On paper, Bad Day LA sounded quite promising: an adult, comic-book-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 you're the poor sod who has to battle through it. Yeah, we thought: a bit GTA-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 isn't bad, it's chronic.
Bad as in bad
- Unus Bad as in bad ual art style
- Technically unpolished
- Stupid enemy spawning
- Not funny
- Not fun to play
- Low-res visuals