Bad Day LA
American McGee's back again with yet another crazy title for us. Bad Day LA, far from taking us into a darker Wonderland world full of psychotic elements and insane character, it takes us to a different insanity world. The creativity and imagination seen in his games are easy to recognize, and helps bring a weird diversity into the industry. But all this creativity is useless if the game itself doesn't back it up. So, does Bad Day LA do justice to its own story?
About the game
Bad Day LA is set, as the name implies, in LA, with many of its landmarks being featured there. We play the role of Anthony Williams, an African American homeless guy. He-s the typical funny guy that looks to make the most of every opportunity and see what he can get out of them. He-s life is not the average already, but he knows his ways around the streets of LA.
One day, all of a sudden, all the catastrophes that could happen, happen. This leads Anthony to do everything he can to survive. Throughout the game, we'll be facing terrorist attacks, earthquakes, floods, meteor rains, toxic gas that turns people into zombies and many more weird events.
Surviving is not easy, but for Anthony Williams, it hasn't been for a long time, it just got even harder now. He's not alone of course, as he has four companions that will help each other to survive. These are not the best companions you could ask for in this type of situation though. There's a sick kid that will be barfing around; Beverly, the stereotypical rich blond girl with the maze; Juan, the crazy Mexican with a chainsaw; and the Sargent, a patriotic American soldier with the happy trigger and some grenades.
Classic American McGee
This game is a pure representation of society and its crisis according to the author. Unlike American McGee's Alice, this game is a social commentary and critique, whereas Alice's is just a darker, more insane version of Lewis Carroll's classic. Bad Day LA is a darker and more insane version of Los Angeles, except that this title is certainly full of issues. We'll talk about those in a moment though.
Bad Day LA is an interesting idea, with a cool plot and a nice social commentary. It's too bad that the game itself doesn't really back up the whole thing. You end up with a frustrating experience of a great idea trapped in a game that's full of flaws. Comedy is a key part of the game, and while it does make you laugh from time to time, it's not excellent at this either
Graphics and visuals: The game has a clear visual style that is meant to look cartoony. It does an excellent job at this, but it doesn't look all that great. The flat there isn't much to praise about the game visual aspect. The player interface is hideous, to say the least, and the art style is cartoony, but in cartoons animation is vital, and the animations here are terrible too.
Gameplay: An uncomfortable experience in which most missions will be centered in going from point A to point B, shooting stuff up in the way. It gets tiring and boring in no time, with bad controls and repetitive actions.
Sound: The sound is also lame in here. There is close to no soundtrack, and the sound effects are overall of low quality. The voice lines, on the other hand, are funny and the voice actors deliver a good performance.
Download Bad Day LA
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
On Paper, Bad Day LA sounded quite promising: an adult, comicbook-inspired satirical adventure through Los Angeles in the midst of its most disastrous day ever. All the nasty things Americans have been told to fear in recent years - terrorists, earthquakes, biological warfare, tsunamis - have, by chance, hit the city at the same time, and youre the poor sod who has to battle through it. Yeah, we thought: a bit GW-esque perhaps, but it'll do.
As it turns out, it certainly won't do. Despite the guiding hand of 'celebrity' design guru American McGee, Bad Day LA is an unpolished, bland mess of a game that doesn't deserve a single megabyte of your hard disk space.
First of all, it isn't even funny, and the satire is about as cutting as a plastic spoon. Anthony, the character you play, is a loud-mouthed, skirt-chasing misanthrope with a grating voice, and most jokes seem to revolve around him insulting someone, killing innocent people by accident or getting into some kind of personal hygiene-related trouble. South Park can do this kind of stuff well, because the writers take comedy seriously. Bad Day LA's writing is lazy and uninspired.
No Fun Zone
More importantly, the game itself just isn't fun to play. Forget a free-roaming romp around LA: here you're hemmed into a small area of the city and given a mission or two to complete before being allowed to move on. The tasks usually revolve around saving people (by putting out fires or healing injuries) and killing terrorists, but the mechanics of the game take any notion of skill or fun out of this.
Terrorists, for example, spawn in front of your eyes or - more likely - right behind you, shooting you in the back when you think you've cleared an area out. Likewise, cars will often drive up from blind spots and run you down, resulting in insta-death. This forces you to quicksave constantly, breaking up what little flow the game has.
Bad Day LA is also a technical disaster. Quitting out of the game twice crashed my PC, and this is the first time I've played a game with no adjustable resolution or graphics settings beyond contrast and 'brightness', so it ends up looking like shit as well as playing like it. This isnt bad, its chronic.