Calling All Cars!

In a striking departure from God of War, David Jaffe is part of the team who bring Calling All Cars! into existence for the Playstation 3. The game involves up to four players (human or AI) pursuing a criminal, using their chosen vehicle to chase down the suspect. The criminal is on foot, and is simply driven into, to be captured (the criminal comically bounces into the air and lands in the nearest vehicle). What ensues is a manic fight between players to get the felon back to a jailhouse. This is nowhere as simple as it might seem, since every opponent will no doubt try and take advantage of the fact that a simple bump into the player carrying the target will cause them to lose their captured bounty and have it directly transfered to the aggressor. If you want to catch a naughty burglar and make it back to the jail with your quarry, then you've got to be very fast.

Calling All Cars!

To add to the package, the reward you receive for a successful capture is dependent on the type of delivery you make. It's possible to simply drive into an open jailhouse garage, but you receive a lot more points by making deliveries in hard-to-reach locations like mobile prisoner transports, police helicopters or jailhouse locations that require a jump or tricky manoeuvre to get there. In one level, set in the snow, there is an extra element of timing, resulting from the fact that the jail house freezes from time to time, forcing you to try and hang onto your crook like a dog grasping its favourite stick (or any stick I suppose) while the rest of the pack of hounds desperately tries to grab it. In another area, a train passing by at regular intervals causes mayhem for would-be scorers as they make a dash for the jail.

The single-player element is good fun for a short while, but the game is truly successful when there are more people in the party. As soon as there are four humanes (either playing split screen in the same room or online with headsets), the game expands into a new dimension. The cold nature of an AI character makes a crook steal a slightly irritating experience, particularly when an AI car swoops in at the last minute to grab your hard-earned reward, but in multiplayer, it all just leads to entertaining banter. On occasion, when the crook changes hands repeatedly in a short space of time, the commentator (a jovial-sounding Irish chap who keeps track of, and announces, the main headlines in each game admirably) starts shouting comic phrases involving the words Hot Potato, which really adds to the fun feel of the game.

Calling All Cars!

In total contrast to the tense and dramatic online battles of Resistance, Calling All Cars! produces moments of hilarity in spades. Most of the time, you don't care who's won, you just remember having a whole lot of fun. The game might not have the depth and lastability of a full online title like Resistance, but it's a great alternative for evenings where you just want to have a bit of a laugh, and forget about a tough day at work. Given that Calling All Cars! costs only a tiny fraction of the amount a full disc-based game release costs, there's little room for criticism. It's short, but a whole lot of fun.

Game details

Game logo

Publisher:

Sony

Developer:

Incog. Inc

Players:

1-4

Online:

1-4

Release:

2007-05-10

Trophies:

0

Review summary

Gameplay:

Hilarious fun, best with friends

Graphics:

Workable and certainly colourful

Sound:

Reasonable commentary and effects

Lastability:

Not much depth but online fun to be found

7.6

Volcanic

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Chloe Frazer

My turn to walk away. But admit it. You're gonna miss this arse.