Title: This Is the Police
Version Tested: Xbox One
Available On: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, Macintosh operating systems
Developer: Weappy Studio
Publisher: THQ Nordic, EuroVideo Medien
Genre: Adventure Game, Strategy game
This Is the Police is one of the most strangely addicting games I have ever played, set in a format I usually have no interest in whatsoever. The simulation strategy game, despite its faults, had me up well into the hours of the night exploring its unique gameplay.
Placed into the role of Jack Boyd, a police chief in his last days of office, the game presents real life situations that officers of the law face every day, and has the user decide the best choices to the outcomes. While it took time to understand how to micromanaging elements of the game to not only succeed in the allotted missions per day but the ones placed over longer periods of time, the process eventually began to ebb and flow.
Developing officers and detectives is one of the most vital aspects to get down early on, determining which ones may have drinking problems, or are just plain lazy, is vital to succeeding on missions. Juggling using a vital employee too much is also an issue, as fatigue will happen their abilities, no matter their rating.
Laced within the management of all these important skills is the monkey wrench that is This Is the Police’s take on social commentary. Racism, corruption, and negligence are issues that real life offices of the law have to work around every day, and the game is no different.
Well ok, I take that back just a bit, because the things that take place in This Is the Police are certainly exaggerated to an extent. Examples being City Hall’s requirement of Boyd to hire at least fifty percent of his staff to be women or requiring all black cops be fired as a result of racial tensions on the streets are just two examples of that exaggeration.
But it didn’t take away from the experience personally, as it added a challenge in the managing aspect of the gameplay. Plus it’s a game, so I try not to take it entirely too seriously, despite its intended message.
That being said, the game’s story does essentially revolve around that exaggeration, as many of the ultimatums and situations presented in the game are rather ridiculous. Jack’s “relationship” choices with the mob, choosing to hoard guns, drugs and ammo found at scenes and framing/killing officers that have information on Boyd just to name a few.
But while the actual dialogue and story aren’t entirely too interesting, it’s effect on the gameplay keeps it refreshing throughout. Giving the ability to improve the department through collaborations with the mob or money earned turning the other cheek is not only a great way to keep things interesting, it also will have an effect on the end game.
The detective cases are one of my favorite aspects of the game as well. Not only do they add a bigger feel than the everyday calls, their’s also another element of gameplay. Sifting through photos to corroborate with eye witness statements and being patient enough to catch the real perpetrator is satisfying.
A big issue I’ve had so far with This Is the Police is that it’s surprisingly long. Playing the game for well over eight hours so far, I’ve only apparently scratched the surface of the 180-day simulator. While each day does manage to have unique situations, the only thing that tends to change is the wording, which can get slightly repetitive. I rather enjoy the song element of the game though, and I found that it help pass the long and sometimes repetitive days a lot easier and that it relaxed me as much as it did Boyd.
Despite the issues with length though, I can say that I will certainly be completing it, no matter how long it takes. I would highly recommend This is the Police to anyone who has the time on their hands to play it, as the gameplay outshines the somewhat mundane main story and exaggerated bits of social commentary.
- Gameplay: Addictingly fun for a simple simulation game
- Graphics: Simple enough to work with the excellent gameplay
- Sound: Superb complimentary old-school soundtrack and purchasing options
- Presentation: Despite running a little too long, the game still manages to feel fresh with each situation
- Addictive and invigorating gameplay
- Intuitive learning system
- Fun daily stories
- (Bonus) Hulk Hogan Cop!
- Exaggerated Social Commentary
- Long Playthrough