Bad Boys: Miami Takedown Hands-On Impressions

Lowrey and Burnett are hitting the street in a new action game loosely tied to the action movie franchise.

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Bad Boys: Miami Takedown
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Last summer saw the release of a sequel to the original action blockbuster Bad Boys titled, startlingly enough, Bad Boys II. This second film then begat an action game of the same name in Europe, although the game version doesn't share the story of the movie, nor the likenesses or voice work of its two stars, Will Smith and Martin Lawrence. At any rate, the newly rechristened Bad Boys: Miami Takedown has finally been cleared for release in the US and will be hitting the PS2, Xbox, and PC for the budget-minded price of around $20. We got to take a look at the PS2 version to see just how the movie franchise has translated to small screen.

If you ever wanted to play as a 'not quite Will Smith,' now's your chance.
If you ever wanted to play as a 'not quite Will Smith,' now's your chance.

As mentioned, the storyline here isn't actually that of Bad Boys II, which makes more sense now that the name of the game has changed. You've got your usual assortment of drug lords and other "businessmen," slain partners, sexy female cops, and so on. Fans of the movie will even notice some references to other established characters, like bad guy Johnny Tapia. Cutscenes between the missions will help to move the story along, such as it is.

Miami Takedown is a pretty straightforward third-person shooter that's quite easy to get into. You'll control agents Mike Lowrey or Marcus Burnett (depending on the level) and, basically, run around shooting every gun-toting thug that gets in your way. Health and ammo pickups will be scattered around each stage to keep you going, and there are a decent number of breakable objects in the environment that you can blow up. There are different objectives in each level, although more often than not they simply require you to move from point A to point B, shooting all the enemies in your path.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of Bad Boys: Miami Takedown's gameplay is the cover mode, which lets you hide behind a wall or other barrier to gain shelter from enemy fire. You can't do this just anywhere, however; rather, there are cover points denoted by circles on the ground that show where you can stand or crouch safely. While it might sound like a constraint to limit the number of places you can seek cover, it actually helps in some situations because you can hit the cover mode button when you're not actually on one of these cover points, and your character will dash or dive toward it, getting you out of harm's way that much faster. Once you're successfully behind cover, you can lean out to take out your enemies more safely. When you lean, the game will switch to a first-person view so you can better aim at your foes.

The in-game chatter between the two leads can be funny or grating--or sometimes both.
The in-game chatter between the two leads can be funny or grating--or sometimes both.

At this point, we can't say Bad Boys: Miami Takedown is the best-looking game we've ever seen, but its visuals do get the job done. Unfortunately, Lowrey and Burnett really don't look a whole lot like their onscreen counterparts, although their attire makes it simple enough to tell who's who. The voices don't sound like Will Smith or Martin Lawrence either. The two agents do quip back and forth with great frequency as you're running through each level, which can sometimes be amusing (or groan-inducing, based on your capacity to tolerate cheesy dialogue).

Bad Boys: Miami Takedown isn't the most ambitious game we've played, but it does what it does well enough. And for the low price of only $20, fans of the movie who are looking for a similar sort of action in playable form can check out the game for the price of only a couple of movie tickets. There's no hard release date yet for Miami Takedown, but we'll bring you more on the game when it releases.

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