you complete assignments. A host of weapons ranging from bats to bazookas will also be strewn about to help you in your endeavors. In addition, if a bazooka isn't good enough, you'll be able to use whatever's at hand in the environment, such as bricks, benches, and even dismembered body parts.

Watching it all hit the fan.

The game's chaotic premise is fully realized in its presentation. The streets are littered with people going about their riotous business. Vis and Rockstar are aiming to display more than 250 pedestrians onscreen at one time--150 more than what was displayed when the game was playable at this year's E3. In addition, the onscreen mob will react to your actions--firing a gun, for example, will freak out the masses. As can be expected, violence in the game is plentiful and extremely over the top, falling somewhere in between the cartoonishness of Looney Tunes and the outrageousness of the Evil Dead movies.

We'll have more on State of Emergency as its January 29, 2002, ship date approaches.

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