They say you shouldn’t speak ill of the dead. And, usually, I tend to comply with such tradition, however, here I feel we need to make an exception.
You see, Emergency Mayhem was actually developed by the now-defunct Acclaim, a company so decrepit that the mere mention of its name still causes horses to neigh and cats to hiss – a sick and twisted band of sociopathic hacks who were, thankfully, swept away by a swift wave of karma a couple of years back.
Not entirely, though, as Codemasters, for whatever frenzied reason, opted to release the game for the Wii. Playing as the three main emergency services (police, fire and medical), you drive around following arrows Crazy Taxi-style to do good deeds via a series of minigames.
Sadly, this is mostly poorly-realised crud designed for the original Xbox. The driving sections are unbearably dull and peppered with an innumerable supply of power-ups with seemingly no effect. Likewise, the minigames are dreadful, with Wii controls haphazardly tackedon by what can only be blind crack addicts. One particularly dire mission edging into the realm of tedium sees you guide a fly through the intestines of a Mexican chap who seems to have no eyes, and it actually made me weep with boredom. Top tip to Codemasters – games shouldn’t generally do that to the player.
The graphics, meanwhile, are colourful but hideously dated, lacking any visual flair whatsoever. In fact, the only fun to be had here is vigorously ramming into pedestrians whilst the ever-annoying announcer pleads you to stop. Actually, at some points you’re encouraged to kill, with paramedics tasked to defeat the Egyptian mummies who roam the streets whilst fireman chase down escaped monkeys (who aren’t even called monkeys, but “Minkees”).
And that last sentence alone speaks volumes about Emergency Mayhem. Please don’t buy it – the money could be put to far better use, like burning or administering paper cuts.