There tend to be a lot of games on the market involving the police, whether playing as them or trying to escape/avoid them. There’s also plenty of strategy games on the market as well. However, This is the Police is one of only a few games (that I am aware of) that combines both of these things.
THQ Nordic’s game places you in the shoes of police chief Jack Boyd, who runs the precinct in the games city of Freeburg. At the start of the game, the city’s corrupt mayor is forcing Jack into early retirement six months down the road. Before he retires, he is given the task of earning half a million dollars while running his department and fighting crime in the city.
The player is given two shifts of officers that must be balanced, and properly sent out to respond to calls so that all criminals are caught and no lives are lost. There are a number of crimes that will occur, some more severe than others. The more severe the crime is, the more officers it will take to insure that everything goes swimmingly.
In addition to responding to these calls, you’ll have to deal with shift management, hiring and firing of cops, potential loss of life on calls, and even dealing with the Mafia later on in the game, who will step in and ask you to look the other way on certain phone calls with the promise of a big payoff for you. Or they’ll just threaten to kill you if you don’t listen to them.
Most of This is the Police takes place on an isometric map of the entire city. Calls will pop up on the map, and once you answer them you’ll be given a number of slots for how many officers you’re allowed to send out. Most calls will take just two or three, but some calls may require more of your shift or, if it’s dangerous enough, you’ll have the option to send in a SWAT team. You’ll even receive calls from places in the city asking for a favor : if you can send a cop to act as a bouncer for a night club, or to participate in a boxing/fighting contest. However, these calls run the risk of the officer really enjoying the event/job and wanting to quit the force for it.
You’ll be given what feels like every duty of a person leading a police unit. Everyone’s happiness is important, but you also need to keep yourself well-staffed for a shift, so finding the balance between being the boss and the nice-guy is definitely important in this game, as officers will request a day off of work and you need to determine if it’s for a legitimate reason or something ridiculous. You can always give them a day off and bring someone else in for overtime, but this leaves them tired and runs the risk of a criminal getting away or the officer dying on duty.
I’ve had a lot of fun with this game, and especially on the Switch. If you play This is the Police in handheld mode, you can make use of the console’s touch screen which greatly speeds up the process of responding to calls and selecting officers to send out, or responding to requests.
The story is incredibly well done, and by far one of the top highlights of this game. Between each day, a small cutscene may take place to fill you in on things currently happening, and while the animation is very simple, the voice acting really drives home a lot of the intensity needed from the subject matter, doing a great job of pulling the player in.
However, as great as this game is, the gameplay may end up being a bit slow and repetitive for a lot of players, as it is a lot of the same over and over for the duration of the 180 in-game days. This might not be a title to grab if you’re not a fan of strategy games, but at the same time the intense story could definitely help make this a great introduction to strategy games. Nevertheless, This is the Police is a lot fun, and again I highly recommend playing this making use of the Switch’s touchscreen.
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