Official Nintendo Magazine

Log in to access exclusive Nintendo content, win prizes and post on our forums. Not a member yet? Join for free

Disaster: Day Of Crisis Review

It's gonna be one hell of a day...

Next time you're having a bad day, spare a thought for Raymond Bryce. He's already miffed at having lost his best buddy Steve a year ago to a hungry volcano, and then he's called into action when a rogue marine squad, SURGE, hijacks some nuclear warheads and kidnaps a seismology professor and his assistant. Who, by remarkable coincidence, is Steve's sister Lisa. All in a day's work for a crisis management professional, you might think, but then Ray has to kill all the bad guys and save the day while surviving an earthquake, a tsunami, another volcano and finally a flood. And then there's the small matter of a nuke that's about to go off. Welcome to Disaster: Day of Crisis - twenty-four hours of action that makes Jack Bauer's life look positively dull.

Realism Is Over-rated

If all that suggests that the game is a little far-fetched, then you'd be right. The plot itself is absolutely mad. Think the one-man-against-insurmountable-odds heroism of Die Hard mixed with Dante's Peak and The Day After Tomorrow, and you're almost close to the quatro-formaggi-with-stuffed-crust level of cheesiness here.

Click to view larger image
It's the kind of story where everything that can go wrong does, and the above comparison with 24 is pretty appropriate given how often Bryce utters Jack Bauer's favourite expression: "dammit!" And that's before we get to the giant cans and watermelon slices, Bryce's hilarious tai chi deep breathing to clear his lungs of smoke, and the section where you run towards an incoming tidal wave to save a perilously positioned dog.

So Day of Crisis isn't a game to be taken seriously. Indeed, it's probably not the kind of game you're expecting. While Disaster has plenty of third-person exploration, it mixes in plenty of other gameplay strands to keep things interesting as well.

The most prominent of these are the on-rails shooting interludes. You'll often be wandering around looking for survivors when you make contact with SURGE troops, whereupon the action goes into first-person and you use the Remote pointer to take down all the enemies before you can continue your search for survivors.

These play out similarly to Sega's Ghost Squad. Though the enemy AI isn't up to much there are a few quirks which keep things interesting. You have a concentration meter, which lasts for a few seconds, and with a press of the C button, you can zoom in, allowing you to pinpoint distant foes and execute headshots. Boxes and crates can be destroyed for additional health and ammo, and you can hit certain items - usually exploding barrels - for 'clever shots' which give you extra points, used for upgrading weapons.

Click to view larger image

Judgement Day

Once you've moved on, it pays to do your job and look for survivors, as they offer experience points to improve Ray's abilities. Press the Z button and Ray yells out, asking if anyone's in trouble. He'll automatically swivel to face the direction of the nearest survivor, meaning you shouldn't have too much trouble locating everyone. When you reach them, you'll engage in a brief mini-game - ranging from lifting rubble from trapped survivors or reaching out to grab the hand of those clinging desperately to ledges, to pumping the chest of collapsed victims to keep them alive. The controls required in these sections vary, but generally the Remote movements mimic the physical nature of the actions very well.

'Disaster action' sequences offer some waggle-based fun - usually legging it away from falling rocks, flood waters or rapidly-approaching lava - and the few brief driving sections scattered throughout are genuinely exciting. One has you tailing a SURGE van in torrential rain (which looks brilliant) while another has you fleeing an eruption as huge chunks of molten rock fly down, crumbling sections of the road away as you swerve from side to side. The steering controls work really well, especially if you use the Wii Wheel. The woeful AI and a few clumsy sections detract from what's otherwise a really enjoyable arcade-style experience. But it looks and sounds great and there are enough unlockables to warrant a second and third playthrough. Given its slightly troubled production history, seeing the final game in such good shape comes as a very welcome surprise

Comments

30 comments so far...
Add a comment

  1. Super Link Aran Thursday 23rd Oct 2008 at 11:01

    Ahhh this is reassuring. I was very worried that it would be another "Alone In The Dark" case.
    The shooting part sounds like the only thing that may be dissapointing but then again what can you do. Sounds like it might be worth a buy just for the search and rescue parts and minigames which sound fun.
    Good to hear :D

  2. slangman Thursday 23rd Oct 2008 at 13:32

    I was expecting this to be a disaster (parden the pun). Sounds alright though might get it on the cheap. :)

  3. GamerKid Thursday 23rd Oct 2008 at 14:33

    defo getting tomorrow

  4. Mama Luigi Thursday 23rd Oct 2008 at 15:21

    I'll buy it just so Nintendo start publishing more action games.

  5. benjamin246 Thursday 23rd Oct 2008 at 15:24

    Its as great solid action/adventure game. I do find the shooting sections to be a little dull to be honest though.

  6. Falcon1991 Thursday 23rd Oct 2008 at 15:42

    Phew. Not bad. I look forward to playing it at Christmas.

  7. Giga Thursday 23rd Oct 2008 at 15:57

    I'm glad t got a good review.
    Now I'm gonna get it.

  8. lminett Thursday 23rd Oct 2008 at 16:23

    ah good, i could have picked this up today!, wished i had but never mind.

  9. mun007 Thursday 23rd Oct 2008 at 17:15

    Good to see the review up online. :) To be honest I was expecting this game to get a really poor review from ONM but I'm actually quite surprised. Although you mentioned the enemy AI isn't all that smart I just hope that really doesn't put me off the game. Might be buying this tomorrow.

  10. The Sandbag Thursday 23rd Oct 2008 at 17:28

    mun007 said:

    Good to see the review up online. To be honest I was expecting this game to get a really poor review from ONM but I'm actually quite surprised. Although you mentioned the enemy AI isn't all that smart I just hope that really doesn't put me off the game. Might be buying this tomorrow.

    i got it yesterday, as the site i ordered it off sent it early :D it is awesome, even though i have only played 3 levels. the ai does not cause any problems in my opinion, and i would give it around 82%

  11. benjamin246 Thursday 23rd Oct 2008 at 17:47

    I havent noticed any problems with the AI yet?
    Theres a strange green line at the bottom of the screen, strangely enough it doesnt do the same with brawl? :?:

  12. Fletche Thursday 23rd Oct 2008 at 18:26

    No AI problems here, all is good to be honest, very happy when it was in my porch when I got home from work. A very good, solid action game with enough variation to keep it interesting.

    One thing that annoys me though, the sound of his footsteps, really that is the only thing I can say I don't like about the game, highly recommended :D

  13. benjamin246 Thursday 23rd Oct 2008 at 18:40

    No AI problems here, all is good to be honest, very happy when it was in my porch when I got home from work. A very good, solid action game with enough variation to keep it interesting.

    One thing that annoys me though, the sound of his footsteps, really that is the only thing I can say I don't like about the game, highly recommended :D

    I toatally agree.

  14. mun007 Thursday 23rd Oct 2008 at 19:56

    mun007 said:

    Good to see the review up online. To be honest I was expecting this game to get a really poor review from ONM but I'm actually quite surprised. Although you mentioned the enemy AI isn't all that smart I just hope that really doesn't put me off the game. Might be buying this tomorrow.

    i got it yesterday, as the site i ordered it off sent it early :D it is awesome, even though i have only played 3 levels. the ai does not cause any problems in my opinion, and i would give it around 82%

    Oh right, well thats not so bad then. :D

    Saw some clips of the game which I haven't seen before but I wouldn't consider the graphics to be amazing or detailed from what I've seen. I have no clue why they mentioned the graphics are good, unless it looks different on the TV. But that aside I'm just hoping it aint so cheesy and the story delivers well.

  15. Esper Thursday 23rd Oct 2008 at 21:45

    And that's before we get to the giant cans and watermelon slices

    Sold.

    Though I was going to buy it anyway.

  16. Icarus_Kid Thursday 23rd Oct 2008 at 21:56

    i'll buy next week :D
    One thing though, it says Chandra reviewed it in the mag, not chris?

  17. Leo91 Friday 24th Oct 2008 at 23:59

    Am I the only one who actually really enjoys the time crisis type shooting moments in this game - I think they're brilliant!

  18. laurencej Saturday 25th Oct 2008 at 13:01

    Am I the only one who actually really enjoys the time crisis type shooting moments in this game - I think they're brilliant!


    I really enjoy them too. I have played 5 levels I think so far (maybe 6) and I think it is a really enjoyable game. It is good fun to play, and is is the first Wii game in a while that I really WANT to continue playing.

  19. Super_Sonic96 Saturday 25th Oct 2008 at 15:41

    A nice surprise.I think i may actully put it on my christmas list.

  20. super-mario-wii Saturday 25th Oct 2008 at 20:01

    Just cleared stage 6. I love the driving sections on the game.

  21. Sylux 2 Saturday 25th Oct 2008 at 22:31

    Up to stage 14 now and I also have seen no problems with the AI. Thanks for ruining the disasters in the mag as well. :x

    Can't wait for the NUCLEAR BOMB!

  22. The Sandbag Sunday 26th Oct 2008 at 13:17

    i have gotten to about stage 14. SPOILER BELOW


    if it is the stage where u have to get iris away from the lava. i have finished that one, believe it is stage 14. the level with the firestorms is weird, and that is where the graphics go downhill. weirdly, only for that section, the rest is fine.

  23. GamerKid Sunday 26th Oct 2008 at 13:46

    Spoiler Alert


    On Mission 23
    It copies metal gear as you fight something excatly like it.

  24. GamerKid Sunday 26th Oct 2008 at 16:29

    Up to stage 14 now and I also have seen no problems with the AI. Thanks for ruining the disasters in the mag as well. :x

    Can't wait for the NUCLEAR BOMB!

    I just completed it. there is none. oh

  25. GamerKid Sunday 26th Oct 2008 at 16:31

    Just cleared stage 6. I love the driving sections on the game.

    some are good but some are bad

  26. ChrisONM Monday 27th Oct 2008 at 00:51

    Up to stage 14 now and I also have seen no problems with the AI. Thanks for ruining the disasters in the mag as well. :x

    Can't wait for the NUCLEAR BOMB!

    I just completed it. there is none. oh


    What are you playing at? Telling people what happens at the end of the game? That's just not on.

    Have a bit of respect for those who haven't finished it yet.

  27. Meow Mix Monday 27th Oct 2008 at 17:25

    So i've been thinking about buying this game but I was wondering how long it has taken to finish, of those you have? Thanks in advance.

  28. RealToonLink Tuesday 28th Oct 2008 at 16:54

    I am glad it got a good score and I am looking forward to playing the game. It sounds great but I'm just slightly disappionted that the shooting sections become like a lightgun game. I wish it was kind of like the shoot and cover system like Gears of War but have it more like Uncharted Drakes Fortune.

  29. The Sandbag Tuesday 28th Oct 2008 at 20:31

    finished the game SPOILERS BELOW


    i do think the last boss fight was a lot like something out of metal gear solid, and i could also see ******* ****** come back. it was obvious

  30. RealToonLink Wednesday 26th Nov 2008 at 00:24

    I really enjoyed Disaster but I've complete it 100% already. I got all 100 titles, completed it on normal, hard and Real Disaster Mode, got all costumes and weapons.

    I was happy when I completed it but also disappointed that it was so short :(

Register or log in to commment
Add a comment
Nintendo Co., Ltd. is the owner of certain copyright which subsists and trade marks and other intellectual property rights in certain content, characters, artwork, logos, scripts and representations used in this publication. All rights are expressly recognised and they are used by Future Publishing Limited under licence © 2006 Nintendo Co., Ltd. All rights reserved. "Nintendo", "International Nintendo Licensed Product" "Nintendo DS", "Nintendo DS Lite", "Nintendo DSi", "Nintendo 3DS", "Nintendo DSi XL", "Nintendo 3DS XL", "Wii" and "Wii U" and the associated logos are the trademarks of Nintendo Co. Ltd. All rights reserved.