24: The Game - PS2 Review
As I did with the preview I must point out that I have never been a fan of the TV series upon which this game is based. Sure I know of it, I've seen a couple of episodes but for one reason or another I never watched a full season. With that in mind you may think that I'm not really interested in this game. That's not true as this not only looks great, but can be played without having seen the TV shows - although if you're a fan you're likely to get a lot more out of the game. The development team at Sony's Studio Cambridge have had strong collaboration with the show’s writers, musicians, stars and producers to give you the ultimate experience.
|Character models are brilliant.|
24: The Game is set between seasons two and three and provides the answers to many unanswered questions: who was really behind the assassination attempt on President Palmer? How did Kim Bauer get a job in the L.A. CTU? How did Jack Bauer and Chase Edmunds first start working together? I'm not going to get into the details of the story - let's just say there are plenty of bad guys, and a few nice twists and turns - however what I can say is that the presentation and cut scenes are quite brilliant and certainly tie into the presentation of the TV show. If you needed more convincing just know that the story has been penned 24 show writer Duppy Demetrius in collaboration with the 24 production team.
Throughout the game you play as a number of different CTU (Counter Terrorism Unit) agents including the star of the show Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) as well as Chase Edmunds and Tony Almeida. The game plays out in a wide variety of game modes. The bulk is a third person action title where you have to go in and take out the enemies. The action is fast and fluid and you'll have to use plenty of objects to take cover. Aiming is pretty easy. The L1 button is used to target the enemy, however if you want a headshot you'll have to use the analogue stick to more precisely aim from the generic body shot. Characters can jump onto objects, sprint, kick in doors, search bodies and perform a number of other tasks.
|Some of the 3rd person action.|
This third person gameplay isn't without it's flaws, and certainly ones that could have been fixed prior to release. Primarily the aiming in third person action mode is pretty average. Pressing the L1 button is meant to target enemies. It does - sometimes. Also it should be possible to press the analogue stick in the direction of another enemy to change target. It works - sometimes. The AI of enemies is also very lacking. They'll hide behind cover, stand up, be shot, duck behind cover, stand up again, be shot again. If they move it's usually out into the open making them easy pickings for you. There's also some ridiculous situations where enemies will enter a room you've just entered, but rather then entering from the other side will actually run through the doorway you've just come in from run past you to a position ahead of you before turning around to shoot you. Why not shoot you while coming up from behind? It's plain stupid.
|Looking for snipers.|
Another major game style in 24: The Game is the driving sections. At times you'll simply have to drive to a location, in other missions you'll have to avoid enemies, or beat the clock. While generally good I felt that the cars were a bit on the sluggish side and you don't really get any sense of speed while reactions to your commands seems sluggish. Also, despite the fact that there is car damage it is very restrained - slam into a wall and you can still drive around without too much trouble. Other game modes include using a sniper rifle to take out other snipers and enemies, puzzle solving games to 'decrypt' PDA's and short out locks, interrogation sequences where you must keep the enemies anxiety within a certain zone and so on.
One other issue I have with the game, and it's not related to gameplay, is the time. As you are probably aware the TV show takes place over a 24 hour period, hence the name, but this game actually takes only 12 or so hours to complete - although this is lengthened if you unlock all the bonus content. More puzzling is the fact that you may start a mission at say 8.00am, it lasts 10 minutes, but then the clock ticks over to (as an example) 8.24am. It just seems a bit strange considering the premise of the show runs over a 24 hour period. Perhaps could have been changed/fixed.
|Cut-scenes are great.|
Graphics in 24: The Game are a mixed bag. On the one hand the presentation is sensational with multiple windows during cut-scenes just like the TV show. The character models are also sensational with the characters including Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland), Kim Bauer (Elisha Cuthbert), Tony Almeida (Carlos Bernard) superbly recreated with some nice animations. Unfortunately where this game disappoints is the in-game graphics. The texturing can look pretty rough, the enemies rather generic and the levels somewhat uninspiring. There's nothing that makes you go 'argh!' but it's not a game that you'll use to show off the best on the PS2 as it nears the end of its life.
Audio in this title is very impressive. Music has been written by the TV show’s award-winning composer Sean Callery, and the voiceover have been provided by the cast from the TV show - including it's star Kiefer Suterland. At times the voice work seems a bit off - in times of urgency they sound rather relaxed, and at other moments they sound overly excited in a moment of relative calm. Overall though it's an impressive audio effort and probably the strongest aspect of this game.
|Expect plenty of action.|
24: The Game is a game which I didn't really expect too much from, especially as I don't watch the TV show. I was, however, drawn into the game due to the fantastic story telling and cut scenes, and that is despite the gameplay issues detailed above. Overall a solid game that, while not the best on the PS2, will certainly please fans of the TV show.
Review By: Dave Warner
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|GRAPHICS||Presentation and cut scenes rock, in-game detail could be better.||62%|
|SOUND||Talent from the TV show ensures audio is this games strong point.||84%|
|GAMEPLAY||Although no game modes are outstanding, nothing offends either.||69%|
|VALUE||It's supposed to be 24 hours, but you'll finish it in half that.||65%|
|OVERALL||24: The Game is one which surprised me as an engrossing game even for a non-fan of the TV show. Technically not the best, but plenty of fun to be had while it lasts.||68%|