Michael Bay's Bad Boys and Bad Boys II are two of the best action movies of the last 10 years. Conversely, Empire Interactive and Blitz Games' Bad Boys: Miami Takedown is one of the worst action games of the last 10 years. How could this happen? It's not like the developer didn't have more than ample source material with which to make a good, old-fashioned shooter. Featuring two wisecracking cops who bust up a lot of bad guys, the Bad Boys films were absolutely rife with game licensing potential. Yet somehow, all Blitz was able to turn in was this dumb, grating, and barely playable hack-job of a game. When you take a moment to consider how much progress film-based games have made in the last year or so, Miami Takedown really only serves as a cold reminder of a past we don't want to revisit.
Remember how great the Bad Boys movies were? Good. Focus on that, because Bad Boys: Miami Takedown will do everything in its power to try to rob you of those happy memories.
Miami Takedown continues the cop saga of Miami police detectives Mike Lowrey and Marcus Burnett, originally played by Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, respectively. Of course, neither actor reprises his role in this game; instead we are treated to two of the stupidest-sounding voice actors you will ever hear. The ludicrous impersonations both actors try to pull off are astonishing enough, since neither sounds anything like the original actor. In particular, the actor pretending to be Martin Lawrence's character is so bad, his attempt to re-create Lawrence's character actually borders on being offensive.
Oh, and then there's the mercilessly awful dialogue. "Punishing" is really the only word that can be used to describe it. Whereas the Bad Boys films were written to include witty banter between the two main characters that, while cheesy at times, worked well with the obvious chemistry between the two actors, the dialogue here seems like it was written by a fourth grader who saw about half of Bad Boys, got drunk, then tried to write something that faintly resembled what he could remember about the film. Or something like that. Yes, all the rampant (and generally unnecessary) profanity is there, but it's all completely humorless. Every joke, quip, or gag in the game is painfully unfunny--and not even in a pseudoironic "it's so bad it's good" kind of way, either. It's just horrible. For example, Mike says, "Man, getting shot in the ass by Russian lead? That just puts the cap on a s***** day!", to which Marcus responds, "But you ain't wearin' a cap!" And what's perhaps even worse about this is that there's so much dialogue to sit through! Every five or 10 seconds you'll hear one lame line or another. There's no escaping it, no matter how much you might want to.
The actual story in Miami Takedown is largely irrelevant. It has something to do with Colombian drug lords, Russian mobsters, dirty cops, and a lot of bad guys getting shot in the face. That's pretty much all you need to know. The whole game takes place across several "acts," each of which contains a few different stages. The actual missions aren't terribly involved. They basically tend to revolve around the typical "get from point A to point B and shoot everyone in your path" ilk. Occasionally, you'll have to protect your artificial intelligence-controlled partner (you control either Marcus or Mike, depending on the mission) or collect some evidence or what have you, but it's all pretty much incidental to your primary goal of killing lots and lots of people.
You have a fair number of weapons at your disposal in Miami Takedown, ranging from simple pistols and shotguns to automatic assault rifles and grenades. Each weapon packs a varying degree of punch, though all of them have the annoying tendency to be somewhat useless at times. This is because, for the most part, the hit detection in Miami Takedown is fairly broken. Headshots live up to the promise of being one-hit kills, but with shots to any other parts of an enemy's body, it's anybody's guess as to when or where shots will be effective. One moment you can pump shotgun round after shotgun round into an enemy's chest, legs, and assorted other body parts as he just stands there dumbfounded and still pointing a gun in your direction, while at other times, you'll place one or two pistol shots to the foot, and an enemy will keel right over. Consistency, thy name is not Bad Boys.