Developer: Pixel Crow
Publisher: 11 bit studios
Release Date: Out Now
Platforms: PS4 (Reviewed) / XboxOne / Switch
Web Page: Beat Cop Official Site
Designed as a homage to all things procedural cop shows of the 1980s this wonderful and retro game has a style all of its own so, let’s turn up the radio, strut down nostalgia street and walk the thin blue line as we take a look at Beat Cop on PS4.
You play as Jack Kelly,fresh from a demotion after being framed for a murder you didn’t commit, use your time to find out who the real killer is. You’ll need to clear your name if you are to get off the street, use informants and complete daily duties to continue your path to being proven innocent. You have a long way to go and some shady characters to meet and greet before we get there.
You find yourself part of the team at Station 69 and now you’re walking the beat. Day 1 is learning the street that will become yours. This involves meeting the store owners, being introduced to the local mafia and writing tickets to those who violate the parking regulations!
Each day is packed with jobs for you to do on top of your daily tasks set by the precinct. There is always something to do, whether thats the Mafia looking to you for the odd favour say, searching a van for something dodgy (by the way searching vehicles is easy once you figure out where things will be stashed).
Often you will find yourself being offered a bribe or two, people will offer you money to not write up a ticket or to turn a blind eye, will you stay on the straight and narrow or will you be on the take??
During every morning briefing, you’re set objectives that you need to complete before your shift finishes. Completing these objectives earn you a positive standing with the police force. You also have the opportunity to do some other work on the side which puts you in good standing with one of the two crime syndicates that operate in your area: the Italian mafia or the crew. Increasing your standing with one will reduce your standing with the other. Don’t let your standing get too low with either of them or they will start causing you problems. You have been warned!
See You Next Tuesday
The game is not for the faint-hearted or younger age. The language is choice, to say the least, and when I heard my first use of the C word I was actually shocked as it’s not something I thought I would hear in this game. The language isn’t just there for shock value it helps keep the mature themes working. With themes such as murders and mafia bosses and being framed, calling someone a bad mother fudger just wouldn’t cut it.
The creators introduce the game with an opening paragraph explaining that Beat Cop is a homage to the 80’s cop shows that they would watch as kids. As with the cheesy ’80s, Beat Cop is wonderfully over the top and shouldn’t be taken too seriously. There is an abundance of bad language, wonderfully politically incorrect stereotypes and offensive humour. In this day and age, where we live in a world where people are afraid to say things in case it happens to offend somebody, Beat Cop is a refreshing experience. Little nods t the past also include the names of movies at the local cinema at the end of your street, I do love the clever little easter eggs in this game.
Always be on the lookout for subtle 80’s references as sometimes they’re so well hidden you might miss them. These are nice little touches that you’ll certainly appreciate if you were around during the era where shell suits and shoulder pads were in high fashion. For example, if you look closely at the names of the tenants on the apartment door buzzers, you’ll notice they are characters from well known 80’s movies such as Blade Runner’s R. Deckard and Die Hard’s J. McClane.
There are numerous pixel art style games at the moment and there is a reason for that. There is a lot of love at the moment for the early games that were around when people grew up. The games from this time couldn’t rely on ultra-realistic graphics to sell games that had mediocre gameplay or poor story. No, these games had to ensure that gameplay was solid or the story was engrossing enough for gamers to keep coming back for more. Beat Cop has both of these things and the retro art style is done perfectly and reflects the 80’s era games brilliantly.
The way this game is presented and written is a real testament to the developers of the game. Growing up around the time the game is set Games were just starting to come into their own and this game really does give a good account of itself. The story is solid, the characters are outlandish and from another time (obviously being set in the ’80s) and the graphics compliment the time period perfectly. This makes for a wonderful package that delivers on many fronts.
The controls are easy to master, so much so that they are always on screen pretty much. The prompts are at the bottom of the screen for the main things, like checking your daily duties list, using your radio and your cuffs etc. The layout is good and easy on the eye and I didn’t find it off-putting whilst playing. I can say this game was a welcome play through and I didn’t expect to enjoy it so much.
Check out the trailer for Beat Cop below:
The review key for Beat Cop was provided by Terminals.io for the purposes of this review and we are grateful.