Might have made a better book than a game
I almost feel bad talking about this game. Call it a guilty conscience, but This is the Police drew me in with its narrative speaking throughout the story. I will say that those parts were well written and at least mildly intriguing. But the actual game part failed to keep me engaged.
The story of This is the Police follows Jack Boyd, the Police Chief of Freeberg who is about to retire. He is old-fashioned and not always shy about expressing his real feelings. Retiring was not so much his own choice, but he’s accepted it. There is still 180 days until he’s out the door. In these last days, the goal for him and the player is to get $500,000. But to actually get to that amount might require going out with a less than spotless record. To meet the goal, it may require working with some of the biggest criminals in the city.
The game play comes down to managing resources. The game can give a tutorial at the start, and will progressively add more details outlining the complexities of the game as time goes on. However, the content and delivery method in the game is not going to make everyone happy.
Calls will come in… and then you will choose from which of the officers you have at your disposal to send on each call. Their energy levels can play a factor in their performance. The same can be said for their ranking. Promoting, hiring, and the firing of officers is all something that will be added as the game progresses. Some may even quit. And then when they’ve requested days off, guess who decides who should get it. And yes, sometimes there will be stupid excuses.
There are also Detectives among the officers. That will gather intel on crimes, giving players data to string together to get the crime solved.
The game part of it plays well, but it plays boring. It is sending officers out and waiting for them to come back. Then sometimes getting screwed when you have no officers to handle a call or more urgent matter. As I said before, making everyone happy is not likely. With different scenarios being thrown out, it still ends up feel like nothing is going on.
The narrative gets heavier with more engaging dialogue. The game parts end up feeling like padding to the story, which just doesn’t work out well. And sometimes, between the days there isn’t even a narrative bit. It feels like this story would have been better told in a book than in a video game.