Taxi Chaos is not Crazy Taxi. But it’s trying to be, and it succeeds in some important ways while completely failing in many others. Consider this a warning: Don’t buy Taxi Chaos. But if you do, I can help make the game a bit better.
I get why some folks might be tempted to buy Taxi Chaos, especially if you are like me, a fan of Sega’s fantastic Crazy Taxi series. It’s been over 12 years since the release of the last Crazy Taxi game (I’m not counting those mediocre mobile spin-off games), and the last entry was a port of the arcade games to the PSP. So a possible knock-off might be tempting
But it costs $30, and that’s way too much for a game this small and wonky. A price of $10 or even $15 would be more reasonable. Still, there’s some good buried beneath the bad.
The driving is the real star of the show, and to give credit to the devs behind Taxi Chaos, they mostly nailed it. Weaving around the not-New York City streets of the game feels nice. You can even do a big bunny hop, which I don’t remember being in Crazy Taxi, but is a cool and useful move. Whenever I would encounter a big mess of cars and buses, I could just hop over them. It almost felt like cheating, but it also saved me time. And in Crazy Taxi…I mean Taxi Chaos, time is money.
Taxi Chaos looks nice too. It runs pretty well, at least it did on my Xbox Series X. It sports stylized visuals that work perfectly for a game this fast. There are some texture pop-in issues and plain-looking buildings around the city that stand out, but there’s nothing too horrendous.
However, this game has some of the most annoying dialogue I’ve ever encountered. And it repeats. Over and over and over and over and over. During one session, I heard the same line repeated four times. After only playing for 20 minutes, I have heard every line of dialogue in this game at least a dozen times. Plus it has terrible, generic “rock” music, one small map to drive on, and only two bland drivers to choose from. This adds up to make Taxi Chaos feel like a super-cheap budget title.
If you do buy Taxi Chaos (which again, you shouldn’t), here are my tips to improve your experience. First, lower the in-game music and dialogue audio levels to 0. Next, play some Offspring or Bad Religion using your preferred music streaming service. Suddenly, Taxi Chaos becomes more playable. Still not worth $30, but better.
Of course, you could also save $20 and buy the XBLA port of Crazy Taxi, which only costs $10. It’s missing some of the original music and doesn’t look as nice as Taxi Chaos, but it’s backward compatible on Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S and is a much better game.
And who knows, maybe if a bunch of people buy Crazy Taxi, someone at Sega will remember how popular the series is and let a studio take a crack at making a new, real Crazy Taxi game. Until then, I guess I’ll play more Taxi Chaos.