game is a wonderful combination of some of the most popular titles
from years gone by. Remember Paper Boy? Well take the main
ingredients from that age old classic, combine it with the hazards
that appeared in the cycling levels of ESPN Extreme Games, add two
spoonfuls of trick moves from Cool Boarders, bring to the boil in a
Twisted Metal 2 environment, simmer gently and then call it Courier
Crisis. So what does it taste like? You will have to read on to find
Crisis is a race against the clock to collect parcels which are
scattered around a selection of large sprawling environments and
then successfully deliver them, within an allocated time, to collect
your just reward. Success reaps a financial dividend which can then
be used to upgrade your transport which just happens to be a bicycle
of the two wheeled variety. I suppose that means you could call this
a racing game.
game opens with the now customary quality FMV showing your cyclist
collecting a package before beginning his journey through the city
streets, bringing terror and mayhem to innocent pedestrians. It's
short, but pretty to look at and sets the scene nicely for the game
The in-game graphics take on an appearance that proved
successful in games such as Twisted Metal 2. The network of narrow
city streets scroll past as you pedal forward and although the
buildings are predominately flat, the level of detail is amazing.
Lush green trees line the sidewalks and act as a hazard in their own
right as the slightest contact will send your cyclist sprawling.
Trash cans, road work barriers, stop signs, traffic signals, rubbish
bins and street lights are just a few of the obstacles that are
littered around each level.
Every imaginable type of vehicle has taken to the roads to
provide a truly realistic environment, green saloons, red
hatchbacks, police cars, refuse trucks, coaches, wagons and delivery
vans are just some of the motorized hazards you must overcome.
This may be beginning to sound like it's one heck of a busy
town but I have yet to mention the 'life forms'. I say life forms
because not only do hundreds of humans parade the sidewalks but
animals and extra terrestrials mingle freely within the crowds. Yes,
you picked that up right. Strange grey aliens wander the streets and
nobody turns a head. Humans are dressed according to the environment
you are playing. All around the big city smartly dressed businessmen
wander along with briefcases in hand while down in the lower end of
town leather clad bikers mingle with punks, pimps and prostitutes.
The game is viewed from behind the cyclist at an angle that is
perfect for judging every bend in the road and hazard ahead. Your
rider wears a wonderful assortment of colorful sweatshirts, cycle
shorts and jazzy hose. His appearance is rounded off with a tasty
range of matching elbow pads and cycle hats.
"Yeeehah!" screams your cyclist, as he sets off on his
frantic delivery escapade across the city scapes. Courier Crisis is
jam packed with every street sound imaginable. Cars toot their horns
at the maniac driving feats of your courier before screeching to a
halt and shouting obscenities. Pedestrians shout curses as you mount
the sidewalk and scatter them in every direction. When you near your
target, smart dressed businessmen call out "Over here" to
beckon you towards them. When entering the tougher side of Skid Row
the sound of gun shots can be heard all around, blending nicely with
the wailing of police sirens.
Occasionally the 'commentator' will rub salt into your wounds.
A late delivery will hear him brag about being able to do better
himself - blindfolded, while a tumble from your bike will result in
sarcastic comments such as "Did you drop something? Like your
spleen" or "Did you scuff your pretty little bike?"
All of the action is backed by a selection of drum 'n' bass,
beat, techno, industrial and heavy tracks that compliment the whole
game controls are straightforward enough with the option to choose
from three preset configurations. There are two ways to pedal your
bike, using one of the face buttons or by pressing 'up' on the
direction pad. The other face buttons are set to perform a sharp
turn, bunny hop and brake/reverse. The shoulder buttons, when
pressed, allow your cyclist to swing a left or right hook and a
sharp kick with either foot. The directional buttons serve to steer
your bike around the course while a press down will result in the
performance of a wheelie. Combinations of the aforementioned actions
will see your cyclist perform a series of amazing stunts. The game
is Analog compatible and the new pad works a treat for steering
around those tight corners and tricky bends.
Courier Crisis includes five racing worlds which are Civic
Centre, China Town, Waterfront, Skid Row and Industrial, however,
you do not gain access to all of the worlds on the very first level.
Small sections that offer two or three pickups are initially
available which act as a gentle learning curve for the game, but
soon you will be racing around vast sprawling environments where the
slightest distraction could see you hopelessly lost, with time
The rules of the game are simple. On the word go you must
pedal like crazy to reach your first pick-up point while avoiding
the congestion which appears all around. You are guided to your
destination by an on-screen arrow that remains green as long as you
are heading in the correct direction. Should you take a wrong
turning the pointer will change to amber, and then red if you fail
to correct your error. As you approach your pick-up target a large
yellow arrow will point down to the person carrying the parcel.
Cycle into them to collect. The arrow will now indicate the drop off
point where a large dollar sign hovers above the recipient. This
system repeats until all of the packages have been safely delivered.
Permanently displayed on the screen is a wealth of helpful
information. Small icons of envelopes represent the number of
packages to be collected before the level is complete. Every single
street has a name which is updated with each turn, although you are
hardly given the time to acknowledge this information. A running
clock displays the time elapsed while a segmented compass dial
determines the amount of cash you will be paid for your deliveries.
As you progress through the game the city boundaries expand but your
time limit gets tighter therefore you must perform a series of trick
jumps over ramps to gain extra seconds. Spectacular acrobatic feats
will gain you various bonuses of speed ups, health and that valuable
The opening couple of levels were over in a matter of seconds
but I was soon captivated by the ever changing gameplay. With each
level Courier Crisis throws more obstacles and challenging routes in
your face. By the fourth level residents were grabbing hold of your
passing bike, pulling you to the ground and then promptly kicking
seven bells out of you. Packs of barking dogs began chasing you and
jumping up at the bike to slow your progress. Once you reach the
fifth level it will be impossible to make the first drop point
unless you gain extra time by performing those stunts.
The levels keep coming thick and fast until you reach a point
where you must spend some of your cash to upgrade your bike.
Beginning with a $350 heap of cack you may enter the showroom and
select any of the 15 bikes that are within your price range. The
ultimate purchase is a rather cool rocket bike but that will cost
around $11,000, which is an awful lot of deliveries.
was a little disappointed when first loading up Courier Crisis as
you are faced with a couple of levels that last all of 15 seconds.
However, as the difficulty moves up a couple of notches and the city
boundaries expand you become hooked by the challenge to complete a
level and simply cannot put the damn game down. Furthermore the
levels just seem to keep rolling in one after the other. Is this
Crisis has that magical - just one more go - ingredient that keeps
you coming back again and again. You must get to grips with the
acrobatic moves otherwise the game will go from being painfully easy
to excruciatingly hard in a relatively short period of time. The
gameplay remains similar throughout although there is enough
variation in each level to keep you mildly amused and fully occupied
for quite some time.
deserves to be a major hit on the PlayStation, The graphics move
well, the action gets faster and crazier as you progress and the
ability to earn bonuses by doing stunts on your bike adds that touch
of originality sadly missing in many of the recent releases.