Wreckless: The Yakuza Missions - PS2

Also known as: Double S.T.E.A.L.

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Wreckless: The Yakuza Missions (PS2)
Also for: Xbox, GameCube
Viewed: 3D First-person / Third-person Genre:
Media: DVD Arcade origin:No
Developer: Activision Soft. Co.: Activision
Publishers: Activision (GB)
Released: 22 Nov 2002 (GB)
Ratings: 15+
Features: Vibration Function Compatible
Accessories: Memory Card, Analogue Control Compatible: all buttons


When it launched alongside the UK Xbox, Wreckless: The Yakuza Missions was the showpiece title for Microsoft’s machine, showing a level of graphical detail that was unsurpassed at the time. Now making its way to PlayStation 2, the unusual port-process should conjure up a flattering remake for Sony’s market-leading hardware…

You play as an undercover cop, trying to stop the Yakuza, or Japanese mafia, from realising several nasty plots, involving money drugs and guns. Understand, this is a mission-based driving game, bereft of the gratuity that, in the wake of the excellent Driver series, has been a blight on the genre.

The first thing veteran gamers will notice about Wreckless is the sizable debt it owes to Sega’s Crazy Taxi series. All missions make use of a big green arrow at the top of the screen indicating the direction in which you need to be travelling. Furthermore, the game makes ample use of Crazy Taxi’s collision philosophy, with your vehicle seeming constructed of dark-matter, and all others of balsa. This is pleasing in a way as instead of being forced to pick your way through busy streets for fear of a coming-together, all collisions are in your favour with other vehicles and obstacles bouncing away without consequence.

There is a textural lushness about Wreckless that really is a joy to behold. A unique mixture of cartoon-style presentation tinged with real-world construction makes Wreckless one of the best-looking games ever released on any console.

Missions are varied and, in the style of Driver, enforce a variety of disciplines upon the player. Some levels see you hurtling through the streets in chase of fleeing gangsters while others will require stealth, as you silently tail the Yakuza from a distance.

If Grand Theft Auto 3 or Vice City don’t float your boat, and you can’t wait for Driver 3, this is a cracking game. Made with the best intentions and bereft of genre-cynicism, a driving game for your PlayStation 2 won’t look as good until Gran Turismo 4 is released.