This is the Police is a strategy/ adventure game following police chief Jack Boyd as he attempts to finish up his final 180 days in relative peace before a forced retirement. You control the Freeburg Police Department as Jack maneuvers his way through corrupt politicians and the mafia.
Let’s jump on in!
This is the Police is a real time strategy game revolving primarily around time and group management. You have two shifts to work with within the police department (Shifts A and B) each with a certain number of cops and detectives. Throughout your day you’ll receive emergency calls that you can respond to, sometimes numerous at once. Not all of them are legitimate however, so you must make decisions based off of how you feel. Each call is timed and failure to respond to real emergencies can result in dead civilians. On the other hand, responding to false alarms can take away needed officers and prevent you from having the man power to respond to real calls.
Some calls will require more attention and you’ll see a window pop up with choices you can make in the current situation. These choices can determine whether you catch the bad guys and if your officers survive. This type of game play is fun, but I personally got bored after awhile. Story scenes are few and far between and it starts to drag.
Investigations help out with the empty space between calls, however. Every now and again you’ll receive a special call that you must assign detectives to. You will get pictures of what is, and could be, the crime that was committed. You must properly lay out what happened based off of eyewitnesses. Once you’ve discovered what happened, you must pick the most likely spot the culprit could be out of a few predetermined places.
Part of the group management involves ensuring that you have a full department at all times. Your officers can and will die when you’re least expecting it. This can happen due to shady dealings, your relationship with the mafia, or just the general danger that comes with the job. Your relationship with City Hall determines how many cops/investigators you can hire at one time as well as your salary. These can be diminished if they find you lacking. I enjoyed this part of the game, but it does become frustrating when members of your team die for what seems like no reason. Especially when you aren’t able to respond to calls due to lack of man power.
Jack himself is a moderately interesting man. He’s a grizzled police chief how isn’t ready to retire and will do whatever he must to keep his job. You can play him a couple different ways, kind of. His personality remains the same regardless, but you can play the role of good cop or bad cop depending on some of the choices you make. In the end I wasn’t overly moved and the final scenes were a bit lackluster.
For the most part I didn’t have many issues with the game running on my PS4. The only time I noticed any lagging was when a new day loaded. The screen would freeze for a couple of seconds while everything caught up. It wasn’t game breaking in any way, just a bit annoying.
Something that stood out to me was the art. I’d compare it to an under detailed comic book. The figures are very blocky and without things like faces, but are detailed enough for you to discern whether they were male or female. I enjoyed it mainly because it’s a unique take that you don’t see very often, but it also helped me resonate with Jack more. It felt as though you were seeing the world through his eyes. People and places blurred out as he focused on his true goal, collecting $500,000 before getting kicked out of the department. It added a charm that benefited the game greatly.
There aren’t many extras included with this game, the main thing being the trophies/achievements you can collect. There are a total of 10 trophies that require at least 2 play throughs of the game to achieve. I honestly didn’t enjoy the game enough to jump back in right away, but I do plan on replaying at a later date. I have 8 out of the 10 needed, but they will require another 2 play throughs to get due to improper trophy management….
Something cool that I found was a small comic in the extras category of the menu. It depicts some backstory that took place before the main game. I’m unsure whether more will unlock if I access all the trophies, but it was a cool little reward nonetheless.
All in all, This is the Police was just OK. I appreciate it for what it is, but I have no urge to jump back in and play it again anytime soon. If strategy is your thing, and you enjoy gritty police stories, then give it a try. If not, it’s probably best if you pass this one up. Thanks for reading!