All detective Jack Kelly wants to do is stop a crime from happening, unfortunately the perpetrator on the scene doesn’t take the blame for the Senator’s missing diamonds. You are the prime suspect and for this you get sent down the ranks to be a beat cop. Kelly must find a way to clear his name while being the best damn beat cop the city has to offer.
Beat Cop from Developer Pixel Crow is a retro pixel art game inspired by the 80’s cop shows. It is harsh, rude, vulgar and at times bloody. As Jack Kelly you are briefed every morning on your daily assignments by the police chief. This will mainly consist of you writing tickets for parking violations, busted lights or even worn out tires. Fail to meet your quota and it comes out of your paycheck.
As the day begins you have a certain amount of time to meet your quota and time management is key in Beat Cop. The fun doesn’t stop there though. Kelly must get to know the neighborhood if he is ever going to clear his name and this is when the dialogue can get quite spicy. Beat Cop is set in Brooklyn in the 80’s with the mafia, gang members, hookers, crazy priests and a plethora of other bad elements. That is one thing that I found odd about this game. Everyone seems bad and even though you can try to stay on the right side of the law, eventually you will be forced to stray.
While writing tickets is fun and all being able to chase down robbers or search vehicles adds a little bit to the game flow. This is needed as the game itself drags pretty slow even with the hustle and bustle sounds of the street. The developers kept it simple with the controls in this one and a mash of a button or two can get the job done quickly. For instance if you want to chase down a criminal all you need to do is hold down a single button. Need to arrest the guy? Simple mash R1 (PS4) when you get close and Kelly will tackle him and cuff the perpetrator in no time.
All of it looks pretty great in pixel form as the cars drive by or you come across a head banging rocker hanging out his window. The game feels easy to control and interacting with people can be a hoot. Seriously someone always has some smart ass quip to say. I didn’t mind how adult this game is but it does seem to cross the line into obscene in some cases. You must know going in you’re going to hear, sex related conversations, foul language and even racial slurs during the game. You have been warned.
After about 10 days of writing tickets, chasing robbers, dealing with the mafia and every other problematic situation, the game becomes a little repetitive. Even the odd tasks that I would have to do like obtain pest spray to clear out this ladies diner couldn’t break up the monotony. That isn’t even the most annoying part of the game. I knew this would be a struggle going in but I wanted to play as straight as possible during my first play though but it is damn near impossible. Why? Because Jack Kelly has to pay alimony to his ex-wife and it becomes more as the game progresses. This will force you to take bribes and do dirty work on the side. Here is the kicker though. Get caught and your pay gets docked. So good luck being a good cop.
The game does a great job with the characters and you almost feel like you get to know some of them as the game moves on. The quirky lady that runs the diner or the “I’ll do whatever it takes” guy that runs the porn shop. The game has personality in this sense and you can even go from apartment building to apartment building buzzing people. The names will be very familiar if you know 80’s icons. I won’t spoil them but you should get a good chuckle. While all of this is fun make sure you check your notepad. This is where all your daily assignments and APBs are located. You want to make sure you check these off as soon as possible. Not getting to things in this game has its consequences. A piece of advice if you decide to play Beat Cop, learn the store locations and get familiar with the people. This will save time and in the end that is what the game is all about.
Beat Cop starts off with a lot of promise with its cool pixel art and retro beats. The 80’s style detective work fits the game very well and at the beginning I enjoyed it quite a bit. The controls are simple and the dialogue is humorous but can be vulgar at times. The story is well known but still worth it and the characters in the game have personality. That is about as far is it goes though. With repetitive gameplay and a need to up the stomach turning situations as the game goes along it finds a way to lose you. The game will force you into situation that you don’t want to be in and even though the rewind feature will allow you go back to previous days, it only adds to the frustration. The game does feel like it drags on for a bit too long and this is disappointing as it really starts off in a positive way. That isn’t to say the game is terrible and that you shouldn’t give it a go. I still had fun with this title and the game would have been better in a more condensed version or perhaps something that changes the flow halfway through the game should have been implemented. Either way this is worth a look if you enjoy the 80’s style cop shows and dark humor.
Rating: 7 out 10