Manhattan Chase (PC)

By Walter Hare

Published on Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Graphics: 3.25
Sound: 6.90
Gameplay: 1.00
Environs: 0.50
Replays: 0.01
Gamelength: 1.00

Off-hand, Manhattan Chase seems like a GTA clone. But, when analyzed more closely, you find out that it isn’t deserving of even that title.

Manhattan Chase
Developer: Team 6

I would be hard pressed to call Manhattan Chase even a bad rip-off of True Crime: Streets of LA, itself a ripoff of GTA. The idea of a ripoff is that you take all the good ideas out of a game and put them in your own, blatantly I might add, and re-brand it with different graphics, physics, stories, etc. Manhattan Chase fails even to do this most basic of things.

Obviously, the game is based in New York, and more specifically in Manhattan. You follow the extremely short stories of a terrorist named Yasmin, or a cop named Angel, who look identical to each other except for their respective outfits. Each goes through many mundane missions that eventually lead to a climactic (if you can call it that) ending with each other and the eventual revelation that they are sisters. The premise of each mission is idiotic, bordering on retarded, and the briefing of each is riddled with grammatical errors, which help to totally destroy any professionalism you might have seen in the first place.

Each scenario places you either in a car or on foot. Your on foot weapon has pretty unlimited range and ammo, and cannot be changed except by switching characters. Generally, the on-foot missions are terribly easy. If you are in a car, you can shoot various weapons out of it as you collect them off the ground in the city. Turning is trouble, as the “physics” of the game are horrendous. You can’t flip over, but spinning out is pretty much standard until you get very, very used to the “physics.”

For the most part, all of these missions are ridiculously easy, and the few that aren’t are so because they do one of two things. One, they have a copious amount of enemies, bordering on an army coming after you and you alone. Or, two, the horrible weapon and car physics become unbearable in a situation that demands precision. Turn at high speed? I think not. Slow down at high speed without spinning out? I think not.

Very strange things happened, too, that seemed to deny the very basic laws of space and time. In several instances, missiles would come from directions that there weren’t any enemies at. An explosion launches the car, immobilized for a time, into the air before falling back to the ground and being knocked into the air again by yet another missile from the same invisible enemy. Visible enemies are also trouble, since while driving they sometimes catch up, no matter how far back they are or how fast you are going.

The city of New York is relatively large, which would have been great except there is absolutely no reason or chance to explore it. Since each mission you go through is either on foot or in a heated car chase, and lasts maybe five to fifteen minutes a piece, you won’t have the time or the drive to look around town. Add to this the fact that there are no secrets or interactions with the city in general to have fun with, and it becomes readily apparent that, though there is plenty of surface area, it’s all paper-thin.

Manhattan Chase looks sub-par at its best. Yea, the buildings, roads, street lights, and such all look okay, but the car and character models/animations are plain terrible. I’ve seen people with MS walk more fluidly than these extremely undetailed people do. Cars seem like they’ve been made out of colored milk cartons, and explosions are a complete and utter joke of particle effects. Truly, the only thing I can give to the game in terms of graphics is that the lighting is decent.

Audio-wise, it’s not quite as terrible. There are a few cool industrial tracks on there, and a few songs here and again that I liked. Some of the soundtrack is glaringly out of place with the others, but overall it’s worth listening to for at least a small while. The sound effects are aneurysm-inducing though.

Anyone who has played and enjoyed this game seemed to have given up their right to have taste. Nothing about the game, save the two or three good music tracks, is good in even the least way. To read the official facts and propaganda about Manhattan Chase, click here.

Overall Rating: 2.50

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