Emergency Mayhem strikes an amazing resemblance to Sega's Crazy Taxi in the arcades and then on the Dreamcast and PlayStation, so is Codemaster's offering a poor man's alternative or does it build on the game? We get playing to find out.
Replacing taxi fares for fire hoses and handcuffs, like Crazy Taxi, the premise for Emergency Mayhem is simple: you play as either a police van, fire truck or ambulance driving around a town completing a series of tasks before your time runs out.
Although developed by Codemasters rather than Sega, the gameplay concept is incredibly similar, with the main difference being that instead of a taxi looking for fares you play the emergency services looking to stop general mayhem.
To that aim you have to complete a number of tasks. For every task you complete you get more time given to you so you can play on and eventually playing for long enough (if you haven't run out of time) means you complete that quadrant of the map.
To give you some purpose there are a series of mini-games that you have to complete and these involve you having to use the motion sensor element of the Wii Remote to complete them.
Chores include such things as stopping a fire hydrant leaking water, saving someone's life by waving the Wii Remote at a given time to the heart beat or putting out a fire in a skip. The tasks, which themselves are timed, are simple and don't require much thought however do serve to break up the monotony of driving around the city non-stop.
Chores or tasks are found by a big arrow in the sky, although there is no map to see when the turning is coming up, nor is the arrow clever enough to tell you which road to take. It's a bit frustrating as more often than not the arrow will just point in the general direction of the task leading you into a dead end. Of course, some will say this only adds to the challenge, but it’s like someone offering to help and then saying that they are only going to say names of cheeses whenever you ask them a question.
Like Crazy Taxi, Emergency Mayhem is a pick up and play game with no save options or chance to come back to a section. The city quadrants aren't small either meaning you could get frustrated if you've just spent the last 20 minutes trying to do everything only to run out of time and have to start back at the beginning.
If you liked Crazy Taxi then you'll do doubt love Emergency Mayhem on the Wii, the gameplay is virtually identical while the added element of the mini-games and emergency service dedicated tasks means Codemasters have managed to bring some new life into the concept.
Using three different emergency services within the one city is a bit of a cop-out however we can see that without it, the game would have been very short indeed.
Emergency Mayhem isn't the greatest Wii game around, nor will it win any prizes for ingenuity, however for fans of Sega's classic this will be right up your street.