State of Emergency is a budget title released on the Playstation 2, PC, and Xbox, after having been developed by VIS Entertainment. It was published by both Global Star Software, and Rockstar Games. The game involves fighting against an antagonistic force as different selectable characters.
Gameplay in State of Emergency revolves around anarchistic activities. The United States is shown to be controlled by a huge corporation, and the game follows the main characters as they attempt to 'Smash the Corporation', as the game voice-overs shout. Players can make use of a wide variety of environmental weapons, such as chairs. Firearms can also be attained, though they are difficult to use accurately, as the game does not feature an actual targeting system.
The box art for State of Emergency shows a modified version of The Corporation's logo, altered to display an 'a' (presumably to stand for 'anarchy'), as well as Spanky, one of the main characters.. The character displayed on the box is arguably the series mascot, as again he appears on the cover art for the sequel, State of Emergency 2, which was released in 2006. In the background, silhouettes of people fighting can be seen.
State of Emergency was released to generally mixed reviews. Critics praised the game for being something of a technological achievement, as a large number of people were visible on-screen at any one time. Gameplay was also taken as a negative, as it was deemed 'too simple'. The PC version's multiplayer mode was criticised as well, though the Playstation 2 version of the game was met more positively. According to Metacritic's aggregated reviews, the PS2 version of State of Emergency has a rating of 71/100, aggregated from 34 professional reviews. The PC version fared marginally less well, with a total score of 65/100.
State of Emergency was met with controversy by politicians in Washington, as it was similar to the 1999 riots in Seattle, which were responsible for $3,000,000 worth of damage.