Content review for this game:
Pertaining to the ESRB rating.

Content sum up: The overall violence is unrealistic, subdued and disconnected, there's no blood or gore, and little language to speak of. But, things can still be intense, and while the protagonist is undercover, he is forced to steal cars, and run from/kill cops. So, I recommend this game for ages 14+.

Violence: The story revolves around an FBI agent who goes undercover as a member of a criminal gang that makes it their job to steal cars. He replaces the man who did the stealing part, which means you'll be stealing cars for them throughout game. The overall tone is dark and gritty, but, it also tends to be melodramatic, contrived, and a bit cheesy. Almost every mission goes something like this: You're given a destination to drive to where a targeted car is waiting to be stolen. You get in the car, drive it to a location, get out, shoot anyone guarding the car, get in the target car, escape from pursuing owners of said car, and drop it off at criminal lair—Rinse, repeat. And while there are a few missions that play a little differently; like sabotaging other gang's op- erations, saving fellow gang members from tight situations (etc.), the base gameplay and its overall mission structure changes little otherwise.

For people who have heard of this game, it's sometimes been compared to the Grand Theft Auto series. Here's what's the same: there's a large overworld; you can get out of your car and go on foot; you have a gun; you can kill pedestrians and cops with it; you can run over people with your car; you can be chased by police; and you can run into and wreck your car and other cars. What isn't the same: the game is very short; it's done in linear, non-optional missions and levels; there is no blood or gore; there's no language; and cops will give chase simply when they spot you (unlike GTA where you have to do something wrong). Which brings me to the police. They apparently do not know you're undercover, as they will chase you just because they see you. They will also interfere in almost every mission, most often forcing you to kill them. Which brings me to the overall violence: it's not in the least bit realistic, that is, animations are stiff and unconvincing; shootouts are bloodless; and the enemy AI is retarted. So, while it can get intense, unlike Grand Theft Auto, there really is no human connection or reality to the game, bringing offensive element down a few notches.

Specific scenes of violence:

(All of the below scenes contain no blood/gore. Also, the story is downright confusing, so if you don't get some of these scenes, don't worry, I don't either)

  • The opening scene shows an unknown man loading a shotgun. He shoots it offs- creen, and as a result, a firefight breaks out with other criminals and cops. The unknown man shoots and kills a couple of cops, and as the protagonist appears, he shoots him. It then shows as the protagonist is being wheeled into a hospital room. Once they start to operate, he appears to flatlines as it fades out.
  • As the protagonist chases the wheelman for the gang he will soon infiltrate, he stops him in an alleyway and shoots him in the chest. The protagonist proceeds to interrogate him, as the villain then pulls something out of his vest. Thinking it's a gun (it ends up being his car keys), he shoots the villain, killing him.
  • The next scene shows the protagonist walk in and meet the gang, after stealing his first car for them. The leader (female) has a man hanging upside down from the ceiling and his mouth gagged with duct tape. After he and their leader talk, she points her gun at the hanging man's head, as it cuts away and you hear the two shots that kill him—you see a far shot of the dead man still hanging.
  • A later scene shows as the protagonist drags a dead body (in a body bag) into a large crate, apparently for hiding (reasons are unknown and unexplained).
  • You overhear as someone tells a story about a man who takes a knife and cuts off another man's finger, and then proceeds to cut off one of his own.

Content review posted: 07/01/2008

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