This is the Police is available now on Steam and is priced at £13.99 (though there is a 10% discount at the minute making the game £12.59).
I don't know what I was imagining when I read the description for This is the Police on Steam, but it wasn't quite what I got. That's not necessarily a bad thing; I have LOVED my time with This is the Police, it's just...different to how I imagined and when I read it back now, after I've played hours upon hours of it I don't even know why I expected anything different.
Anyway now I've confused you all with my silly ramblings let's get into the review, eh?
You play as Police Chief Jack Boyd and you are thrust into the role immediately, playing as him in a press conference. You are told you will be out of a job in 180 days, so Jack makes it his goal to earn $500000 by then for his retirement, because obviously every game needs a goal. I can't really see any other cohesive reason for this, but never mind,
So you must take on the role of Chief of Freeburg PD and all it entails. You are given two shifts of investigators and cops to control and you must answer various calls across the map. These will range from mass shoot-outs where you will need to send a SWAT team, a Paddy Wagon and the majority of your cops, to calls concerning "suspicious characters" which can sometimes end up just being an innocent man walking his dog. You will never have enough cops on shift to send the maximum amount of cops to every call, so you have to learn which calls are more important and will need more than two of your cops. If you don't get this balance right, your cops will die.
The first time this happened to me I was aghast. I was already struggling to go to every call and just couldn't afford to lose a member of the force. You can't hire a new person immediately either, and this is where my Jack Boyd started to show just how corrupt he could be*. Because when a member of your force dies you are posed with a question at the end of the shift. You can either hand the body in and declare them dead, or you can hide them and carry on getting their wages. And with the $500000 in the back of my mind, I'm ashamed to say I chose to stuff the body in the morgue and collect the dead cops pay check for myself.
This was the start of an incredibly slippery slope. I hid that body for a week before I realised that another cop would be way more beneficial to me, thanks to my new found "friendship" with Freeburg's mob boss. He wanted my cops at his deals and it was always a set number he wanted, you couldn't short change him. So I declared them dead and hired someone new, only to get an email the next day from the Mayor telling me I had to fire all the black cops on my team. Yikes.
Now you can refuse any of these things. You can refuse to get in bed with the mob and you can refuse to heed the mayors warnings, but this will make your life as Jack Boyd much more difficult. As ever I don't want to go into story spoilers, but trust me it's much harder than you'd imagine to stay straight. I went into This is the Police naively thinking that I'd play it as the good guy, all the way through and prove that good guys can win. Haha. Isn't that a nice idea?
I really enjoyed my time with This is the Police and it is a game I will be returning to. The voice acting is amazing, and the steak art style really suits the game. The story is interesting and the UI is slick and simple to use. It's a fairly simple idea, executed brilliantly and in my opinion well worth the money. Though I have heard rumours of a console release, so if you'd rather play on an XB1 or PS4 it may be worth waiting to see if that happens.
8/10 BUY IT!
*It was me. All me. I'd make a terrible cop.
A code was provided for the purpose of this review.