Taxi Chaos Review
It’s amazing how a concept so simple could turn into such a beloved game. Yet, that’s exactly what happened 20 years ago when Crazy Taxi hit the arcades. In Crazy Taxi, players were tasked with picking up passengers and driving them as fast as possible to their desired locations. It was a constant race against the clock. Since then, there have been a number of Crazy Taxi sequels, but none have found their way to home consoles since the early 2000’s. Now, it’s time for a new contender to the taxi driver throne. Which brings us to Taxi Chaos, a game that has been very much inspired by the Crazy Taxi franchise, but designed for a new generation of gamers and available on multiple platforms. How does Taxi Chaos stand up against the legend that is Crazy Taxi? Hop in and let’s find out.
Welcome to New Yellow City
In Taxi Chaos, players are tasked with picking up different passengers and transporting them to their desired destinations throughout New Yellow City. You’ll need to be quick, exploiting every shortcut you can in this massive city. There will be many comparisons between Taxi Chaos and the original Crazy Taxi, however Taxi Chaos actually takes a lot more cues from Crazy Taxi 2, which was released exclusively for Dreamcast in 2001. In addition to the core gameplay, both games take place in a mock New York City and both games provide the ability to jump, allowing for access to shortcuts and avoiding traffic. While comparisons to the older franchise are fair, Taxi Chaos does provide a few new ideas that help make it stand out. One such idea is the acceleration boost – a quick way to get back up to speed after you pick up a new passenger. Another is the increased level of platforming. Yes, there will be times where you’ll be timing jumps from building to building to hunt down special passengers and hidden collectibles. Taxi Chaos gives players two different cab drivers to choose from. There are no statistical differences between them, just some of the banter with passengers is different. Additionally, there are a variety of taxi cabs you’ll be able to unlock through completing various in-game accomplishments – each cab comes with it’s own unique stats such as improved speed and acceleration.
In Taxi Chaos, there are three modes to choose from. First is Arcade Mode, which tasks you with transporting passengers as fast as possible to their desired locations within a set time frame. Completing fares will award you extra precious seconds, allowing you to keep going. The second mode is Pro Mode, which is essentially the same as Arcade Mode, except you get no visual cues for the destinations, you’ll just have to remember where everything in the city is located. It’s tough, but after enough time with the game, it’s not hard to recall the various landmarks and common locations. And finally there is the Free roam mode, which has no time limits at all, you’re free to explore New Yellow City to your hearts content. In Taxi Chaos, there are ten special passengers hidden throughout the city. After you meet them for the first time, they’ll ask you to find some collectibles now hidden throughout the city. Free roam mode is the perfect way to find and collect all these items, but even then, it’s not easy. I’ve logged numerous hours into Taxi Chaos, but have only completed two of these special passenger quests. Yet I keep coming back – I’m addicted.
Banter Ad Nauseum
Taxi Chaos isn’t going to win any awards for best visuals, but it’s light-hearted, cartoon-like look is a perfect match for the gameplay. There are some occasional graphical hiccups. While the draw distance is impressive, sometimes the building facades don’t load fast enough giving them a sort of broken look to them. I also noticed quite a few objects, from hot dog stands to street lights, that aren’t placed properly or hovering above the ground. But, honestly, these are just small issues and don’t take too much away from the overall game. The sound on the other hand can get quite irritating. The soundtrack is a mix of in-house instrumental rock tracks which are easy enough to tune out. Sure, it would have been great to have a licensed soundtrack like Crazy Taxi had – heck, The Offspring just released a new single that would be perfect for this game – but alas, the cost probably wasn’t worth it. The voicework is where things get rough. During each ride, the cabbie and the passenger exchange some light-hearted banter. The problem is the same light-hearted banter is repeated ad nauseum. Even worse, some of the banter doesn’t even make sense – like the passenger complaining he’s going to be late for work, yet the destination is the basketball courts. I get that there’s only so much voicework that can be added, and even if they added another couple hundred lines of dialog, those lines would get old fast too. It’s just the nature of this type of game, but still a disappointment. On the plus side, the ten special passengers in the game each have their own unique lines of dialog, so at least there’s that.
I’m sure the biggest question on Crazy Taxi fan’s minds is how well does Taxi Chaos scratch that very specific itch. I can happily report that it scratches it very, very well. The Arcade and Pro modes will give you the same rush you got out of Crazy Taxi, and the new Free roam mode will have you spending hours scouring the city for hidden collectibles. Of course, if you’re not a fan of hunting down collectibles, Taxi Chaos might lose it’s steam pretty quick. The visuals do the trick, with only a few minor hiccups. There are some occasional glitches here and there – this one time I hit a weird jump and ended up flying in the air as high as the tallest buildings – but they’re few and far between. The voicework gets repetitive real quick, but eventually I just learned to zone it out. I do wish they had some licensed tracks here, but I get music licensing can be pricey. While I’ve easily logged in a dozen or so hours into Taxi Chaos, I’m still itching to get back into Free roam to find every last collectible. I truly hope the team at Team6 Game Studios are hard at work at some DLC, because I would love more content.
***Taxi Chaos game code provided by publisher***
- Addicting Gameplay
- Large Open City
- Classic Crazy Taxi Gameplay
- Repetitive Voicework
- No Licensed Music
- Some Visual And Gameplay Glitches