Developer: Pixel Crow
Publisher: 11 bit studios
Platforms: PC, Mac
Tested On: PC
Beat Cop – Preview
Beat Cop is an adventure game made by Pixel Crow that takes place in New York, where you play as an ordinary street cop. Your job is to uncover secrets about your former job as a detective, keeping your head above water because your boss is an asshole and your wife sucks your wallet dry and of course writing tickets and keeping the streets clean.
Beat Cop is an adventure game where you play as a cop that’s been framed with murder. Now, you’ve been demoted to a regular beat cop and you have to find out who framed you, together with all of the other work that comes with being a cop. The version of the game that we had a look at was still in the pre-alpha stage, so a lot of things mentioned might be subject to change.
As a beat cop, your job is to simply do day to day routine work on the road like handing out tickets, keeping your eyes open for thieves and of course eating a lot of food. Your shift starts at eight in the morning and ends at six in the evening. In that time, you have to complete objectives your chief gives you at briefing in the office, but besides that you’re free to roam around and do things you want to do yourself. Usually these objectives are handing out an amount of tickets or talking to the shopkeepers if they know something about a case.
The game has a pretty simple interface, everything is controlled with the mouse and you move by clicking on the ground around you. Your interface features a clock, a police radio to call in things or receive messages, a ticket book to write tickets if cars are faulty parked or they aren’t in order, handcuffs to stop thieves, a pistol that isn’t used (yet) and a notebook which contains objectives, notes, stats and story objectives.
Currently this build features seven days you can play through. On the first day you get to introduce yourself to all of the shop keepers, as they can play a crucial role in cases later on. On the second day you’re already on your own and doing your thing. The street hosts a couple of buildings that range from food places to pawn shops to a church. Food is used to regain stamina, which is used for running when tracking down crooks. Other stores are mostly used for information and general conversation.
Beat Cop also contains a reputation system of sorts. You can rank with police, people, mafia and gang. These ranks can go up and down depending on what actions you take. Accepting or denying bribes will change your people status, but not getting your quota or giving wrong tickets will affect your police work. The mafia and gangs are in a never ending war, so you either have to take sides or try to keep them balanced in order to stay in good books with them.
At the end of every day you’ll see an overview of how you did. It will say which objectives you completed or failed to complete, how much money you made and how your reputation stands. Sometimes you have to get a certain amount of money in order to proceed, like in the start of the game you have to collect $300 of alimony in three days.
There’s quite a bit to do in the game already and it’s pretty fun to play, but there are also some things that should (and probably will) be improved. There are a couple of interface bugs for example where the store interface stays on the screen even if you leave the store. Another bug is where you inspect the tires of a car and your character just stands still forever, requiring you to restart the day. There also seems to be quite a bit of untranslated text in the later days of the game. These are just a couple of things that will be fixed in the final version without a doubt, but some other things require attention as well. For example, there is no real use for money in the game. You can use it to buy food but other than that there’s nothing to spend it on, if you don’t buy food every three seconds you’ll find yourself with hundreds of dollars after a couple of days.
Beat Cop is, so far, a pretty enjoyable game to play. While it’s still in pre-alpha, there’s quite a bit of gameplay to show already and what’s present is pretty good. It’s fun to kill a couple of hours and can get quite tricky with the different reputations you have to keep up. Hopefully the development will continue and more and more features will keep being added to an already fun game.