Disaster: Day of Crisis
Let me tell you something. I’ve just experienced a game that really rocked and nobody even knew it. I’m talking about Disaster: Day of Crisis and believe it or not but this game really kicks stereotypical ass. The hype was close to none, only more reason to be really surprised about it. Go buy it, but read the review first, so you know what kind of quality you will be dealing with.
But don’t make the mistake of taking this game too serious either. I sincerely hope Nintendo doesn’t take the context of the game serious because I find it quite humorous to be honest. The story is just as bad as any Van Damme flick, and the dialogues hardly get any better than those of Walker Texas Ranger with the legendary Chuck Norris. The characters are walking cardboards carved out of clichés and the events happening in this game really makes me chuckle. This is a game where the good guys are noble men fighting for a good cause taking on countless bad guys.
You play the part of Raymond Bryce, a character dealing with some problems, as he blames himself for not being able to rescue his best friend. A year later he’s pulled out for a rescue mission involving catastrophic disasters from nature, terrorists with nuclear weapons and on top of that the sister of his best friend is one of their hostages. The sister thinks Bryce is responsible for her brother’s dead and the fact that Bryce isn’t able to fulfil the dying wish of his best friend (to give a compass to his sister) only adds more clichés to the already silly story.
The gameplay is mostly divided into three parts, knowing to be adventuring, shooting and racing. The first part exists out of wandering through destructed environments and cities, looking for injured people to help. You’re mostly pulling people under debris or giving first aid to old ladies whose heart just stopped beating. These are basically some sort of minigames, yet you never get the feeling they are because they fit in the gameplay and story.
The most action is found in the shooting levels. These resemble the popular gameplay Time Crisis offers, giving you the opportunity to hide behind walls to reload your weapon. It’s not just shooting, as tactics do play a significant role in the gameplay. When you press C (zoom in) and shoot, you will deal double damage, but keep in mind that enemies are able to give you double damage also. Adding to this comes the fact that there are different weapons that can all be upgraded through a system of points that you earn while playing, making it a surprisingly deep on-rails shooter.
The one thing that does disappoint me are the racing levels. Motion control makes you control the vehicle as in real life (steering that is). Nothing wrong with that, but because of the unpredictability of Mother Nature and the events happening on the tracks, it’s difficult to control your vehicles, mostly because you don’t really see what’s happening on the road. This makes you fall into ravines even before you know there is one. It’s like Stuntman, but more frustrating (this means something).
Luckily, this is countered by the rest of the gameplay, which is very nice. In a game with nature causing mayhem, I expect nature to be mayhem, and Nintendo does a fine job creating believable disasters. Especially the hurricanes and the floods make you forget you’re playing on a Nintendo Wii. The fire effects need some work though, as they hardly impress. But still, if you combine the graphics with the epic music, you will be blown away sometimes.
Disaster neatly implements some new ideas in the game and mixes these with the old tricks of the Nintendo Wii. For example, when travelling through dusty environments, you will have to inhale fresh air. You’ll be looking after your stamina gauge continuously because it always effects your health and some abilities. Running fast makes you loose air, causing you to quickly stop and pause sometimes. You can upgrade your stamina by eating giant burgers, roast turkey and salamanders, and this falls out of tone with the design of the game. We don’t really know why Bryce would sniffle through garbage cans, and we really don’t know why he finds uneaten hamburgers and chicken in it. Strange.
Still, there are enough reasons to buy this game. Of course, the game is a slap in the face of all grumpy gamers but Disaster is fun from start to end and that’s the way it should be. Though Raymond Bryce has a haircut we could endlessly debate about (a mixture between Goku and Wolverine), it’s an enjoyable hero and the virtual follow up from Chuck Norris. He fights bears (he really does) eats roasted turkey from a garbage can, saves the girl and saves the world afterwards. The game’s worth to buy it, if only for the oneliner ‘Eat my Ballistics’.