The game's multiplayer option lets you play with two to four players in a variety of cooperative and competitive games. Deathmatch is your basic player vs. player mode, and there are also variants on the single-player game's last clone standing and kaos games. Survivor mode is a last man standing sort of game that ends when only one player is left alive. The multiplayer modes are a good addition, though they don't feel quite as fleshed out as they could have been. It's also worth noting that the game's streets aren't as populated in the multiplayer events and that the frame rate drops down to around 30 frames per second for the split-screen modes.
State of Emergency was a pretty amazing graphical achievement when it came to the PlayStation 2 last year--you just don't normally see that many characters running around onscreen at once. The Xbox version cleans things up a bit and improves the frame rate, though the game's crisper look betrays its rather simplistic geometry. But considering how smoothly the game runs and how many people are packed onscreen at once, the game is still pretty impressive. Without the ability to put this many people onscreen, State of Emergency would lose a lot of its impact--there's nothing quite as satisfying as launching a rocket or grenade into a huge crowd of people and watching the blood and limbs fly like something out of some demented cartoon.
The game's technical strengths, satisfying displays of comically overblown violence, and budget price make it worth a look.
The sound effects throughout the game are good, and they effectively convey the feeling of a riot. You'll hear people shrieking as they run around like lunatics, and the weapon fire is done well. Unfortunately, there seems to be a bug in the game that occasionally causes some sound effects to simply cut off, but this rarely pops up. The music consists of fairly generic-sounding techno and rock tracks, though you can choose to play a custom soundtrack, if you so desire.
State of Emergency isn't the deepest game on the market, but with its timers and its high-score lists, the game is definitely shooting for shorter, arcadelike play sessions. While it might be a bit much to ask players to pay full price for a port of a year-old PS2 game, the Xbox version's new features and bargain-minded retail price make it a good deal for anyone looking for some mindless fun.