If you treat a game's backstory as nothing more than an excuse to kill people, you're going to miss out on the mind-blowing fascist wonderland of Urban Chaos: Riot Response. The good guys are T-Zero (for "zero tolerance"), a militarized police cracking down on a violence-stricken American city, with authority from the President to stop anyone who gets in the way of law and order. On the other side, the villains are a crazy pastiche of urban nightmares: they're gangs, who conduct terrorist strikes, with backing from a multinational corporation (based on FedEx!), and some of them are Latino—and they all wear Friday The 13th-style hockey masks. Anyone who's ever seen a real riot on television will have all their buttons pushed at once by the CNN-style news updates—delivered by a live anchorwoman—that walk you through these horrors.

As star cop (and Pink Floyd drummer?) Nick Mason, you'll march through speeding subway trains and burning buildings, gunning down the gang-bangers who pop up shooting-gallery-style in front of you or come charging with meat cleavers and chainsaws. The unremarkable map layouts and poorly balanced weaponry can be blamed on the developer's total focus on cosmetic details: The environments are exciting and disorienting, and the slo-mo replays of your best kills keep the bloodlust high. Spend enough time on these streets, and you'll laugh when you hear that the liberals are accusing your team of mistreating gang members and beating them for intel. Don't they realize who the real enemy is? 

Beyond the game: You can replay the short single-player campaign to finish additional challenges. For example, you can actually try arresting the perps.


Worth playing for: An intriguing "disaster response" game lurks under the surface of Urban Chaos, as you team up with cops, firefighters, and a flirty paramedic to get through each level. Unfortunately, the missions are so linear that you don't have much choice in how you deploy those characters.

Frustration sets in when: You'll have to serve and protect in this game—so if you hate escort missions, steer clear.

Final judgment: Finally, a twitch-and-kill action game that right-wingers can get behind.