True Crime: Streets of L.A

Ok, so in it self (the title) is the first lie. “True” Not much is true in this game, the physics? Off, Off by a bunch! Cars handle like Outrun(tm) and I mean that in the bad way, I mean – there is a combo for going up on two wheels and staying there, a combo! – I am going to somewhat contrast this game vs. GTA3, because it is very much a wannabe in the fighting/shooting/driving/dowhateverthehellyouwant genre. Ok, so the physics are much more realistic in GTA3, so what? Well, it matters a lot to some of us. Some of us who are car nuts J Well, ok, let's try and just say the driving part of TC is ok, and just somewhat arcady, what else is wrong with it? Well, for one the controls are dumb. Very dumb. Nothing is where you want it to be, and there are simply not enough different cars. Although when driving the distances seem very realistic and it literally takes 5-10 minutes to drive where you need to go, all though the speed feel is off. And it seems that even a Ferrari breaks a sweat going just slightly faster than the other cars on the highway, most Ferraris will break 170 mp/h easy, which in turn I am sure would feel a lot quicker than the ~85mph “speed feel” this game gives you. Either way I would however like to promote the fact that what seems to me as a BIG part of L.A is actually in the game, and every single street is labeled and it is very very very impressive the way you can seamlessly drive from any part to another without any annoying “Loading…” screen. Props for that. Would make a good world for a better car game. I mean, if there were 50 more cars, realistic physics, and multiplayer, this would be a really – really – really cool game J Ok, enough rant on the driving part, let's get to the shooting and fighting.

In fighting mode you can kick low, punch and jump kick, and vary those slightly. When you then have punched enough exclamation marks out of a certain character, he/she will get dazed and you then have a completely random amount of time to try and type some combo as to finish ‘em off. Not only are (because of the layout of the controls) combos near impossible to do well, you rarely get to type the one you want but wind up just mashing all the buttons at random and wind up pushing your opponent into a bush rather than making a giant fireball and eradicating them, but I digress. The character animation is top notch, I mean, it is at level with most fighting games, and the physics of interaction between characters seems surprisingly realistic. Although in fighting a few characters they have some seriously divine blocking and you (the player) is condemned to tapping x at an ungodly rate just to get a few kicks in, however after a while (a few hours of thumb-bleeding fun) you'll get a total hang of fighting and beat any one of those fuckers.

On to shooting, well, the bullet time implementation where you aim at stuff, desperately needs a counter for the time you have left to aim, and the analogue sticks on the PS2 controller do not do this feature justice, a mouse is SO needed, however this is not a dreamcast, so no mouse for you. Other than that, once you upgrade your guns to the desert eagles the shooting becomes very easy, just run around and press R1 like an idiot, you never run out of ammo so you can just shoot and shoot like a retard, very awesome (albeit lame as hell). While shooting and moving around dodging bullets, it ain't easy to try and reach the right analogue stick to choose a new target, nor is it easy to hit O (to get a human shield) or hitting A (triangle) to leap in a matrixy way away from the evil-doers.

When shooting and fighting a thing that bothers me slightly, is the enemies. In many cases an old man on the street in a street fight with another old man, possibly about prunes, will not only possess a gun and shoot you dead, but he will be unreasonably hard to fight, and if he gets away from you he will steal a car and race away from you, committing grand theft auto, assault, vehicular homicide, attempted murder of an officer in function and so forth – OVER PRUNES! … True crime my ass. Also, one of your big enemies you have to slay is… Drumroll please, a dragon. Yes, you heard me. In L.A obviously there are mythical creatures from the orient, I mean, why not? And this is no ordinary dragon, it is a friendly and 342 year old dragon. Ofcourse. Before getting to fight the dragon by shooting it nonetheless, how many dragons do you know that give a shit about lead flying at it? It's magical isn't it, you have to fight transporter enabled girls that are on fire, Zombies and Mummies… All logically situated smack dab in the middle of the city of angels.

Sorry about the spoilers but listen, don't buy this game (or if you drool a lot and sometimes marry your siblings, please do) but do as I did and rent it. It IS worth the ~5 bucks that is costs to rent this for a few days, and it will take you at least an entire day to get through, my temper is too short to do it all in one day, so it took me two. The controls are… very frustrating, they are not at all where you want them to be. Really.

Game rating: mmm.. Zombies?!