Having not played the first entry into the series, I went into This Os The Police 2 practically blond, knowing very little about the game and uncertain as what I should expect. All I knew, it involved the police in one form or another. Time to read on.
Upon starting the game, I was introduced to a turn based strategy game showing off the game’s mechanics as I sought to take out the bad guys. I liked this, I really did. Turn based games are usually hot or miss with me, and I rarely give them a chance in favour of other genres. It was relatively simple to get to grips with, and as far as I was concerned, this was what the game was all about. Thinking this, I completed the tutorial mission expecting more of the same. Then, the cut scenes started, and boy did they drag on and on and on. In my estimate, it was another 15 minutes of watching the cut scenes play out introducing the characters, and letting them give me their stories. I have to be honest, it quickly became tedious as time went by. I was itching for some turn based action, and handing out swift justice to the Sharpwood gangs and ne’er do wells that would cause minor infractions upon this sleepy town. Little did I know, that would not be the case.
Once the lengthy introduction had ran its course, I was surprised to see the game predominantly acting as a management sim, whereby at the start of each shift, I’d have a roster of officers available to me, and I could assign their equipment and then start the shift. What surprised me was the amount in insubordination in their attitudes towards me, their superior officer. Not only that, but it happened way to often for my liking. From refusing to work with new recruits, to being hungover, or just plain refusing to work if they’ve worked the previous shift. Not all officers took this approach, but I’ll be damned if I’ll accept this. Turns out I can either accept it or send them back to Lilly. In the end, I admitted defeat and accepted they wouldn’t work as it was always my most talented officers that did this.
Each officer has the same set of five skills, strength, intelligence, shooting, stealth and negotiation which you can upgrade with skills points earned from successful call outs and apprehending the guilty party. There’s always a trio of options with which to react to any given situation, and some are quite amusing, while others can be downright violent if you decide to start attacking people or even stabbing them. So much for this quiet town.
During my playthrough, I had three exceptional officers who all let me down in their own way. From Flowerpotts who decided she’d be a plumber after being manipulated by a widow who’s husband had been killed in action, and failed to blackmail me for $2000 to keep quiet. Why I couldn’t arrest her for that I’ll never know, or at least issue a public statement. Then there was another officer who was drunk every other day, and rarely did anything while on the job, and finally one who was murdered behind the station over night. When things go wrong, they do so in epic style. It’s as if the game wants you to fail, never allowing enough officers to see to all of your assignments available in a day. Regularly people would get away with crimes, assault officers or I’d have no spare officers to chase up any crimes called in. A real shame.
Over two hours later, I was still indulging myself in the management side of things, I was still to have any real action apart from one brutal ending for two officers murdered on the job. I could only spare them, as there was so many making excuses for not working. They were of a decent standing in terms of their skills, so losing them made everything more difficult than it needed to be.
Being able to purchase new officers, can tabs are used as rewards for successfully completing certain criteria. Sounds great until you realise that you are going to lose out big time for any mistakes made, and this comes out of your total. So day by day, I saw no real gains here, and while it sounds like a good implementation, it just seems to punish you constantly and leaves you with no way of getting regular new equipment or officers. But that’s not all, each week you have to somehow find $20,000 to pay off a bribe unless you want the Feds on your tail. So how do you earn money? Simple. Just do some odd jobs from the citizens off the books, and earn a pittance. Marvellous.
Now, don’t get me wrong, it is a good game at its core. But there’s a need for some balancing in certain areas to make it less of a vertical struggle. I’m not asking to make it a breeze to reach the end of the game, but it may put some people off with its level of difficulty. Especially if turn based gameplay and management simulation are not your usual cup of tea.
Now, what’s the rest of the game like? Well visually, it’s a low poly affair. Again, not everyone’s type of aesthetic, but it doesn’t really matter too much being the genre mash-up it is. The audio is reasonably decent. The voice acting is pretty good too, and the small amount of music involved was good. I’d say it’s a niche game all around, so unless you fancy managing your own insubordinate bunch of alcoholic, lazy officers of the law, then This Is The Police 2 May be right up your street.
Needs balancing to allow newcomers to the genre a chance to invest enough time into it without them turning it off. As it stands, it’s way too unforgiving. But at its heart, it’s fun to play even if you never seem to have enough resources and end up spread thinner than a piece of wet paper. Not a terrible game, but not as groundbreaking or epic as it could have been.
Developer: Weappy Studio
Release Date: 2nd August 2018
Required Space: 4GB
Steam copy provided for review purpose.
Coming soon to Xbox One, PlayStation 4 & Nintendo Switch