Classic Gaming Spotlight: Urban Chaos Riot Response
In 2006 Rocksteady games, along with partner Eidos, released a first-person shooter for the original Xbox and Playstation 2 consoles entitled; Urban Chaos Riot Response. The game was an ambitious title for British developer Rocksteady.
The player controls the main character, Nick Mason; a member of a newly-created elite anti-gang task force known as T-Zero – whose sole purpose is to extinguish the out of control gang known as the Burners, who use Molotov cocktails, cleavers and small arms to not only terrorize the citizens of the unnamed town the game is centered around, but to maim and kill the first-responders such as police and fire personnel, responding to the riotous encounters the Burners have caused throughout the city.
Urban Chaos’ gameplay is pretty solid. It’s targeting mechanics are tight but also a little forgiving. You play through levels which are task-driven, as you assist the various first-responders, while attempting to take down the gang members and eventually the leaders of the Burners gang using various weapons and tactics.
A rather interesting feature of this game is the use of the rebreather apparatus that you receive early in the game while helping a firefighter rescue people trapped in a burning building. Another neat item you get early on, is the taser. While the taser might not be the most-powerful weapon in your arsenal, it is one of the most fun weapons you will get to use in the game, in my opinion.
Most of the weapons you get to use, (fire ax, police riot shield, hand gun, machine gun and others) are meant to eliminate gang members with sheer prejudice. The taser is largely used to attempt to apprehend the gang leaders in order to obtain intel regarding the gang’s movements. But I have to admit, there was something particularly satisfying using the taser to not only shock low-level gang members into submission, but if used too long the taser will eradicate the enemy just as effectively as any small-arms you obtain in the game.
There really isn’t very much openness to Urban Chaos. It’s not a literal open world environment, but there is some minor variance in which you can move beyond the path laid out. But the movement restrictions may have been one of the reasons the game wasn’t as well-received by the gaming community when it initially released as was expected.
As for the sculpts and renders, they are surprisingly good for a game from the early 2000s. The movement of the NPCs are relatively smooth as well, given the technology the original Xbox had. There were several instances where the renderings lagged briefly, but for the most part, they ran pretty smoothly.
The real prize of the game were the sound effects. The sound effects were amazingly realistic. The sound effects team did a wonderful job recreating the sounds of all the weapons used in the game. I recall several occasions that I actually ducked in my seat while playing Urban Chaos.
Overall the game got less than stellar reviews, and didn’t get a sequel, but I’ve found that Urban Chaos has been mentioned from time to time on various game blogs and podcasts. Unfortunately I don’t see this being a backward compatible game anytime soon for Xbox One, but I would definitely buy it again if it were to be re-released!