XBOX REVIEW: CHICAGO ENFORCER

Chicago Enforcer is actually two games in one - which is not necessarily a good thing. It's actually a repackaged version of an awful game called Mob Enforcer. With a multi-player component added we now have the newly re-titled: Chicago Enforcer. This reminds me of a situation where someone tells a really bad, homemade joke at a party but the conversation just keeps going with no response or acknowledgement to the joke. Only to have the guy repeat it a few minutes later under the erroneous assumption that nobody heard it the first time. Perhaps it wasn't made abundantly clear to developer Touchdown that the reason that no one purchased their game wasn't because they didn't hear about it but because it sucked.

I can only imagine that Touchdown believed they could cash in on the GTA San Andreas craze of Nov 2004. Unfortunately it was Halo 2 that walked away with the best selling game of the year. Both Mob and Chicago Enforcer follow the outline of the GTA series' plot with a young thug's aspiration to rise through the ranks of the underworld by proving himself through a series of mob-related activity. In the case of the Enforcer games the time period is different. Events take place in the Dirty Thirties, the original era of the gangster. It also looks as though that was the time era this piece of junk was created in.

So many things could be overlooked if this game was a decent shooter. This game is just so flawed that I found myself hoping they also got the credits at the end of the game wrong to protect the innocent that may have wives and children at home to support.

Chicago Enforcer fails on so many levels. It looks bad, the control system suffers from lag and ineffective weapon designs, the AI is incredibly unbalanced and the missions are a repetitive mix of elements. Often you'll have to fight your way through an impenetrable swarm of police or rival gangsters to get to a specified location whereupon you have to hunt for a key to gain access to safety. Many times this will be in the form of a locked door. Why such a burly gangster can take on an army of enemies but can't kick down a door is beyond me.

There is no shortage of weapons but there's a shortage of good, effective weapons. The sniper rifle suffers from lag. It takes a few seconds to fire from the instant you pull the virtual trigger. The other rifles and handguns lack accuracy and even the rocket launcher is nothing more than a joke. It's as effective as a Roman Candle and even looks like one.

The multi-player mode does nothing to redeem the single-player game. It features Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch as well as variations of King of the Hill and Capture the Flag. Players are forced into tiny, cramped areas which are barely big enough for one player never mind eight. It's really difficult to maneuver in some areas and that just leads to confusion and frustration. No one has to pay for that when you can get it for free in everyday life.

Low resolution graphics and a virtually mute soundtrack round out the lackluster presentation. Textures are ugly, matted and gloomy. They are of course repeated throughout the game, I suppose to give it a consistent look. The animations make a puppet show look like a ballet and there's very dialog among the characters. There is hardly any background music and the sound effects are generic.

My prediction is that Chicago Enforcer will befall the same fate as Mob Enforcer. Perhaps next year we can look forward to Chicago Mob Boss Enforcer 2.

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System: XBOX
Dev: Touchdown
Pub: Kemco
Released: Feb 2005
Players: 1 - 8
Review by Dan
RATING (OUT OF 5)
OVERALL
1.5
GRAPHICS
2.0
CONTROL
2.0
MUSIC/FX
1.0
VALUE
.5