This is The Police 2
Weappy Studio/THQ Nordic
As a testament to who addictive—indie game developer Weappy’s—new crime game, This is the Police 2, is, I can’t wait to get back to running the small town Sheriff’s office contained therein. Even as I write this review. They’ve combined enough interesting facets from other genres, rolled them up within an utterly gripping storyline, and sprinkled a healthy dose of cracknip on top of everything.
I keep thinking about what sorts of shady rackets and backroom deals I can dream up and execute—all the while keeping off of the widely cast radars of the Feds. I’m also wondering about how I’m going to deal with the wide array of unscrupulous individuals and murky organizations which increasingly come calling on my department, in order to use it for their own illicit endeavors. All of this, and I’m only five hours in.
This is the Police 2 has the same compulsive, “just one more turn” – type of gameplay as its predecessor, This is the Police. Except this time, the story is even more granular. The “protagonist” from the first game, Jack Boyd, has been arrested and is currently in the custody of the local Sheriff’s department. Ever charming, Boyd talks himself out of custody and into the good graces of the new head Sheriff, Lilly Reed.
In a politically correct move, Reed has recently been thrust into the small town’s top cop position after the death of her mentor, in an attempt to fill his capable shoes. The men now under her command feel that this sudden promotion stinks of affirmative action, and are very resistant to her efforts to steer the department into a more “diverse” direction.
First off, I must say that This is the Police 2 is not a hand-holdy game. There is no tutorial. You will be thrown off the deep end and will have to sink or swim all by yourself. Fortunately, if you are attentive to clues, there is much to be gleaned from the game’s excellent cutscenes. It’s actually not that hard to grasp the game’s mechanics as you move through the storyline.
You’ll learn how to manage the department’s deputies, which includes keeping an eye on their loyalty and level of respect for you. You’ll also be able to manage their overall advancement and the different skills they can pick up along the way.
It’ll be an uphill battle at first, as Reed will have to try to earn the department’s respect and loyalty. During this time, expect for them not to listen to her orders. For instance, during the new tactical battles that This is the Police 2 sports, you’ll try to get particular deputies to do something, and instead, they’ll do whatever they think is right. It can turn into a real strategic nightmare. Luckily, Reed will be able to enlist the help of grizzled veteran cop, Boyd, later on.
The deputies also have their own individual idiosyncrasies and issues. Some might like to take excessive time off from work, while others might show up twenty sheets to the wind. You’ll also enlist some cops that already have veterancy, and therefore, come with some good skills. Meanwhile, the greenhorn rookies you hire will be relatively untrained, and you’ll have to develop them carefully according to the department’s needs.
In an interesting twist, every suspect that you successfully take into custody will grant you a certain amount of beer can tabs, which is the game’s currency. With these tabs, you can purchase better weapons and equipment for your deputies. Conversely, if you bungle arrests, you’ll find yourself losing tabs instead of gaining them. If you fail too many times, Reed will throw in the towel and call in the Feds.
Just as in the first game, most of your days will be filled with watching the isometric map of the snow-covered town, looking for incidents to pop up so that you can respond to them. If you fail to react in time to any calls, you’ll get penalized for doing so.
Also, throughout each day, you’ll be presented with various murky side deals, conduct full-on raids, and perform detective work in investigations. These are usually timed events that can encompass up to several days, so they’re not as rush-y as your daily crime calls.
Raids, in particular, will see you controlling a band of your chosen cops in an isometric, X-COM-style tactical overlay. Despite this mode’s simple appearance, raids can be quite challenging, so you must utilize sound tactics in order to prevail over your enemies. Your deputy’s skillsets, as well as the weapons and equipment you’ve outfitted them with, have a great effect on whether you’ll emerge victorious during these heated operations.
Throughout the game, you’ll uncover all manner of conspiracies, most likely become involved in crime yourself, and find out more about what’s under the snow-laden surface of the sinister small town. Personally, I found the story gripping and very immersive, but others may find the cutscenes a bit too lengthy for their tastes.
This is the Police 2 is a splendid indie gem and a brilliant follow-up to the first game. Fans of strategic, story-driven games should definitely check it out.
This is the Police 2 features great graphics that make its story-driven theme come alive. However, you want to have a pretty beefy gaming PC or gaming laptop in order to play it at a decent framerate. So, you may just want to invest in a decent gaming rig:
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