|System: PS2||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Agetec||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Iren||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: June 12, 2007||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Mature||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Matthew Walker
February 15, 2007 - Survival disaster movies have always done well. So, it would be really easy for someone to think that blending the movie formula into a game would be an instant classic. When Disaster Report arrived in the states in 2003, it didn't reach the critical acclaim it could have. Known as Zettai Zetsumei Toshi in Japan, Disaster Report should've had us all saving lives and surviving hazardous earthquake aftermath, but it didn't. Now, we get a second chance with Raw Danger, known as, you guessed it, Zettai Zetsumei Toshi 2, in Japan. Only things are different now, but in some ways very much the same.
Raw Danger takes place in the year 2010 in a city has been built in the hopes of it being the safest and most advanced city in the world. That city is called Geo City. Everything is going great as the mayor's commemorative opening of the city ceremony is about to begin, with only a few raindrops falling outside. You will begin the game as Joshua Harwell, a waiter at the ceremony. Things quickly go from being fine to disastrous when a nearby levee breaks and the Hudson River begins to overtake the city.
The building you are in is ravaged by the roaring rapids that quickly begin filling the city. Exploring the building for a way out, your path becomes blocked as the building disintegrates around you. It will take a good deal of puzzle solving and quick reflexes to get you and a fellow employee, Stephanie, whom you will have the option to assist or not, out of the building. However, once you make it out of the building the real dangers begin, since you must now survive the flooding city's watery hazards to reach freedom and safety.
That is probably the most notable difference between Raw Danger and its predecessor Disaster Report. However, there are other differences that will undoubtedly increase the replayability of the game. Once you have played through Joshua's story, you will then have the option of completing up to six other character's storylines, and the way you play one character's story will certainly affect the other characters. For instance, it has been revealed that one of the characters will be a criminal on the run. During one character's story, you will confronted by a member of the law and asked about the criminal. Depending on how you answer those questions will make it really easy on you at the time and greatly increase the difficulty for the character on the run later. Another example of one character affecting another is how and what you place in certain areas could help out a future playable character.
How you answer the law enforcement's questions brings up another interesting aspect of the game. You will have total control over how your character handles the NPCs of the game. Giving you this option could add for some interesting conversations and equally high replayability. If you choose to be a jerk throughout the character's story, you might want to go back and see how things could have been if you handled a conversation a little differently.
As far as gameplay, Raw Danger will be set up almost exactly like Disaster Report. The major difference is that instead of a thirst meter you will have to watch your body temperature. After all, traipsing through submerged rooms and drudging through constant rain, you are bound to get soaked. The wetter you are, the more likely your body could succumb to hypothermia, and, as we all know, if you experience hypothermia for too long, you'll fade away in the warm tranquility of the afterlife. Fortunately, there will be heaters of sorts throughout levels and generally close by. One of the other nice concepts will be the ability to commandeer a vehicle in order to outrun the tidal waves crashing through the city. It'll be like Deep Impact all over again. So far only a jet ski and a taxi have been revealed for you to drive.
A downfall that should have been corrected is the limited amount of inventory space. In Raw Danger, you will find several items that are useful and some that will be just down right useless, but with the lack of inventory space you will have to manage your supplies carefully to avoid disastrous consequences. If you decide to drop an item in place of another and you need that item later in the game, you're out of luck. That item will disappear and you will not be able to find it again.
This will probably become Raw Danger's biggest complaint. For this reason alone, some may pass on the game all together, while others will see it as a challenge and welcome this level of difficulty. However, those that would see this as a challenge could be turned off by the lack of character responsiveness. Certain cutscenes will not begin unless the appropriate NPC "begins" them. Equally annoying will be the fact that you won't be able to lead other characters across perilous paths until they tell you to. Graphically speaking, the game looks very bland. The sluggish blocky movements of the characters will remind you of the several of the first PS2 games. For a game coming near the end of the PS2 era that is a sequel to an already questionable game, I really expected more.
If you are a fan of Disaster Report, then you will welcome Raw Danger with open arms. If you didn't play or like Disaster Report, the dialogue control and storyline determination options might be enough to draw you in. Yet, you might want to wait until you read our review before you make any rash decisions concerning your survival in a flood of possibilities.
CCC Project Coordinator