Welcome to the town of Sharpwood where you are likely to get beaten, stabbed, shot, murdered, raped, carjacked, drugged, mugged, and oh so many more terrible things. This town is a cesspool of violent offenders and is probably ranked number one in crime. Hey but that isn’t stopping old Jack Boyd from picking this town as his hide out spot. Heck no and it doesn’t take long before Jack finds himself in a pickle.
The police get a tip about a man watching a house that just might be a holding spot for a known gang in the town. Just so happens the tenant is Jack and unbeknownst to him there are drugs hidden at the house. Isn’t his house right? These police don’t care, they have seen it all before and the only thing left to do is super aggressively take his ass down town.
At the police station Jack is thrown into a cell and then introduced to Lily Reed the newly appointed Sheriff that is in way over her head. She was briefly in the game before this but let’s not spoil her antics. Don’t worry though because old Jack Boyd is a smooth cry baby and before you know it, he has pleaded his way right out of that cell. I took a little issue with this at the start of the game. Jack pleads with Lily to hear him out and she is easily convinced. Without much of a notice she basically hands him the job of her right hand man who in turn starts to run the police department.
Shortly after these events Jack is no longer the somber old man in a cell, nope he is mean and verbally abusive towards Lily. It all happens so fast and I was disappointed it wasn’t drawn out better. Why not have the relationship take a downward spiral as the game progresses? That would have made more sense to me instead of abruptly having these two at each other right away. It kind of shows you where this game is going and I didn’t like that.
That voice actors are great however and take the lead when it comes to the story portion of the game. There are a lot of things to like about the voices of Jack and Lily who draw you in with their performances. I would even say as the game went on the voice actor for Lily took it to another level. Even when the dialogue starts to fall flat in some areas the actors prop it up with their performances.
This is the Police 2 can be broken down into three segments. The story, the daily police work and the tactical missions.
The Daily Police Work
Here you will lead your rag tag team of officers and hope that everyone can make it through the day without crashing their cruiser. Not everyone in the department is corrupt but its best you know that a lot of them will have issues. Anything from drinking to weird rashes will arise and you have to make the decisions on whether or not to risk them coming in to work. Hell some of your officers will flat out refuse to work that day. You can send them to Lily which is essentially firing them but you must replace them. The only way to do that is for your officers to do a good job so you can collect beer tabs as currency. I know that almost sounds like an oxymoron but basically in with the good out with the bad. With tabs you can hire new officers or buy new equipment such as batons and pepper spray. No need to worry about pistols and handcuffs as your officer carries these automatically.
As the Co-Sheriff you need to make sure your officers are prepared, well rested and have the right gear suited for their abilities. All officers are graded on Strength, Intelligence, Speed, Stealth, Shooting, and Negotiation. These all can be upgraded as well if the officer performs well in the line of duty. As the game progresses you can also hire people for cash that will train your officer in a specific area but these trainers must be unlocked by doing them favors. The actual police work will be delegated by you and each crime has an experience number attached. Your officers must meet that experience requirement before you can send them on their way. Once you have enough officers to cover it they will hop in their cruiser and handle the situation. Well…you will handle it as you must choose from a list of choices that will determine if you succeed or not.
For instance there might be a crazed man swinging an axe inside a bar. Option 1: You can approach him and order him to stop. Option 2: You sneak up on the man from behind. Option 3: You can shoot the man. Depending on your officers skill set which ever option you choose should match what he does best or you will find yourself in a heap of trouble. Your officers can get injured or killed so you need to pay close attention. If the criminal escapes or civilians are killed you will be penalized and will have tabs taken away from you.
As a half corrupt police force you will also find yourself doing favors for people around the town. This is where you make your money and you will need to make that money. I won’t spoil it but it doesn’t matter how much of a good guy you want to be, the game will force you to make some horrible decisions at some point. These favors will consist of things like, convince someone it is in their best interest to sell certain goods to someone. You would do this with your most convincing officers. Some officers will refuse and tell you to do your own dirty work. That is because they are not “loyal” to you yet. You can tell the loyal officers because they wear the police issued hats. The officers not loyal to you will not follow your orders on police calls or tactical missions as well. It is best to get them on your side fast.
At times I felt is if I were running a daycare. The officers can be super petty about things and some constantly have issues. I couldn’t fire my entire force even though there were times I wanted to send them all packing. Quick tip. If someone is a problem at the start it might be beneficial to let them go because they usually don’t get better. I lost a couple of officers that just couldn’t put down the bottle due to car crashes.
The daily activities will start to come hot and heavy once you’re into the meat of the game so make sure you are training and upgrading your officers as much as possible. Give them rest, share their duties and do not always give them what they want. Another daily activity is the investigations. As the game goes on you will start to get crimes that you must assign an officer to investigate. These are a pain in the ass but give you great rewards if you solve the crime. You will have to put together photos and decide who is guilty from testimonies of witnesses. Your officers are not detectives, good luck.
These missions pop up throughout the game and you really need to have your ducks in row when tackling them. You will have days to prepare for most of these but there are some that you get thrown into right away. If you have time to prepare you will need to gather Intel and then assign the officers best suited for the situation. I found this infuriating at one point during the game. I did all my Intel gathering for the mission and when it came time to assign officers I was lacking the correct officers for the mission. I seriously had to backtrack three days in order to train a couple in certain areas in order to fill out my roster. It honestly didn’t even matter in the mission because the entire thing was based off stealth and you couldn’t get discovered or it immediately ended.
Most of the missions were pretty cool. Infiltrating a gang’s base and taking out their leader or surviving an ambush from another local gang. Setting up your officers is like setting up a good chess match. I did have problems with seeing exactly where I was located sometimes or bad guys would shoot me through walls when I didn’t even know they had spotted me yet. I mean nothing is more frustrating when you get shot from a doorway that appeared to be closed. Or perhaps when a bad guy is standing on the other side of a wall and somehow shoots you through an electrical box and the wall. The action is turn based so when you set up all your officers in strategical locations only for something like that to happen, it gets annoying. Then you have to watch as all the bad guys get their turn taking shots at your guy. I did however enjoy the tactical missions even with the flaws.
During the missions you can play it stealthy and take out the bad guys with things like batons, pepper spray or even your big ass knife. If stealth isn’t required you can stun them and then shoot them with your pistol. Make sure you are in range though because if your officer isn’t well trained in shooting then it will be very difficult to hit your target. I thought the shooting was cool as it brings up a target and you can aim for certain body shots either disarming or killing the perpetrator. Only advice for tactical missions is to train your officers well.
I wanted to love this about the game but found myself getting turned off by some of the broken record scenarios. I wanted the situation between Jack and Lily to progress at a different pace as well. These two are the main cogs in the game and while later in the game you start to care more I felt the beginning was forced. With that said I did enjoy the story. I like how they do the story board frames and the voice acting is great. Even the sound of a bottle being thrown into a trash can is stellar work.
Once the storyline gets going and you get deeper into the game it starts to smooth out a little and doesn’t feel as rushed. The back and forth between Jack and Lily give you some great intense moments. You start to wonder how it will all end and why is Jack such a prick? No joke the guy is a grumpy ass old man. You get nice banter from other characters in the game and even some sad moments. There are funny moments between the officers as well and while most of it is done as cut scenes they don’t really feel that way. At some point you will get drawn in and there will be some difficult scenes. I mean it is a game about police officers in the most dangerous town ever. They should have called the game “Death toll 2,” because that is what you think as the body count rises. Don’t feel bad though, a lot of these will be your fault.
This is the Police 2 is a game that puts forth a big effort when it comes to giving you the daily life of a police officer. The story is good even though it does fall flat in some areas. However it is lifted up by great voice acting. The visuals and sound in the game hold their own as well. Some of the daily activities get stale and the issues with doing some of the tactical missions will drive you mad. Don’t get me wrong they are a lot of fun but at one point I honestly thought I had run into a game breaking glitch. If the game was cut down a little I think it could have been a perfect game to play. If you enjoy this type of turn based combat you will certainly enjoy this game. I am not a huge fan of it and I still had fun. Basically there are really good things about this game and some not so good things about this game. It all evens out even if the game doesn’t feel that way at times. The fact you can replay this game and try to find better ways to run the department make this title a game worth playing.
Developer: Weappy Studio
Publisher: THQ Nordic
A copy of the game was provided for this review.
Rating: 7.5 out 10