This is the Police 2 – Review (PC)
I had a lot of fun with the original ‘This is the Police’ on the Nintendo Switch. You can see my thoughts on it here. Weappy Studio took what made the original fun and elevated all aspects of it. But to me, This is the Police 2 was missing that same feeling I got from playing the first one. The is the Police 2 is still a fun game to play, but there are some inconveniences that made me freeze and put my hands up.
The core gameplay is very similar to the first This is the Police. You have a map of the town and calls will come into you. You will then need to decide who to send to the calls. It’s not as simple as that though. Officers have skills and an RPG-like system for intelligence, strength, stealth, shooting, speed, and negotiation. They also have a number ranking, more difficult calls will need a higher minimum number to even be able to send officers out to the call. For example, there’s a bank robbery, and you need a rank of 980. You will need to find officers to respond to the call totaling at minimum 980, and possibly negotiation skills or shooting skills because who knows what the hell may come up. Once you assign someone or someones to the call, a couple of things will happen. You could get four choices which will go off of what the officer’s skills are, or what tools they have. You would choose an option, then an officer and hope your idea plays out for the best. You could also get all the way out to the call and it is a false alarm. The latter being the most frustrating especially if you sent off four officers and didn’t have anyone else to send to other calls in the meantime.
I enjoyed the new features in the core gameplay, but it felt like the game was against you. Always scrambling, or running out of officers and unable to get to calls. Maybe I was playing it wrong or being too aggressive through my playthroughs, but damn, it started going downhill fast. Some officers show up drunk or want to go watch a movie instead of coming to work. Sure you can fire them, but you need to replace them somehow and the in-game currency, pop tabs on aluminum cans, can be rare if you start having crappy days. Some officers straight out disobey you, “I’m not going without backup”, or “I’m at home with women all day, I’m not going out on a call with one”. One good thing is you can tell which cops can be your troublemakers. If they aren’t wearing the proper uniform, especially their hat, you know they aren’t on your side and could care less. One of my best officers wouldn’t listen to well until I sent her to a spa, a perk you can send officers to allow them to relax. After that, she was all about whatever I needed to send her on.
This is the Police 2 brings back the investigation part and enhances it. It’s fairly deep right off the bat. You need to designate a decently smart officer to go investigate the crime. You have to choose what you want them to investigate, do you want more pictures or clues, and you then have to decide which suspect you want to gain information on. You’ll have to read the witness statements and build the timeline with the pictures. Once that is done you then have to send officers to go pick up the suspect. In a smaller town, this time around you really don’t get actual detectives so you are using actual officers that you need on the streets as well.
One of the largest changes is the RTS style missions you need to do. You’ll get a time frame, sometimes only 24 hours to build up information of the building you are building this strike force on. You will also need to gather officers as well to be ready to perform the mission. Right off this sounds amazing. There are things I had issues with. Sometimes I needed to send my best officers on a serious call and then they weren’t back in time for the mission. On top of that..they had the weapons with them. This caused some officers to go unarmed due to a lack of funds to provide everyone weapons. Then on top of that, if one of the officers weren’t on your side (no hat), they would do their own thing and not listen to you at all, you have no control over them. Those are minor inconveniences and again I may have been playing too aggressively because the gameplay of the RTS system was fun. Using the officers’ skills you can find different ways to breach the building or take down enemies. You can quietly slide the window open and sneak in, or go guns blazing and break down the door. Sometimes there are a ton of enemies and stealth may be better, other times you just need to go and get shit handled. Successfully completing one of these missions will net you a lot of pop tops (the currency), to hire more officers and more equipment.
The story of This is the Police 2 starts off strong, then you tend to lose yourself in the many cutscenes. They do help build the characters and give them some depth, but so much of it seems excessive. Especially in the beginning, it does a great job going into where you are, and why as you are choosing how you want to write a letter, but if you have to start over you are going through the lengthy intro all over again. It was frustrating, as some of the cutscenes were longer than the days you played within the game. You again are playing Jack Boyd, which from the trials of the first game clearly has him haggard and spiraling downhill. You no longer are in Freeport and are hiding out in Sharpwood, a small snowy town. The two towns are completely different and Sharpwood may even be crazier. For being such a small town the snow must drive people crazy. Sharpwood has some insane things happening within it. I mean there are some major crimes, murder, bank robberies, kidnapping, hostages, major bomb threats, like holy shit. They don’t need a Sherrif, they need the National Guard. After every day you get your score and how many pop top’s you get. Yes, you can go negative, if you fail calls, or people (officers or civilians) die. It’s also pretty damn close to every day if it isn’t every day that you will get a cutscene. Some help push the story, others, like mentioned above just feel like too much. I understand the reasoning for building a good story and foundation, but there has to be a better way to present it. It didn’t flow with the game. It felt like they loved Jack Boyd and wanted to continue his story, which is great, but it just failed to deliver which every cutscene. Granted the voice actors did a fairly good job and every word was voiced. It just fell flat for me.
If you are a huge fan of the first This is the Police, you are in for an awakening. An awakening both good and bad, while some things such as the more in-depth officers and RPG like system were improved on, yet the over-excessive story and hard difficulty overshadows the improvements in those gameplay features. Some of these can be fixed with updates, others may not. I would love to see a third with the best of both worlds put in.
Note: GameOctane editor Jason Germino received a digital code from the publisher for the purpose of reviewing this game. Any code or product intended for reviews is distributed to the team to review and stream for our audience.
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+ More in-depth, RPG-like Officer stats
+ RTS style 'raids' are fun, to a point
+ Continues the story of Jack Boyd
- Cutscenes are too long
- The difficulty was really high
- Had to replay the whole beginning every time you need to restart the game
- The game tried to be too much at one time.