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   Review : Crime Cities »  


 Crime Cities - Preamble
 Date  : Feb 3rd, 2001
 Genre  : Simulation
 Developer   : Techland
 Author  : Jin-Ning Tioh

I'll give it to you straight. Techland was a relatively unknown company, until it hooked up with software publishing giant Eon Digital Entertainment. Don't be mistaken though. Although the company doesn't have much of a reputation for developing games yet, Crime Cities has already won itself an award for Best Visual Arts in 1999's Independent Games Festival, held at the Game Developer's Conference in San Jose. Keep in mind that the game was still only in alpha state at the time. Naturally, you can expect good things from the game, which is what I'm here to cover. So, with no further ado, let's get it on.

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Crime Cities puts you in the position of Lieutenant Garm Tiger, an undercover earth cop in the not so far future who is framed by his fellow officers and superior, Angela Hubber in order to investigate the sudden rise of organized crime in the Pandemia System. The Pandemia System is a series of penal colonies about 16 light-years away from Earth. The three main colonies are Tavaroon, Quarzon and Blackloud. Let's go ahead and take a look.

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Tavaroon used to be a mining colony, until it became unprofitable. The Federation then turned it into a low-level penal world, with city structures and authorities. Deviants and smugglers are sent here. The second world is Quarzon, which is also a penal world. Political prisoners and other mid-level prisoners are sent here. As before, it has a city structure with police and authorities. The last world is called Blackloud, which is a hi-level penal colony for terrorists, war criminals and other dangerous criminals. It also has a city structure, but with no authorities. The license to manage the colony was sold to a corporation, who was suppose to maintain an iron fist rule, but failed. Another world is Hyperion, a planet closes to the Pandemia Sun, and is very hot. The Federation has not seen fit to terraform it yet. Other worlds include a gas giant and an ice planet, but will not be any of your concern. So, let's get back to the point.

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Your first objective is to rescue another undercover agent by the name of Juan Alvarez trapped on the planet Tavaroon before he is liquidated. To do this two other agents will help you. One of them is a former cyber hacker by the name of CyberDog. He'll be your guardian angel on the net. The second agent is Natasha Tyminsky. She's an environmental officer who'll provide you with information on the social and political structure of the Pandemia System. Along the way, your character will even foster "closer" ties with a girl called Jessica Blue, whom you rescued from some gang members on Tavaroon.

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