Published on May 12th, 2016 | by David Guild0
Preview: This Is The Police
This is the Police is a game developed by Weappy Studio and while the team invest their own money in to developing the game, they looked towards the generosity of gamers and took their project to Kickstarter to help fund the rest of the game. The campaign asked for $25,000 which they got and kept on going to receive $10k more than required but while it wasn’t enough to reach their stretch goal for the game to come to console, the studio released a trailer last month announcing that ‘This Is The Police’ will be heading to Xbox One and PlayStation 4.
So what is the game about? Well it’s an adventure puzzle game and as the name suggests, it’s about taking control of a police force in the small city of Freeburg which has seen better days. You play Police Chief Jack Boyd who is voiced by the big man Jon St. John who’s the voice of Duke Nukem (what a guy!). He’s been forced to retire in under 6 months by the current mayor who only cares about his political career. So if Jack is going out he wants to have a pretty large nest egg of $500,000 and so far he’s been playing by the book but this won’t get him the amount he needs, but while this is happening he has been encountered by the Mafia crime boss who has giving him an offer he can’t refuse, work for him and look the other way or retirement will be the least of his problems.
Along with dealing with the Mafia, you will still need to act as the police chief and will need to coordinate officers to crimes, investigations, manage the hiring and firing of the officers and oversee the boring budget. Plus you will have to deal with problems that will arise in your work force, the press and of course the son of a b***h who is firing your ass, the mayor.
It’s all about balancing your morals and ethics of being the police chief but also doing with the corruption of the city and the Mafia putting pressure on you to look the other way. The decisions you make will affect the outcome of the game and if you’re anything like me, always playing the good guy, you won’t last long. Sadly in this game, there is no moral high ground and when you do try and be the good guy, your actions will have dire consequences.
One of these consequences could be your budget getting lowered or the reduce in man power so it will be harder to send your officers to crimes scenes or even running the risk sending too few policemen in which an officer can be killed in the line of duty.
Throughout the day you will get calls of ongoing crimes, you will dispatch your officers but depending on the crime will affect how many patrolmen you send out. Minor crimes you can get away with sending one but other times more will be better. Then the game will play out like a story and will give you decisions to make, for example at a robbery, a burglar may take a hostage and it will be up to you to read the scene and take an educated guess what to do next, do you take a shot or talk the person down. This is the kind of police work I love to do and ‘This is the Police’ does it pretty well. The options can be common sense answers and playing it by the book or if Dirty Harry is your kind of cop, then sure go ahead and make their day. Though not all cases are so exciting, sometimes the mayor or businesses will ask for help, just to be a presence at an event or area and while this will take someone away from maybe responding to a more urgent call out, it does put money towards the retirement fund.
I should also mention that each officer has a level of experience, the more crimes they complete well the higher the experience they will have and better at the job they will be but then you get the lowbies who are pretty damn useless so again its playing the balancing game of sending out more capable officers will the ones who struggle to help boost their experience.
Then you have your detectives who investigate bigger cases and will have a certain number of days to close a case and of course having more detectives will help solve the case faster, you may run the risk not missing out on other cases. But I have to say solving the crimes is probably one of the best parts about the game. When your detectives go out looking for clues they will speak to witnesses, gather clues and take pictures. Then it’s your jump to look at the clues and use the pictures to recreate the crime, it can take some trial and error but when while it sounds simple it can trip you up if you rush a case.
I’ve never been a man who looks at politics and that’s even a quality I take in to the game. The Mayor is always on your ass and most of the time due to my stubbornness it caused me to have my budget cut and a hold on hiring new officers and detectives. It’s a twisted circle and it makes you wonder how it really was back in the days when the Mafia ruled the cities. There are plenty of movies about corruption in the police force but watching and doing are two different things. Playing a game in which you make decisions is all about adding your personal touch to the character and while I know some people have a totally different persona playing a game, I myself struggle to separate my real world feelings on the actions I cause. I’m the kind of guy who rage quits if my character died while playing ‘The Sims’. I’ve invested my time in to that character and he/she has a little bit of me in them.
I generally adore the games simple and minimalist aesthetics, it makes me focus on the important and difficult decisions in the game. My eyes are not wandering off looking at fancy animations but instead my mind is always trying to think two steps ahead of the slow paced action. Can I get away with turning down this deal? Do I send my best cops or send out the less experienced and hope they get lucky? Then you have the voice work of the legend Jon St. John who is prefect for the role with that deep booming gritty voice. As the narration goes on, you can tell from the voice work alone that Jack Boyd has seen some horrible stuff in his time and that he’s tired of all the crap that’s happening with the city.
In the end, This is the Police is all about decision making and balancing everything; your morals, choices, your workforce and the budget. If anything it starts to become routine and this can be the downfall of the game. From the start, every day begins near enough the same day with the same animations and picking which record to listen to. You stare at a map, sending out patrols and solving crimes or looking away while something more serious is going down. The hardest part of the game is the decision making which I’ve said over and over by now. It affects the outcome of the game and will decide how quick the game ends.
I do feel ‘This is the Police’ is worth your attention, but I’m worried about the replay value of the game. Yes, you will struggle to complete the game the first time round but once you figured out that winning formula, the game will become pointless. Just like the Telltale adventure games but the good thing with those titles are they let the user have more control, every day feels different.
I am working on a video to show off the game but it doesn’t record best especially with such a dull person like myself but keep an eye out on our social networks when I finally work out the best course of action. Plus we would like to send out apologises to Weappy who provided us with the game and for the delay of this preview, when it rains it pours in my family.