“Do you know how much an extra Restroom is going to cost?” Says the Chief to his newest recruit, he puts his heads in his hands. Kowalski walks in and immediately dismissed his new partner, another woman in his life, all he needs after finding out his wife has just left him. In another cutscene, two cops are sat in the car discussing Kowalski before deciding the siren needs putting on because they are out of doughnuts. If you have ever enjoyed a 70s cops show this will all feel very familiar and it will mean you’ll quite enjoy LA Cops.
LA Cops is a short game (it only has eight levels, with some that have secondary missions), but it’s a game you’ll keep going back to as you try to best your score, or conquer the more difficult levels. The game starts you off with a quick tutorial in a doughnut shop that will give you all you need to know to play the game.
The aim of the game is to kill or arrest the criminals inside different isometric locations, sounds simple, but it isn’t. Before each level you’ll choose two of six cops to control, as you complete levels you’ll earn XP which can be used to upgrade your squad’s health, speed and unlock more powerful weapons.
On each level you are in control of both cops, the Y button switches between them and the A button will call you partner to help cover you. There is little room for failure, one mistake can lead to you having to start again, so going in all guns blazing is not a tactic worth employing.
Using the shoulder buttons allows you to rotate the level to get a different perspective of where your enemies are, while pressing up on the D-pad will zoom out the level. This will give you time to work out your enemy’s walking patterns and to choose when (and where) to enter a room to blow away your opponents. Some rooms may only have one or two bad guys inside, giving you the chance to rush in behind them, hit the left trigger and arrest them. The AI can be quite random at times, if you get into a firefight with an opponent it might be over too quickly but at other times you may end up with four or five guys all firing at you, trust me, it doesn’t last very long. There are first aid packs lying that will revive your partner and doughnuts can be used to restore your health.
There are three difficulties for each level and even on normal I found myself struggling to get past some of the levels. If I ever complete a level on Nightmare mode I’ll be genuinely surprised. When you do eventually beat a level you’ll receive a debrief in the Chief’s office for a summary of your score. You are awarded points for kills, arrests and damage, but you’ll lose points for dying, restarting the level or killing civilians. You can also see how much XP you have earned to upgrade your squad as well as an overall performance grade.
Despite the basic graphics, the game plays really well, they have nailed the 70’s cop vibe, complete with sexist stereotypes and doughnut eating, they have even thrown in some awful dialogue too, but it’s clear they are taking the mickey, so there is no need to start getting too uptight about it all. The music makes me want to don a pair of flares and slide over some bonnets and bust some bad guys too!
The one thing I feel the game is missing is co-op, I would have a great time constantly trying to keep Rich alive playing this, and I know he would appreciate the backup, but unfortunately we have to fight the good fight alone, at least we have the leaderboards to battle over… For £11 you are getting a game that despite being short and quite tough, will keep you coming back for more, much like the Trials games, the achievements are pretty generous, mostly rewarding you for racking up kills. If you can ignore the rubbish dialogue and have a lot of patience you’ll have great fun playing this.
Thanks to Xbox & Team 17 for supplying TiX with a download code
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