With the dust starting to settle on the PS3 launch, there doesn’t seem to be a huge amount of excitement about the console. Already reports are flying about that the PS3 isn’t selling very well, maybe due to the high price or lack of exclusive titles. So as PS3 owners, the more unique titles we can get our hands-on the better.
That’s where Calling all Cars comes in. Unique is probably the first word that comes to mind when I played it, followed by “flippin’ heck this game is hilarious!” (in a good sense of course). Calling all Cars (CaC) is directed by David Jaffe – the master mind behind the Twisted Metal series, and more recently God of War. It’s evident that Twisted Metal was still in the back of Jaffe’s mind as he developed CaC as it too has a distinct feeling of absolute mayhem.
CaC puts you in the role of a bounty hunter, whose job it is to tear around the streets picking up robbers and slamming them behind bars on behalf of the police. You’ll get a little green arrow above your car telling you the direction of the criminal. Simply drive over him to launch him into the air, and then catch him on the back of your vehicle. You then have to scamper back to the jails to get him banged up as quickly as possible. Some jails are easier to access than others – with the harder ones (e.g. on tops of buildings) providing more points. In addition to all this you have to compete with a whole host of AI (or human) opponents all trying to do the same!
There are numerous points around the map that offer weapon upgrades for your vehicle, ranging from giant hammers strapped to the front of your car to massive magnets. The weapons assist in stealing the criminals out of your opponents’ car and putting him in yours!
Right from the off, Calling all Cars offers extremely fast action paced gameplay, with a Micro Machines meets Twisted Metal feel to it. There are four highly detailed 3D levels for you to skid around in along with 10 vehicles to choose from. There doesn’t seem to be much difference between the vehicles other than cosmetics, but it’s a nice touch anyway.
Graphically, the game is impressive. The focus is not on realism, but on comic cartoon action – and it pulls it off very well. In full 1080p High-Definition the detailed environments are crisp and clear and impressive. If you’ve got friends, you can get them round for 4-player split-screen games as you all try frantically to grab the criminal and get him in jail before each other! There is no slow-down, and even with 4-players on screen the game stays at 60FPS, keeping the action quick and exciting. If you’re a bit of a Larry no-mates you can take advantage of on-line play with the same high-speed action with no slowdown.
The hilarious fast-paced arcade gameplay of Calling all Cars makes it worth buying from the PSN when it’s released in the UK. Sure, it may not be the “killer app” that everyone is calling out for, but it’ll definitely keep you entertained with or without mates until that killer app does come.