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Est. April 2016. III Version 2.0. III

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THIS IS THE POLICE 2
Knock. Knock. Boom.

REVIEW
By JAY TEE
01/10/18

This Is The Police 2 is an ambitious sequel, reaffirming what made the original such an interesting release. The turn based gameplay has been expanded, with a pleasing selection of character specific abilities and a broader set of ways to approach each scenario.

The extended, fully voiced cutscenes show off improved production value, even if some aspects of the game design don’t quite measure up to a AAA release. The ambition and love is clearly there, but you can’t help feeling that some of the fat could have been trimmed. Those same cutscenes tend to drag with unnecessary material, and so a leaner script may have better served the story.

Ultimately, This Is The Police 2 is a ‘marmite’ style experience. You’re either going to be on board with the lengthy story elements and deliberate pace, or the presentation’s sluggishness will be a massive turn off.

THE BASICS - Turn based narrative adventure, with stylish graphics and varied gameplay mechanics.

PLATFORMS - PS4, XB1, NS, and PC.

PLAYERS - Offline - 1, Online - 0

CO-OP? MULTIPLAYER? - None.
 
DOWNLOADABLE CONTENT - None currently announced.

TARPS? - At the bottom of all our reviews, you’ll see a series of absurd looking images (with equally stupid, in joke laden names). These are the TARP badges, which represent our ‘Totally Accurate Rating Platform’. They allow us to identify specific things, recognise positive or negative aspects of a games design, and generally indulge our consistent silliness with some visual tomfoolery.

REVIEWS KEY:

The Look - Art style, graphics, and overall presentation.

The Feel - Mechanics, controls, and learning curve.

The Sound - Music, sound effects, and dialogue.

The Experience - Anecdotes and random thoughts.

Some of your officers have unique abilities which are better suited to specific scenarios.

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FINAL SCORE:

SIMPLE IS BEST - There’s a clean, almost bland colour wash to the visuals, which lends itself to the downtrodden, dreary nature of the setting and story. This is about as far removed, graphically speaking, from the slickness of something like Rainbow Six or Payday. Simplicity is the key here.

MAKE UP YO’ MIND! - You can see the wrinkles of an indie budget straining to match the ambitious design, with a jarring mixture of fully animated, and story board, cutscenes. It felt really odd jumping between the two styles of presentation. The unusual facial animation also proved to be something of a distraction. It’s a visually distinctive game, but lacking consistency.

LCARS WINNER - The U.I. is excellent, and fits nicely with the overall aesthetic.

This Is The Police 2’s solid turn based gameplay and interesting visual design both deserve a thumbs up, but issues with pace put a damper on the experience.

*Nintendo Switch review code provided by THQ Nordic*

KINGS OF CONTEXT - I found the context sensitive controls and navigating the in game menu’s to be responsive and intuitive. This Is The Police 2 demands you assess each situation carefully, and thankfully, the barrier of entry for someone like myself, who isn’t well versed in turn based strategy, has been kept nice and low.

QUIT DINKIN’ AROUND SLIP! - You’re tasked with managing various cases that pop up, alongside the ongoing story. Unfortunately, the issues with pace are very apparent during the early hours of the game. You’ll find yourself hungry to get to the next encounter, but you also won’t want to skip the cutscenes. It’s a weird push / push scenario, and made me disconnect from the experience.

TEACH IT! - The opening tutorial does a great job of establishing mechanics, even if it takes too long to get back to the action.

L.A. NOIRE - You really get a sense that the tone of This Is The Police 2 is the polar opposite of jolly. This is a mature, bleak experience, and the soundtrack evokes classic noir detective stories. It fits the visuals perfectly, and is easily one of the strongest aspects of the game design.

CHATTERBOX - There is absolutely nothing wrong with the voice acting. Unfortunately, it’s let down by some needlessly over complicated dialogue. The writing is a little too verbose at times, excessively explaining certain characters thought processes and feelings. It unintentionally lessens the dramatic impact of key moments in the story.   

ALL HAIL THE DUKE - Famed voice actor Jon St. John portrays lead character Jack Boyd. He’s also Duke Nukem!

WAIT YOUR TURN - The amount you can do with each officer per turn is determined by the distance they’ve travelled and what they do when they arrive. So far, pretty standard turn based affair. However, it would be nice if smaller actions, like opening a window, vaulting over certain objects, or breaching into rooms were tied to a single action ‘turn’, and didn’t force you to wait.

TICK TOCK - Ultimately, it all comes down to pacing. I’ve mentioned several times already that this is the biggest frustration with This Is The Police 2, and something that could put off newcomers unfamiliar with the original. It’s not game breaking by any means, but definitely worth considering.

IMPORTANT SIDE NOTE - The cutscenes can be skipped, but that isn’t an ideal solution if you’re engaged with the story.

LET US KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS ON THIS ARTICLE!
LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW, TWEET US @JAYTEE_GA, OR E-MAIL: EDITOR@JTGA.CO.UK.

TARP BADGES:

The BREACH ON ZULU badge is awarded for a game that consistently demands intelligent strategy / tactics.

The WAGGLE YOUR LIPS badge is for a game with terrible pacing and/or too often takes control away from the player.

The SLICK RICK badge is earned when the soundtrack, effects, and / or overall audio design is fantastic across the board.

The YOSHI’S EYELIDS badge is for a game where the facial animation leaves much to be desired…

The LEDGE BUCKET badge is for a game where the U.I and / or menus have been really well designed.

The DROWSY badge is for a game that sometimes has issues with pacing.

The HELMET GAME badge is for a game with an excellent HUD.

GOOD