The other positive about the game - the physics engine - is also wasted. For instance, when certain barrels are shot they set alight and burn before exploding. Combined with the physics engine, this could potentially have become a great way of beating multiple opponents. Instead, the barrels end up serving only as obstacles.
Despite multiple attempts, I couldn't ever get them to cause damage to any of the computer enemy characters. Even worse, there was no way I could move or position the barrels manually - when enemies fired on them I always had to run away. This might have been acceptable 2 or 3 years ago; but in today's world, where gaming interactivity is prized above all else, this is just annoying.
Other areas of the game seem just plain lazily designed. Levels are littered with doors that lead nowhere, causing you to waste time running around looking for the right one. This may seem like a trivial problem; but when you're spending an extra 30 seconds in every area of the game running your character into inanimate doors, you realise at the end of the day you've wasted the better part of an hour doing something completely worthless. That is, of course, assuming you choose to play this game for an hour – something I wouldn't advise.
Other areas could
have been positive. For instance, in several areas of the game, your character is 'working' within a team of other SWAT guys. I say 'working' because in reality the other SWAT guys are, amazingly, worse than the henchmen. I think I saw one SWAT guy kill one henchman in about six hours of gameplay. I wouldn't mind that so much if the stupid idiots didn't stand in the best positions when moving into a room - it's infuriating when you run into a room to find it blocked by your supposed allies. To make matters worse, the SWAT team are all big fans of the cement variety of shoe and so even your best efforts to push them out of the way are rejected.
So can any
fun be had out of this game? Despite everything, the answer is yes, though this may seem a little bit bizarre. By enabling cheats like unlimited ammunition, health and weapons you can charge through levels mindlessly, killing people without fear that you may have to load and play a bit again. It's not my conventional practice, but it was the only way I could eek any fun out of the game at all.
It was upon doing this that I discovered the range of weapons for the game isn't all that bad. The list includes your standard pistol, dual wielding sub machine guns, sniper, grenade launcher, rifle and a huge chain gun. This will possibly tickle the fancy of someone like Mike Shepherd
(the guy they found the other day with an army's worth of guns in his semi-detached house), but considering how monotonous the enemies are you'll soon tire of killing them with different weapons and resort to simply mowing them down with the trusty AK.
Are there any other noteworthy moments? There's a slightly intriguing moment where you fight a helicopter - sadly, the helicopter flies around on a rail, and at no time did I really feel as though I was interacting with it. There are also a few cracking one liners, such as "I need to shoot some scum, boss" as you're talking to the police chief – this is topped off by the rather dubious observation of beer cans, found lying around in the police chief's office. An alcoholic running an operation against an international drug organisation? Fight fire with fire I suppose.
Overall, I can't really recommend this game at all. The only people who may want to play it would be those who fantasise about everything Max Payne. Nothing about this game is particular poor, but neither is any of it well done. For me, there is no real justification for buying this game over anything else in the genre - perhaps if you're very bored, love this type of game and see it in the bargain bin for a couple of quid. Apart from that, steer well clear.