Wednesday, 10 August 2016

This is the Police (Steam) - Review

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.

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Overcooked! (Xbox One) - Review

Overcooked! is available now on the Xbox One and is priced at £11.99.

I have always loved a good cooking game, there's something about them that just draws me in and keeps me interested. I used to really enjoy time management games too (though interest in them has waned slightly in recent years) so much so that I'm pretty sure I'm the only person who bought Diner Dash on the Xbox 360. Man that game was tough.

I was excited when I read about Overcooked! I think it's been long enough since I've played a dash game that I felt ready for the challenge again. Plus it's the beginning of the school holidays and I thought this game might be fun to dive into with my two little angels*. Hahaha, more fool me right?!

Overcooked! sees you take on the role of a chef in a series of awfully designed kitchens. Your performance during the level affects how many stars you earn and these stars are important because you'll need to have unlocked a certain amount for each level. You can play the game solo, but damn it is hard. You use your bumper to switch between your two chefs, so you can have one cutting the salad and the other frying the burgers, or washing the dishes for example. I found playing the game solo really difficult, but switching between coop and solo is seamless, you can continue your previously solo save with a friend and vice versa without changing any settings or losing any progress, so that's nice.

Overcooked! really shines when you play it cooperatively. Unfortunately there is no online functionality thus far and I'm not sure whether the developers ever hope to patch it in. While it'd be nice to be able to play online, the couch coop in this game is pretty perfect. For one it allows four players to use the same screen at once, which is becoming more an more unusual. Hell, trying to find a game that allows two players to use the same screen is pretty hard these days. Overcooked! delivers a lot of fun and is a perfect game to throw on when you have a few friends round and fancy spicing things up with an argument.

Yes, Overcooked! is infuriating. No matter how hard you try you will end up having a little tiff. The game is set up for it, from the way you can push the other chefs off the moving van to the controls that are sometimes slightly off meaning you put your freshly coked soup straight into the bin rather than the plate. But as infuriating as it is you will keep coming back for more, this game is the most addictive game I've played on my console for ages.

The graphics are all really cute, if a little mobile game-esque. The map you trundle through as you make your way through the various levels is gorgeous and full of little details like the trees moving as you drive through them. It's adorable.

And if you're worrying that you want in on the sweet coop action but haven't got four controllers, FRET NOT! Overcooked! has thought of every possibility and come up with a way for two people to share one controller. Yeah, prepare for waaaayyyy more arguments if you play it that way.

Overcooked! is frantic fun that you will keep going back to. Pin it to your home and attempt a level whenever you have five minutes to spare. It'll either have you laughing or crying by the end.

8/10 BUY IT!

*devils in disguise
A code was provided for the purpose of this review.