Mixed or average reviews - based on 34 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 34
  2. Negative: 4 out of 34
  1. The visuals are awesome, the sound is great, and the gameplay is good, though it could have been much better. You're likely to get frustrated a lot (and I mean a LOT), but the game is still great fun.
  2. The best part about State of Emergency is the way every facet of the game comes together to form a perfect feeling of panic.
  3. It operates reliably, frantically, and smoothly enough to offer a kind of arcade zen experience once you've reached a certain level of proficiency. It's definitely a sick game.
  4. 83
    A tried and true beat-'em-up, and it doesn't offer the stunning replay value or depth of some other Rockstar titles. It's very different...[yet] the addiction level in this game is extremely high.
  5. This poorly designed camera cannot keep up in many situations.
  6. Despite its limited depth, State Of Emergency is a lengthy beat-em up that truly shines in short bursts.
  7. 70
    The sheer pandemonium and brutal weapons can be pretty amusing, at least until the gimmick of all the explosions and rioting wears off. Unfortunately, that can wear off fairly quickly.
  8. It's way too short, but the game does go over the top in both the action and the premise, and it is fun.
  9. 80
    A very fun game whose premise wears thin a bit too fast. However, you’ll have a blast with it before you reach the saturation point.
  10. 80
    Manic, frenzied and violent gaming at it’s gripping best.
  11. If you’re looking for depth, look elsewhere, but those who miss the style of games made popular on the Dreamcast should welcome this with closed fists.
  12. 40
    There's not nearly enough depth or substance to the game to recommend it. SoE is a game full of sound and fury, signifying a rental at best.
  13. 20
    It’s like on your 16th birthday where you’re expecting a set of keys that will unlock a brand new car but instead you get an all-season bus pass. Except multiply that disappointment by about fifty times and you have what it feels like to play State of Emergency.
  14. Chaotic, violent, and oh so naughty, State Of Emergency is a fun title marred by some truly annoying camera and control problems.
  15. For the kind of game it is the hype was worth it: the most unique beat-em-up in years. For people expecting a GTA3 (like some were), it will disappoint, but for the people who went in knowing what they were gonna get I'm sure most will be pleasantly surprised.
  16. Though packed with more bloodshed than a European soccer match, there's not enough actual gameplay in this one to qualify it as a good game.
  17. This new "bad boy" of the video game industry is extremely fun to play — for those old enough and mature enough to purchase it — as a campy stress releaser at the end of a bad day.
  18. When you strip away the high-tech hijinx, what's left will leave most players saying, "That's it?" all too quickly. [May 2002, p.30]
  19. I find it a real shame that the whole tactical side was dropped, as not only would controlling a mob add more depth it now seems that the use of hundreds of AI characters has been a complete waste of time.
  20. The sheer amount of people and the speed of the action really pumps home a great sensation of hysteria.
  21. More of a throwback to classic arcade shoot-em-ups like "Berserk" and "Smash TV," than a cinematic epic like "Grand Theft Auto III." [Apr 2002, p.70]
  22. A disappointment. It lacks the charm that "Final Fight," and "Streets of Rage" had before it and it doesn't make up for it with the lack of depth and the lack of a 2 player mode! Shame on you Vis!
  23. After the blood-soaked honeymoon is over, you'll see the game in the harsh morning light and wonder if it was worth it.
  24. 55
    The gameplay, although amusing at first, is far too shallow to be interesting in the long run and you’ll end up feeling cheated even if you rent the game.
  25. The thing I hate most about the way this game looks has to be the overall cartoon-like appearance of the characters. Add that to the blatant lack of style (i.e. fog, ambient lighting effects, etc.), and what you get is a colorful "Fighting Force 2" clone with added gore.
  26. The overwhelming amount of on-screen activity reduces greatly the overall resolution of the game to a saucy mess at times and the many independent characters running around all seem to have the collective I.Q of a Pringle.
  27. Simple, engaging and spot-on in terms of presenting controversial material in a humorous and tongue-in-cheek manner.
  28. More fun than a post-game Laker riot. [Apr 2002, p.57]
  29. A brilliant renaissance for the once dominant beat-em-up genre...[but] you realize that this is an extremely short title posing as an epic undertaking in its revolution mode.
  30. Such virtual destruction may once have seemed innocent, but these days the whole thing hits a little close to home.
  31. The word "frustrating" doesn't even begin to describe it. [Apr 2002, p.108]
  32. Four levels are too few to stay interesting for all 175-plus missions, which are too bloody repetitive. [22 Mar 2002, p.114]
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 31 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 23
  2. Negative: 9 out of 23
  1. DaMan
    Feb 7, 2002
    This game kicks ass.
  2. Aug 8, 2013
    my review for the PS2 game state of emergency

    SINGLE PLAYER (STORY)- 4/10. the story is strung together very poorly. in fact, there isn't
    my review for the PS2 game state of emergency

    SINGLE PLAYER (STORY)- 4/10. the story is strung together very poorly. in fact, there isn't much of a story at all. it is just about blowing things up.
    GRAPHICS- 9/10. great for the time, especially with the loads of NPC's and explosions.
    SOUND- 8/10. nothing special here. explosions and shooting.
    GAMEPLAY- 8/10. a mindless shooting fest that is a great stress reliever or a time killer. no control problems.
    FUN FACTOR- 8/10. very enjoyable yet simple game.
    OVERALL- 8/10.
    Full Review »
  3. JustinAsher
    Sep 4, 2008
    This is a very fun game with humor and madness and for Kyle K. to say it is too short is outrageous, the game has at least 200 missions. ThisThis is a very fun game with humor and madness and for Kyle K. to say it is too short is outrageous, the game has at least 200 missions. This game was not mean't to be deep and serious. It is just a fun and humorous game. A game like none other. This is just another example of why Rockstar Games is the best gaming company out their. I am dissapointed they didn't make the sequel. Full Review »