Developer: Pixel Crow
Publisher: 11 bit studios
Platforms: PC, Mac
Tested On: PC
Beat Cop – Review
Law enforcement has been around for several decades now and this kind of work has always been quite difficult. Before, it was rather easy to get wound up in some shady affairs and there weren’t much repercussions regarding this matter. In Beat Cop, you can experience the troubles of one of the officers, while also trying to maintain the peace on the streets.
At the beginning of the game, you witness a rather disturbing cutscene. The protagonist Jack Kelly is called to a crime scene, where he finds an alarming sight. It seems he was framed as everyone thinks he has something to do with the disappearance of the Senator and the diamonds from his vault. Afterwards, you’re demoted and your wife left you. Of course, you’re innocent but you need to find a way to prove so. This chance seems quite slim on your new job as you’re a beat cop now. It is your task to sweep a street in Brooklyn and take care of any criminal activity. This might seem a good idea, but with the alimony and your quest for the truth, keeping your hands clean might be rather tricky.
Beat Cop provides a rather intense story with quite some swearing and bloodshed. You’ll be sucked in the narrative in no time as you want to know what actually happened. Of course, there are several choices during the gameplay you need to reconsider, so there are several different outcomes possible. Depending on your playstyle and decisions, you will get a fitting ending.
If you like colorful retro-inspired images that teleport you back to the good ol’ days, you’ll surely like what Beat Cop has to offer. Don’t expect the best details as you have a more diagonal, top-down view but the several items and the different people will get into your heart rather fast. The developers did their best to provide you with a fun and vivid scenery, although you’ll have more than enough blood and fights to encounter. In an era where everything needs to be as realistic as possible, this style is getting rather unique which isn’t a bad thing of course.
Next to the retro graphics, you will also hear some similar tunes. Don’t expect any voice acting as that wasn’t really available back then but there are some sound effects to be heard. For instance, when Central calls in to check on you, you’ll hear the buzzing noise from you walkie-talkie. The music is rather upbeat and has quite some tempo and will keep you on your toes when venturing the dark street of Brooklyn.
Beat Cop is a simulation game with quite some adventures and obstacles to overcome. Next to his accusations, he also has a lot of other problems on his plate. His new job isn’t much from what he used to do and his wife is giving him a hard time. Jack’s job is to sweep a rather animated street in the suburbs of Brooklyn. On his arrival, it is clear quite fast that he will need to watch out. There is a rather big part of the Mafia that has some businesses in this area while there is also an other organization called the ‘Crew’. Next to these two, the people living in this street are rather important too.
As this is a simulation game, your choices define the rest of the game and it is your call what you want to do and what not. For instance, are you going to go along with the bribes of the people? Will you turn a blind eye for the shady operations of the Mafia? Or are you more into the Crew? Are you going to turn down any offer and be a good cop? Every decision will has its effect on how fond each of the four groups are towards you. If you turn the mob down too much, it could be that this has some nasty repercussions. It’s a hard world out there, so watch your back at any time.
Of course, since you’re a policeman, you have quite some attributes. For starters, when a robbery takes place or you need to detain someone, your handcuffs are your best friend. You need to get close by before you can actually use them. Next to that, when things get really dangerous, you have your gun too of course. One of your daily jobs is to stroll the street and write tickets. This is done by your notebook, where you need to fill in the details and select the reason of the ticket. Before you can blindly write those, it’s good to do a check-up. For instance, check the parking meter or take a look at the tyres. When fining people for parking in a no parking zone or when the meter is expired, you can also choose to let a tow truck get the car. Sometimes, people come to you to beg to drop the fine and it’s, again, your choice if you want to accept or not. Accepting a bribe might be an option if you’re low on cash due to the allowances to your wife but you also need to achieve a daily quota for the cops. Decisions, decisions..
During the cycle of a day, a lot can be done and it is rather important to talk to people if you want to get extra cash or tasks. Of course, running around takes down your stamina and after a while you might get a bit tired. It is your choice to buy some food or not but keep in mind that you need money for your allowance but that you will also run slower with no energy. After each day, you will be graded on several aspects. For instance, did you do all your tasks, did someone see you accept a bribe and so on. This will affect your paycheck of course.
Some aspects of the game are explained during a tutorial while new elements, which are introduced later in the game, aren’t and might get a bit confusing or frustrating what you exactly need to do. Making mistakes has its consequences so you might get stressed a bit now and then. One other aspect is that sometimes it is hard to select or trigger certain actions. For instance, when you want to write a ticket, you might need to hover several times across the button before it’s actually activated. This means you’ll lose precious time and might lead to the car leaving without your fine.
Beat Cop is a fun simulation game that puts you in the shoes of a policeman in the 80’s. Although the graphics are also from the retro-section, they surely are bright and colorful. Combined with the rather upbeat music and fun sound effects, you’ll have a blast when playing this game. Are you going to choose the righteous path or are you going to go astray here and there? The choice is yours.