24: The Game

Review

posted 3/15/2006 by Cyril Lachel
other articles by Cyril Lachel
One Page Platforms: PS2

By now Jack Bauer, the resilient hero of 24, has to be wondering if every day he's alive is going to be spent taking down terrorists, staying out of jail, and trying to smoke out the mole at CTU.  It seems like every few months another group of baddies do their worst on Los Angeles and it always ends up being Jack's job to spend the whole day kicking their butts and make sure nothing bad happens to his fair city.

On TV Jack Bauer is a one-man army you don't want to go up against, the kind of hero that will do whatever it takes to save the day.  If you're a fan of the show then you already know that he is on his fifth day of saving the President, protecting L.A., dismantling bombs, and yes, even trying to sustain a love life.  It's just one day at a time for Jack, a guy who apparently never eats and loathes sleep.

It's his superhero-like way of getting the job done that makes him such an attractive character for a video game.  You watch even one episode of 24 and you know that it would make a solid video game; it just feels like the type of product you might expect from a Metal Gear Solid adventure or something starring Sam Fischer.  The shows are full of unique characters, inter-connecting stories, and plenty of all-out action sequences that keep you on the edge of your seat.  I'm surprised it's taken this long for Jack Bauer to find his way onto a video game system, but now that he's here we're sure glad to have him … for the most part.

Fans of 24 will be happy to know that SCE Studios Cambridge, the developers behind Jack's latest adventure, has managed to get the show aspects perfect.  The cinemas are taken directly from the TV show, with handheld camera work and multiple boxes on screen at once.  This is a story that, while somewhat simpler than its TV counterpart, manages to feel exactly like what you would expect from a season of 24.  If you're the type of person that wants to know everything about Jack and his bad days, then this game was made specifically for you.

24: The Game takes place between seasons 2 and 3, giving the game a chance to offer a new story with a brand new evil villain.  Things start out simple enough with a routine boat investigation that is supposed to turn up the deadly chemical weapon ricin.  Before long there will be an attempt on the Vice President's life, a few car chases, a couple of kidnappings, and a whole bunch of bombs to contend with.  Sounds like just another day on the job for Jack Bauer.

I won't get in to all of the specifics about the story, but needless to say that this is one adventure that is filled with twists and turns, all leading to some of the most exciting sequences in 24 history.  Nearly every major character from the show finds their way in here, including the entire cast from CTU and a few of the older (and favorite) villains from previous seasons.  Although not every character has a lot to say (President Palmer gets about three minutes of screen time), the developers should be commended for going back and re-introducing many of the players we've come to love (or hate).  Expect Kim to get into more trouble, watch Chase try and stay deep undercover, see Chloe hack the computers and save the day; all of the clichés are clear and in focus for this 24 game.

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