March 8th, 2007, 02:41 Posted By: wraggster
One of the biggest additions to the latest wave of consoles is the ability to download small games directly to the systems for a nominal fee. Sony's PlayStation Store currently features a handful of these games, including the likes of Blast Factor and flOw, but what looks to be the best of the bunch is just around the corner.
Calling All Cars is currently in production at Sony's Santa Monica Studios and is perhaps best known because of the involvement of David Jaffe. The game is very simple in setup - pick up criminals in your car and deliver them to jail. While that sounds easy, so does football, a sport which Calling All Cars can often feel like.
Controlling your vehicle is done simply with the left analog stick. There's no gas button as you drive in whatever direction you press, but R2 will apply a bit of nitro should you have some saved up. The only other control you need to use is R1 which will use one of the level's weapons to help you free the criminal from another car so that you can snag him yourself.
The weapons are scattered about the world as giant question marks, so you never know exactly what you're going to pick up. A single rocket attaches to the front of your car and fire straight ahead at a quick pace when you unleash it. The hammer allows you to pound the ground and shakes up cars around you, though you only get one use per pickup. A magnet can be used to literally rip the criminal from someone else's clutches. Should you not happen to have a weapon in your hands, you can simply ram other cars at high speed to shake loose their package. Once you nab the criminal, however, you're on the defensive as you can't use any weapons until you either lose him or deliver him to jail.
Scoring is done by running through one of three gates on the level's jail. The one point cell is a simple opening on the ground level that's hard to miss. The two-pointer is a little tougher. On one of the levels we tried, you had to take a ramp to jump through it, while on the other you had to time a rising and lowering gate to get in. The three-point cell is the trickiest. On the snowy level, a ramp that is only occasionally raised is your entry ticket, while on the train yard level you have to wait for the train to speed by and use its cars as a ramp to hop up there.
It's not actually possible to die in Calling All Cars as you're simply stunned when you're hit with a weapon, though should you happen to fall off the level you'll lose a valuable point. Being that most of the matches we tried ended with scores like 5-4-3-2, every point counts.
The game is extremely pick-up-and-play friendly, what with it taking us about 30 seconds to figure out how to do everything there is to do. The tricky part is in mastering the weapons, figuring out how each of the jails work and deciding on whether its better to go after another car with the criminal, or let him score and stay back to try and pick up the next one first.
As mentioned, the game can feel a lot like football at times. Once you have one of the criminals, you need to steer clear of the other cars and find the quickest and safest route to the goal. If you don't have the villain and someone else does, it's all about ramming them and taking him back. When three cars are hot on the tail of another and everyone is scurrying about to pick up the loose crook, things can get really hectic.
Calling All Cars is currently scheduled for release sometime this March.
For more information and downloads, click here!
There are 0 comments - Join In and Discuss Here