State of Emergency 2 is set around 10 years after the original and once again the characters from the first instalment take on the oppressive might of "The Corporation". Once again you control rebels Spanky, MacNeil and Bull as, 10 years on, the Corporation has risen once again in an attempt to eradicate freedom and to teach the world that rebellion will not be tolerated.
The game begins with MacNeil being executed in front of a world-wide audience for his work within "Freedom" and his crimes again the Corporation. He is saved at the last minute by old friends with connections to Freedom and you are thrown into action against a myriad of Corporation goons with a semi-automatic and a radio for company. The first thing that you notice is the linear nature of the game when compared to the limited range but free reign of the first outing. It has basically become a limited shoot 'em up rather than its riotous and open predecessor that was released by Rockstar on the back of the success of GTA3. SoE2 has a new publisher and developer and with them new ideas where the result is something quite unlike SoE1.
The Corporation soldiers aren't shy either in numbers or their desire to pump you with hot lead. However, they are so goddamn retarded that you could pick off five of their mates with a sniper rifle who were standing next to them and they still wouldn't realise that anything was amiss. Needless to say to AI of your foes is appalling and this is probably the reason why you don't die as much as you should with such a small life power bar. This said there are health power ups at many points along the way as well as automatically saved checkpoints and should you croak at any point on the mission you will be returned there rather than the start.
The missions that have replaced the freely roaming style of SOE1 are varied; from stealth to sniper and abseiling down the sides of skyscrapers to helicopter, boat and tank missions; but are still unimaginative and nothing that you won't have seen hundreds of times before. There are further mission within the missions which are just mini-games but mini-games not as an exciting side game to keep you involved but as tedious interrogations which just keep the plot from unfolding or having to switch to a character with the amazing ability to beat a door in. I say "plot" but what I mean is being hounded my lots of thick Corporation foot soldiers who keep flanking you in not so cunning pincer manoeuvres so that they can shoot you from all sides. This is main constant that runs throughout the missions, whatever their type. The only thing that really changes is your environment.
SoE2 is not a bad game, it is just not a good game either. It suffers from a lack of originality which means that it was never going to stand out in genre that is already saturated with run of the mill titles, from a failure to build on what was good about SoE1 and from the appalling AI of your foes. From this perspective it doesn't really feel like a sequel either. It is worth a dabble, but no more.
6 out of 10