You’re the Chief of police, but not for much longer and you need a nice retirement fund – half a million, to be exact. But how are you going to generate that kind of money in your final 180 days of work?
That is your challenge in Weappy’s This is the Police. You can try to achieve your goals by following the straight and narrow, making sure your cops are doing the best they can, keeping the city of Freeburg safe. Or you can take a slightly more unethical route by taking bribes from the mafia to ignore certain calls, or aiding them when requests for help come in.
This is the Police is essentially a bit like a resource management game; you have to make sure you have enough officers to cover workloads and respond to calls; you’ll have to solve cases using your detectives to uncover clues and piece together the evidence. You will have some tough choices to make along the way, and must be prepared to make them.
The first few days introduces us to Jack; he’s a grizzly old Chief – I feel like he’s seen some stuff, we get some back story on his situation and get to take a few days getting to grips with what we need to do in order to fulfil our jobs needs. New mechanics are dripped through each day, like managing your force, solving cases, putting requests to City Hall – all that kind of stuff. It’s well paced and doesn’t feel overwhelming, although I feel like I could’ve handled a little more info at one time.
Figuring out who to send to what call out is probably the toughest part I’ve encountered. Each officer has a number rating attached to them, the higher their rating the better they are and the better their chances of success. Obviously there are only a few that have high ratings – with most seeming to sit at around the 100 mark, so during the first few days I wanted to try and make sure I sent them to the crimes I felt were more serious. You can also choose the number of officers to send, so initially I was sending one experienced cop and one ‘rookie’, if they catch the criminal and everything goes smoothly the rating goes up, if they get away, or someone dies, it goes down. It’s your job to read the descriptions of the crimes, see how many officers you can send and assess whether you think the crime is serious enough to warrant more officers.
I felt like of a lot of the time it was kind of pot luck whether things would go smoothly. At times I felt it was hard to determine whether a crime was serious or not and that would then result in a cop getting killed, in fact this seemed to happen way to often to the point where sometimes I was left with only one or two officers – or none at all. It was punishing, but punishing in a way that felt a little unfair and uncontrollable at times. It could feel like it didn’t matter who you sent or how many, your officers would end up getting KIA. This has left me feeling a little frustrated at the game and has made me not care so much about… well, anything.
You also have the option to deploy a SWAT team on certain calls to back you up, but they’ve felt useless to me. You never knew if they actually did anything and I’d still have officers getting taken out even when backed up by SWAT…
Because of my failings at solving cases or responding to crimes my budgets are constantly being cut, meaning I have to let go of an officer, meaning I have less staff to do the work, meaning I can’t respond to all the calls, meaning I’m failing at my job, meaning my budgets are constantly being cut… you see where this is going. It’s a vicious cycle and one that I can’t seem to get out of. At first I just thought it was me being bad at the game or just because I was new to it and maybe that is the case. But I can’t help but feel that everything is stacked against me like the game wants me to fail or struggle the whole time.
Add on top of that the random possibilities of people not turning up for work, or randomly quitting and the fact that on a lot of occasions there is no one else to employ. It just makes things increasingly frustrating.
The thing is, is that I really like the game, I really like the concept of it and I would really like to succeed but it feels like the game wants me to fail or to make success as frustrating as possible. If the game was difficult and I was just rubbish I’d be ok with that – that would be on me to improve. But it’s not that difficult everything just feels out of my hands and it ends up leaving me feeling a little sour. Despite the my frustrations with the game I do still find it strangely enjoyable, almost like pressing a bruise that hurts every time, but you still go back and push it again.
As well as your normal day to day crimes that you need to respond to, you also have cases that you can assign detectives to work on. You’ll be updated daily on any new findings on the case – in the form of picture clues. You’ll have to read statements from witnesses and have to line up the picture clues in the right order based on the statements to solve the case or progress it to the next stage. Once you’ve got all the evidence in the right places you can make your arrest.
I really like these cases, but they go a little slow for my liking, it would go for days with no new info on one – although this was probably due to having to hire in fairly low level detectives. Either way, they’re a nice variation on top of the normal crimes to respond to.
This is the Police takes a very minimal approach with its visuals with cut scenes delivered in an almost comic book style and characters having no facial features. It’s simple, with low textures, it’s clean and it looks great. The UI looks great with menus and navigation all clearly visible, well laid out and kept to a minimum; nothing looks overly cluttered, you’re only seeing what you need to see. Whilst it does have a minimal feel to it, it seems like the team have really thought about the design and put a lot of effort in to making sure it looks just right – it looks really slick and stylish and I love it.
There isn’t much in terms of audio, the odd sound effect here and there like traffic, sirens or weather changes. You also have a record player that allows you to choose your sound track for the day from various (mostly smooth Jazz) artists. It sets a nice relaxing tone and helps take away some of the stress of constantly failing at your job. The voice acting is pretty top notch throughout, with Jack sounding like a grizzly bear that just woke from a long winter – I get the impression that he’s tired of everyone’s shit. He kind of reminds me of Mike from Breaking Bad – who we all know was an awesome character.
The more days that go by, the more you get to see just how troubled Jack is and to be honest I wasn’t expecting the story to be all that much, but I think it has really delivered it well with – like I said, some really good voice acting along the way. I’m not going to go on about the story really because I don’t actually want to spoil anything for anyone, so I will leave it at that!
Overall This is the Police is a really good game with a high amount of polish, I just wish that it was a little more forgiving at times, but hey, maybe I will just learn to get a bit better at it over time.
This is the Police is available on Windows now and you can find it here.