LA Cops could have been fun. There is still some elements of gameplay that did make it a fun experience, but the Modern Dream developed action/puzzle game does fall short of a fantastic experience. It’s an 1970’s inspired buddy cop game featuring eight main missions and several side missions with several difficulty levels to suit any level of gamer. It’s a short game, at most lasting a few hours of gameplay. However, despite some challenging moments, the game can lose its shine early on and can be a bit of a chore to play through.
The game doesn’t have an overarching story, rather there are eight different missions to be completed. Set in various locations around the USA, they range from a donut shop to a mansion. The missions are all varied. Some missions involve hostage situations, where the aim is to take out all of the criminals and rescue the person being held hostage. There are also robbery missions where you take all the criminals out to stop them from robbing someone. Within each mission, there are several objectives to achieve. Despite the different scenarios, they all felt similar. The structure of the missions are all the same as it all boils down to kill or arrest the cops and go to the next area or finish the mission. They were fun to play, but could have had more variety to them.
Each mission takes place on a small field of play, making up several interior and exterior settings, depending on the mission. The player finds themselves with an isometric point of view, viewing all the actions from a diagonal down position. The camera can be moved in rotation as to see better the surroundings. The game is more of a puzzle game with action rather than a pure action game. The puzzles are challenging and, at times, do require your AI partner. The AI is pretty alert, reacting at the right time. If it dies, it’s because of the failings of the player. In several missions, there were times taking a back seat and assessing the surroundings was the best option rather than charging in. There are three levels of difficulty, making the puzzles even harder with smarter AI. However, they are only challenging at times. Other times the best solution was to leave your partner behind and go on a killing spree. It’s not as fun or rewarding as thinking of a strategy to combat the puzzle. Also, don’t expect to be playing with a buddy any time soon. The game does not feature any co-op whatsoever. It’s appalling for a game where two cops are chosen doesn’t feature any local or online co-op play. It’s being promised for a future update, but it should have been available at launch.
In LA Cops, players have the option to choose from six different characters, all having their distinctive look and personality. Each character have four different attributes to make them to better cops. This is where the different character selection really shines. Using their own pool of experience points, each member can upgrade their health, speed, damage and clip size to become fearsome cops. They also have access to different weapons, such as uzis and shotguns, all unlockable with experience points. As for their personalities, they are what one would expect in a cop game. They’re cliché but at least they have some personality.
The controls are pretty simplified. The left stick moves the character while the right stick aims your weapon. Pressing square will lock your aim to a criminal and pulling the R2 trigger will fire your gun. If you prefer a more non-lethal method, the pressing the L2 button As there are two cops in every level, you can switch between the two with the triangle button. If you’re not for one to change it up, you can bring your AI partner to the thick of it with the X button. While the controls are simple and easy to learn, the right stick control felt off. It seems to be restricted to four axis, so it needed some time to get used to. But it’s the only negative for a decent control scheme.
The art style is quite interesting but likeable. The game features a nice colour pallet, featuring an array of bright, vibrant colours for the different levels. The designs of the levels are simplistic but add to the challenge of the gameplay. One aspect of the character design that may throw people off is the fact the faces have no mouths, despite featuring dialogue. However, it adds to the fun of the game and it can be quite comical at times. Speaking of the dialogue, it’s decent enough for a game like LA Cops. It’s cliché but it’s not about story or characters. The soundtrack is decent, the voice acting is alright, but I do like the accurate sound effects.
So LA Cops can be fun for the few hours it lasts. However, it doesn’t seem right on the Playstation 4. In fact, it should be on portable consoles such as the Playstation Vita. While the controls are quite simplified and easy to learn, the missions can feel repetitive, some of the controls are frustrating and it was only challenging at times. The characters were too cliché and needed to be more distinct other than every colour on the skin colour spectrum. Overall, there are fun times to be had, but there could have been more if there were improvements in some areas.
Rating: Strawberry Frosted Donuts/10
LA Cops was provided by Surprise Attack, the local distributor of the game, for the purpose of reviewing. The game is available on Playstation 4, Xbox One and PC (Steam) for £10.99 / $14.99 / 13,99 € .