Some Better Cop Games Would Be Nice

I played Beat Cop this week. On Monday, I was excited! It looked like Police Quest! By Wednesday I'd given up, because it's not a good video game, and that's disappointed me more than I thought it would have.

Beat Cop is a side-scrolling game that, with its 80s aesthetic and focus on police procedure, had a lot of people -- myself included, as you just saw -- thinking it would be a modern reincarnation of Police Quest, a classic adventure series that despite its punishing flaws is fondly-remembered for its simulation of the gritty details of police work.

It's not. Instead it's a dull affair, full of ideas that I'm sure seemed fine in isolation, but when thrown together completely undermine each other.

Beat Cop is a game about being a regular ol' officer walking the streets, settling petty disputes, chasing down shoplifters and issuing parking tickets. This sounds fun, in the same way that people find truck and farming simulators fun, but also in the way people enjoy hardcore military sims, because they love doing complex and sometimes dangerous jobs from the safety of their office chair.

There's no simulation here though. Everything about Beat Cop's setting and systems is undone by its limited controls and bizarre real-time clock, which strip Beat Cop of any sense of depth or nuance that you might hope for given the grey areas the rest of the experience is gunning for.

A lot of missions you're given are time-based, but moving around is a pain. You're supposed to get to know the inhabitants of your block, but everyone is such a foul-mouthed cardboard cutout of a character that you end up despising them all.


Comments

    The members of the public in your block are not likeable? Sounds pretty spot on to me.

    This really saddens me, as a big fan of Jim Walls Police Quest Series. (His Wife also helped him in the creation of the game) It was difficult, through provoking and very funny at times. I do wish we could get a new police quest. Jim did try on Kickstarter.com a little while ago but didn't get enough interest.

    Police Quest SWAT (the original, FMV one) should be all you ever need to satisfy your boy-in-blue fantasies.

    Learned all I ever needed about tactical hand signals watching and playing that game.

    My brothers what you would call a beat cop and some of the jobs he tells me he's been to sound crazy. Like domestics in rural areas where brogans are going at it with samurai swords. I would love to play a game where you were a normal police officer having to deal with the unexpected nature of the job modelled on real life rather than you're a detective go deal with the zombie apocalypse, that ol' trope.

    Have you tried "This is the Police"

    Indie game that came out last year, really dug it.

Join the discussion!