mrchup0n's 24: The Game (PlayStation 2) review

Play it for the episodes, not the game.

 24: The Game does correctly all the things that a die-hard 24 fan would care about. The presentation, as far as the camera angles, multi-paned tricks, and ridiculous-yet-entertaining twists and turns are all here in full force. The cast -- with the surprising exception of Kiefer Sutherland, who sounds like he rolled out of bed for his role -- delivers a convincing performance. Finally, writer Duppy Demetrius does a decent job at (sort of) tying Seasons 2 and 3 together.

Meanwhile, those who want a serviceable action game get something quite disappointing. The targeting system is actually quite fun, allowing you to lock-on after which you can pinpoint a specific body part to fire upon. However, the enemies are morons to the point where you're simply ducking in and out of cover and pulling off headshots without any difficulty. To wit, Kill.switch veterans would likely rather be playing that game instead of this. The framerate dips in these sections too, making the visual experience during combat jarring and uncomfortable.

The car chase scenes also suffer from noticeable framerate issues, in addition to overly wonky physics. For instance, if I'm in a Sedan about to ram headlong into a bunch of SUVs, why -- after contact -- am I then able to put my foot on the gas and slowly "bulldoze" my way through them? Furthermore, the turning radius on any given vehicle is too unwieldy to drive appropriately. Even if you're attuned to Grand Theft Auto's mechanics, you'll have a little trouble here. Yes, I know, 24 characters spend a lot of time on the road, but the driving issues make these sections of the game almost intolerable.

Finally, the multiple minigames used for defusing a bomb or hacking a terminal are good pace keepers but aren't at all compelling. Interrogation is possibly the most intense mini-game you'll encounter, and still it devolves into an old-school NBA Live free throw "hit the button when the meter is at this level" affair. At least it's entertaining to hear Jack Bauer shout, even if his voice actor isn't at his best.

24: The Game manages to be tolerable on the merits of its presentation and fan service, and for that alone I played this game to completion and have not given it away. However, as a diehard fan of the show AND a diehard fan of videogames, I also wanted to see this game designed properly; its annoyances are too numerous to make this game more fun to play than it is to watch.

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