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Developer: Pixelogic OPTIONS: S.SHOT
No.1   No.2   No.3
Distributor: Interplay 1-2 Player
Game Type: Arcade Driving/Shooter Memory Card
Review Date: June 1998 Analog Compatible

Setting the Scene

In the near future a petrochemical industry giant develops a bacterial 
strain to be used in the breakdown of chemical waste materials. Releasing 
the bacteria into a test batch, the project exceeds all expectations and 
the materials are converted into harmless, biodegradable compounds. Large 
farms are set up all around the country and soon they become a leading 
figure in the world of recycling.

Suddenly, after six months of profitable business, bizarre events are reported 
from several farms when it is discovered that the bacterial strain is mutating. 
After a period of observation it is noted that the mutagen is air-borne and is 
feeding on - petroleum.

One year later the mutagen had devoured all of the fuel and petrol sources 
across the land leaving piles of rusting automobiles lining the cities.  Oil 
related businesses have crashed and rival corporations moved in to take 
advantage of this sudden shift in power. A number of countries reaped great 
profits by selling electrically powered vehicles and devices.

In the ground zero city, the crime level began to rise drastically. In defence, 
the police discovered that they were able to buy in from outside investors all 
manner of vehicles and weaponry to aid their fight as crime killers. One 
corporate power in particular took an interest in the dwindling force and 
purchased a large proportion of the city, including the Law. Providing them 
with vehicles and hardware, the corporate entity, calling themselves the Uriel 
Consortium, asked only that the Police Department once again provide justice in 
a rapidly falling social structure. And the occasional favor, when asked. 

Now, on the first eve of the 'petrol bug's' ravaging of the land, the City 
Police Department once again rolls out onto the streets.


Crime Killers is a mission based game that combines the excitement of a 
great racer with the tension of a quality shooter.  Three modes of police 
transport eventually become available - a patrol car, motorcycle and a 'Wing' 


No game is worth it's value on the intro sequences alone but the opening 
CG movie to Crime Killers sits proudly up there with the best seen on PSX.  
It portrays the tragic downfall of Officer Wade, the father of upcoming rookie 
traffic cop Officer 88, and his bid to clean up the crime ridden streets of 
his hometown.  The mission story has been rendered in 3DS Max while all other 
movies were created in Lightwave 5, the same software used in Babylon 5, 
Startrek TNG, DS9, Milleniumand the X-files.  It's all immaculately presented 
featuring high-quality rendered animation and serves well to set the scene.
On loading up the opening level my first impression was that the graphics were 
of a standard that could be compared to the Twisted Metal series of games.  
Smooth textured highways enclosed by high rise concrete buildings provide an 
altogether bleak and moody atmosphere similar to those presented by the Blade 
Runner and Batman movies.  Although the levels are varied they all follow this 
gloomy vision that the cities of the future will be  dingy and buildings 
predominantly constructed from concrete slabs.  Then again, perhaps this style 
of vision is easier to animate.    

The city is alive with gliding polygon vehicles that can be shunted or destroyed 
during your quest to run down the bad guys.  A single collision with the smaller 
'family' car will see it spiral out of control, burst into flames and then 
explode into a mass of flying car parts before evaporating into the atmosphere.  
Larger vehicles will more than likely taint the appearance of your squad car.

Your will be pleased to discover that your patrol car bares a sporty design 
(reminded me of a TR7) colored in traditional police blue with yellow flashes.  
Brake lights glow when applied while siren and flashing lights may be activated 
when the chase begins.

There are two views which are close up tight behind your patrol vehicle and 
in-car mode.  Both are acceptable and feature a dash board that displays your 
current status.  When viewing from behind the car the camera view tends to 
have a slight delay in realigning itself when a handbrake turn is applied, 
preferring to view your vehicle side on for a few seconds before moving back 
in line.  This can be a little frustrating during a high tension chase, 
especially when the vehicle in pursuit keeps spinning around and heading back 
towards you.

Sounds and Effects

The music that accompanies this high speed chase game compliments the 
action superbly.  Most are a selection of up-tempo techno tunes, created by 
Daren Mahomed and Martyn Walsh; ex-Inspiral Carpets, which can be individually 
chosen by using the in-game options menu.  My personal favorite is the lead 
track, Crime Killer, which reminded me of that aging police detective series 
Starsky and Hutch.

The vehicles all have that soothing electronic sound which has been roughed up 
a little by incorporating the noise of screeching tyres, crunching collisions 
and a regular interruption from headquarters via the police radio.  All in all, 
the sounds serve their purpose.


The one disappointing aspect of Crime Killers is that you don't get to 
select the police vehicle of your choice in the single player game.  The 
different modes of transport become available as you progress through the 
missions.  I suppose the reason for this is that it will keep you interested 
throughout the fifteen levels, but I'm sure everyone will have their own 
personal favorite.  

First up is the Patrol Car.  You are allowed a short time to familiarize 
yourself with the vehicles handling which, because of it's front wheel drive, 
should not take very long to get used to.  Each has a special move which can 
be activated by pressing the correct face button and in this case is a 180° 
jack-knife turn.  One you are ready for your first mission simply activate 
your scanner and if there are any reported crimes in your area, they will 
appear as targets on the dashboard radar.  It is now simply a case of 
following the radar line and tracking down the criminal within the city 
boundary.  Once in sight a red target surrounds their vehicle to clarify 
the offender and at this point they will probably turn tail and race off.  
It is now up to you to chase them through the busy network of city streets, 
blasting away with your weapons until sufficient damage has been caused to 
destroy your target.

Driving the vehicle is fairly straightforward.  Two face buttons are used to 
accelerate and brake while the directional pad, or analog stick, steers you 
left or right.  Pressing and holding up with the directional pad starts a scan 
of the immediate area while the shoulder buttons fire standard and special 
weapons.  The remaining shoulder buttons have important functions.  Should a 
vehicle prove difficult to catch then a press of the Pursuit button sets the 
vehicles siren wailing and lights flashing while offering a short turbo speed 
boost.  Sometimes it will be deemed too dangerous to chase around the busy 
streets with your guns blasting therefore a press of the non-violent Pacify 
button projects an ultra-low frequency sound at your target.  This disrupts 
the vehicles electronic system and induces unconsciousness over the driver.  
After a few blasts the vehicle will slow down and stop allowing you to easily 
make your arrest without too much bloodshed.

Each level requires a set number of missions to be successfully carried out 
before moving onto the next city.  Respond to the police department's dispatch 
office from over 400 possible criminal acts, including; Drug busts, car-
bombings, jail breaks, corporate defectors, missile attacks, shoot-out with 
bank robbers, pacifying smugglers, chase and destroy speeding vehicles, why 
even an illegally parked vehicle is blown to smithereens.

As you progress not only do the missions become harder but alternative modes 
of transport are required.  The Police Bike is an excellent vehicle to chase 
fast moving targets because of it's lightening acceleration.  As soon as you 
receive your instructions from HQ it's wheelies up and throttle hard down.  
The final vehicle is the special Prototype Wing that performs stomach churning 
half-loop barrels.  A further face button becomes operative with this craft 
allowing you to hover several feet above the road or swoop right down within 
inches of the road surface.  Each vehicle is fitted with both passive weapons, 
standard guns and limited special weapons but take too many hits and your 
vehicle explodes into a ball of flame. Watch your health level, if it flashes 
red, you're dead!.

Not only are you offered the standard single player mission game but Crime 
Killers includes further two player game modes when you take on a friend for 
a session of split screen police mayhem.  There are two styles of game: 
'race to win' Holo-Tag or 'shoot to survive' Deathmatch.  Select from six 
city districts to race through or kill in, each with their own street systems 
and special hidden areas.  Select from Bike Car or Wing for a wide spread of 
options as both styles of game allows you to modify them to your own choosing; 
win with a single kill or race against the clock with only a handful of seconds 
to spare.

Value for Money

So who exactly would Crime killers appeal to?
If your taste in gaming involves past titles such as Auto Destruct and 
Twisted Metal then this is definitely worth checking out.  It may not 
hit the graphical standards of Vigilante 8 but there's masses of 
gameplay to compensate.
GRAPHICS: 15/20 Crime Killers includes all those essential elements that go towards making a successful arcade shooter. The graphics are bright and colorful and move along at a commendable rate while the two player mode should keep you occupied for quite some time.

If there is one slight fault it would be that although the missions are varied the objective remains the same - seek and destroy your target, but then that's what arcade shooters are all about.

The theme of Crime killers leads me to an interesting thought - the idea of linking two different games together. If that were possible then the combination of this and Grand Theft Auto would be a treat.
SOUND: 8/10
VALUE: 18/20


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