Platform Reviewed On: PC (Steam)
Take the role of a veteran police captain — voiced by Duke Nukem actor Jon St. John — in his final 180 days on the force. Life is rough, and the seedy city around you isn’t much better. Will you stick to the law and put your life on the line? Or fall to corruption; letting your hard-earned reputation slip through the cracks. This is the Police is built on narrative-choice management in the vein of titles such as Paper Please where the decisions you make hold a lofty weight.
This is the Police is a point and click adventure. It doesn’t take any skill in the way of how good you are with a controller or keyboard and mouse, but rather in the way mentally. Your choices matter a lot in this game, and having too many bad decisions ends up with a game over screen, forcing you to replay everything all over again. It’s not too lenient with the bad choices you make, forcing the game to punish you that much more. The game consists of you controlling the police captain. It’s your job to control the crime around the city by moving your officers to different areas around the map that get called in as a crime in progress.
The part where the thinking comes into play is by making you choose which officers to send out, and how many of them you will be sending as well. The calls coming in can be actual crimes happening, or might just be a false alarm. It’s up to you to decide what is a real problem and what you can just ignore. Send only 3 officers out to check something out that you think isn’t a big deal, you can end up killing them. Send 5 officers out somewhere you think is a huge issue, it might just be a false alarm, meaning you won’t have those 5 officers to send out to actual crimes happening around the city. Doing poorly might mean your salary will start to get cut and City Hall will not be too happy with you in charge and can possibly fire you. I started getting thousands of dollars a week in my paycheck to only a couple hundred dollars. It might make you join up with a group of people to make money some other way, that’s where you falling to corruption comes to play. The choice is yours.
This is a narrative controlled game, meaning there are many different outcomes depending on the player. The main concept is as being the police chief, you are being forced into retirement by a corrupt mayor. You have 180 days to survive as the head of your police force, trying to make it by while keeping a good cash flow. You will run into a lot of different scenarios in the main story line. Having run ins with the mafia, selling drugs, dealing with the evil mayor, but most importantly…controlling the members of your police squad. You are going to have to do a lot of hiring and firing depending on what the mayor wants you to do, all while keeping up with the city; making it the safest place for the civilians living there. In the story you will have to make tough choices along the way, and each and every choice you make will determine your fate. Who side will you be on and will you stand up against the corrupt mayor and his plans?
This picture above will be what you are looking at for over 90% of the time, so you can imagine it’s not going to take a toll on that graphics card of yours. I got a steady 60fps throughout my entire play through of this game. There are cut scenes as well that are just pictures, no CGI or anything moving at all. The narrative does a great job keeping you entertained throughout these with the great art style. The art style they chose has the characters in cut scenes without faces, so you cannot see any sort of facial expressions throughout your time playing. With that being said, the voice acting is top notch. You won’t need to see any facial expressions to be able to know exactly how each character is feeling, from the great voice work of the characters. Especially from actor Jon St. John as the police chief, noted best for being the voice of famous video game series, Duke Nukem. There are also different clasical records you can play while patroling the city. Giving you the ability to purchase new records and also letting you choose which vinyl record you wish to listen to at any given time.
THE GOOD/ THE BAD/ THE PRICE/ THE VERDICT
I loved the amount of impact your choices actually have in this title. Many games these days say your choices matter, but in This is the Police, every single thing you do determines where the story will take you next. The obstacles you face will really make you sit back and think for a minute what you should actually do. WeAppy Studio did a fantastic job with including every day problems in our real world today, and giving us a choice in the game of what we would actually do. Sometimes by being the police chief, it isn’t really as easy as it looks, and they nailed it in that department.
What I feel needs to be adjusted is the amount of impact some incorrect choices can have on the entirety of your play through. I witnessed early on by misjudging a particular crime occurring, (the severity of it) ended up with me getting more than half of my staff dead, and was unable to recover from it. They give choices such as bringing backup, or pulling away from the scene if you feel the need to, and one wrong decision shouldn’t affect the entire game for you. You do have the ability of hiring more staff members, but because of that mistake, the government would not let me because of how damaged the city was with crime after that moment. I couldn’t do anything about it because of my now deceased police force, leaning me towards the corrupt side of things, resulting in a game over screen on my first run.
I also felt that some sort of cut scenes would have been of great value. With how much this game revolves around the narrative and story aspect, I really feel it would have benefited greatly actually witnessing for myself the crimes being occurred, or showing me what I did to save the day. You see a lot of the same things over and over, and the map shown earlier in this article being majority of what you see doesn’t help either. You do go through a ton of staff, while it has part to do with the crime and corruptness of the government, I wish there was a little bit more interaction between myself and my police officers. In a police game like this, I had no reaction to my members being killed, other than worrying about myself and if I had the ability to hire more people. But maybe that’s how they want you to feel? As if your only there to do one thing, make more money for yourself.
Being a 30+ hour long game, the price of $14.99 is well worth it. Even though the title is missing some key features to keep you entertained throughout long play sessions, there is a lot of content jammed inside that will take you possibly multiple times of starting over, just to reach the end. If your looking for something quick to rush through and beat, if you’re an impatient person, or just someone looking for nonstop action, I would look elsewhere. But, if you are a fan of point and click games, grab This is the Police! Also worth giving it a shot if you are just looking for something new to play. I’m not too much into the point and click genre, but was still satisfied and intrigued through my time playing.
This is the Police releases on Steam for $14.99, July 28th.
This Is The Police
This Is The Police puts you in the hot seat with plenty of meaningful choices that have an impact on your own unique story, that seems to fall a little short in the presentation department.