In this day and age where most people work 9 to 5, or learn 8 to 4. And we, collectively don’t really have any time to spare, let alone waste, video games have to be engaging right from the very get go. Sure, you will still find apologists for certain games out there who will say ”just give it some time”, or ”it gets going after couple of hours”, but as much as they like to preach, this does not change the fact that if a game doesn’t get to you within the first 45 minutes, it will likely end up being never played again, or simply sold. But unfortunately, you cannot sell, or trade in a digital game, and as good as This is The Police II, might be – it will unfortunately discourage some players, before it even gets truly going.

Just like most games, This is The Police II opens up with an introductory sequence. And there is nothing wrong with cut-scenes and tutorials, of which such is composed, but unfortunately these particular opening drags for quite some time. The longer it continues, the less appealing it becomes. Some will surely welcome being able to learn about the title’s specifics, before they get into the thick of things. But the way in which gameplay sequences are interwoven, can be really grating. As overall, the introduction is paced rather horribly. Short gameplay sequences are broken up with lengthy stop motion cut-scenes, and the gameplay elements which you can access at the time, do not present the title in the brightest of lights.

When playing This is The Police II for the first time, it felt like the prologue was dragging on forever, as every time I thought it was over, it would slap me right the face with yet another, largely needles segment. But once it was finally over – for good this time, I was able to enjoy This is The Police II for what it truly is. And with the intro far-removed, it is a mighty fine game. As it blends the turn-based tactical combat, with an array of micromanagement mechanics which elevate the core gameplay to the next level. But instead of over-complicating things like the XCOM series, or the more recent Phantom Doctrine, it simplifies the whole process, and provides you, the player, with a much more tolerable, and digestible experience overall.

The core gameplay of This is The Police II is divided into two parts. One has you carry out your everyday duties, using all your available officers, and this include solving crimes which carry over days – if not weeks, and reacting to 911 calls, which range from homeless men defecating on hoods of cars, to stopping armed robbers and mobsters. The other, sees you combat a gang of mobsters head on in tactical, turn-based combat. But where games like XCOM have you exterminate every single target, This is The Police II allows you to stop, incapacitate, and arrest individuals as you see fit. But at times, violence is the only viable option.

As mentioned previously, This is The Police II features a fair amount of micro-managing, as in game you have to mange everything from daily staffing, to your officer’s equipment and even personal issues. And the latter gives the title a semblance of realism, as it gives the otherwise mute and expendable pawns their own personality and character, and allows you, the player, to grow fond of some of them, or absolutely detest them, and that’s because not all AI personality traits are positive. For example, some officers will refuse to go out on a patrol alone, meaning that at times you will have to sacrifice two members of your staff for trivial tasks; whereas others, will go as far as to refuse to work with one another, because of their very distinct traits, or will outright decline to come to work at all, as they may not feel like working more than 5 days a week.

The longer you play This is The Police II, the more personal the experience becomes, and with time, you will begin to feel like an integral part of the small-town community, which while tranquil and innocent from the outside – is ridden with crime and overarching corruption. Once this feeling kicks in, This is The Police II, will rise in your graces exponentially. But unfortunately, not all will get to this particular point. Because as it was mentioned previously, This is The Police II starts with a rather unsavoury introduction, which can be rather difficult to digest – and it’s a real, real shame.

Overall, This is The Police II is a great game, as above all – it’s simply fun. However, as you can see it is not completely faultless. As much as I’d like to say that the tutorial related issues is the only major gripe related to the title, then fortunately I simply can’t do that. That’s only because the flaws of this particular game go beyond poor initial pacing. In-fact, most of them are prevail throughout the entirety of the game, and are not bound to a single section. And one of them relates to the title’s voice acting, which to put it nicely, is simply underwhelming. As for the most part, the emotional impact of all in-game lines is borderline nonexistent, as all actors sound like they’ve been forced to do their part at gunpoint.

With an exception of a couple minor characters, the in-game voice-acting is simply sub-par, while Jack, the in-game protagonist does come across as believable from time to time, then for the most part he sounds synthetic, and robot-like, just like the town’s sheriff, who is the second mainline character within the game. The sub-par voice acting would feel out of place in any other game, then funnily enough, it feels right at home within the confines of This is The Police II. Because its lacking quality, counteracts the superb gameplay, the same way the exposition derails the gameplay elements of the prologue.

Not to prolong, all that really has to be said about This is The Police II is that it is a great game, on the core, bare bones level, as it feels great to play, and experience. But the second the quote-on-quote actual gameplay comes to an end, and you start getting bombarded with stop motion cut-scenes, the otherwise great game turns into a rather inconsistent experienceTM. And if it was smaller in scope, or if the developer behind it has opted to ditch the cut-scenes, and invest its time and money into further developing the in-game investigations, which in all honesty all feel quite same-y, then maybe, just maybe This is The Police II would be in the league of your Hotline Miami’s and Serial Cleaners. But as things stand, it is just another indie game, which we will most likely forget about within the coming months.



Author

Kamil

My name is Kamil, and I'm the 'Feature Man'. I write news, and reviews just like everybody else, however, feature articles are my true forte. And this is not because I'm another self-centered, pseudo-intellectual games journalist, but because there are many discussion worthy matters which go unnoticed in the flurry of other video-game related articles. If you want to read more of my #HotTakes and #Opinions, or if you simply want to fight me over the internet, you can follow me on Twitter @Kama_Kamilia.