LA Cops – Review
Follow Genre: Action, Adventure, Strategy, Shooter
Developer: Modern Dream
Publisher: Team17 Digital Ltd
Platform: PC

LA Cops – Review

Site Score
Good: Rock-On soundtrack, 70s visuals, various characters, real-time strategy, has room for more features
Bad: Narrative (the parts that exist at least), controller feels iffy, difficulty doesn't feel balanced
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LA Cops is an action-packed 3D top down shooter developed by Modern Dream but published by fans favourite Team17 Digital Ltd. The game is set in the 70s version of Los Angeles – a town filled with crooks which you, as LAPD cops, need to clean up. LA Cops is actually a strategic game as you don’t control one cop but two. At first glance, you’d think the game uses the strategic turn-based action gameplay but instead, both cops are controlled in real-time – making the game so much harder than it already is thanks to the massive amount of bad guys.

la cops small


The narrative is different but also quite confusing. As the player, you get to choose two out of six characters, each with their own distinctive personalities and traits.

The cutscenes between the various levels tell a story of a cop that has lost his partner and now receives a new one – a female one nonetheless. This brings some friction in the department, especially since the captain really doesn’t look forward to spending his funding on bathrooms for females but she stands firm and does her job like any other good LAPD cop.

The storyline in the cutscenes continue, some are quite surprising as you’d not expect them – even if you have no clue as to what is truly going on but they’re quite fitting to the 70s and 80s theme the game has. I won’t spoil the rest in case you’d like to dive into the game yourself.


The colour scheme in LA Cops will without a doubt tell you that the game has been inspired by the 70s and 80s and it has. However, the visuals do not really throw you back in the years. They’re hints to an era in the past but this doesn’t make the game have a vintage type of gameplay in general. What will throw you back slightly are the characters, their voice tones and personalities, which also have been inspired by this era of good cop, bad cop. The latter one certainly is part of the narrative.

la cops scr01


The game has a nifty rock soundtrack that I hardly remember hearing because I was too amassed in the difficulty of the gameplay. After truly focusing on the soundtrack, it does have a good ring to it. As the game features cops, there are a few different weapons, each with their own sound design. Pistols sound like pistols and shotguns sound a bit louder, it’s just the way it’s supposed to be.


The game can be played with keyboard and mouse or with a controller. The controller felt iffy to me so I switched to the traditional keyboard and mouse which worked like a charm. Moving around is done with WASD while you can rotate your camera with Q and E. You can switch between cops with R or you can call your partner to a specific spot with C or middle mouse-button. The latter one is certainly of use when executing strategic moves. A very helpful tool is the lock on target, which is the F-key but it does have a range. You can also punch and arrest criminals with the right mouse-button but with so much action going on, you’ll rarely get to use it as it’s a matter of life and death. And of course, firing your weapon is done with the left mouse-button while you are aiming with the mouse. Additionally you can toggle your minimap (M) and objectives (T).

la cops scr02

As mentioned before, you get to pick two cops out of six from the precinct, each with their own traits and personalities. Each chapter explains quickly what went down and what objectives you need to complete. Once you’ve completed the level, you’ll move onto the next ones. There are eight main chapters, which are broken up into several sections, and five optional chapters.

The game is an art on its own and thus the players need to master the art of using the second cop accordingly while busting in rooms. It’s not as easy as you’d think but then again, LA Cops comes from Team 17 which is known for publishing games that are hard on players, even on easy mode. Certain rooms will feel empty while other rooms are bursting from mobs that are fairly deadly when they see cops. The mobs can have different guns, which you can later pick up in case you’re out of ammo by pressing the spacebar while standing on top of the gun.

Each cop has their own attributes that can be upgraded with experience points you’ve gained during play but the experience points come fairly slow. It was surprising to see that the experience is shared so you’d need to choose your upgrades carefully. There are several attributes to upgrade but the main ones are increased health, speed, ammo clip size and damage done.

la cops scr03

Many of the missions are similar to each other which does become dull but the scenery constantly changes from donut shops to apartment building to large offices which houses servers. One time you need to destroy drug tables while other times you need to shoot the servers to shreds. The rest of the scenery is also destructible but you do get minus points for tearing up the place. You could replay the game with different characters and on a more challenging mode but that’s as far as the replayability goes until there is a co-op mode which is said to be coming so let’s cross our fingers.


In short, the narrative is a confusing one as it starts at a random timeline and continues this trend as you progress. The 70s and 80s themed visuals are clear and it does fit the whole good cop, bad cop theme the game has going on here and there. While it’s not a complete tactical game, there are times where it is best to use certain tactics concerning your partner that is somewhat idling around behind you, unless there is a mob in front of them. The game does have room for more features to be implemented. All-in-all, LA Cops is a fun mediocre game that may challenge you once in a while.

Note: LA Cops does look similar to Hotline Miami and its sequel in many ways but the fact that the game is a 3D top-down shooter makes up with the unmistakably similarities between the games. There is also a lot less blood to be found in LA Cops.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
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Hi! I'm Jess and I’m a writer, dreamer and gamer at heart since the early ages. I primarily game on PC but occasionally also on PS4 and Xbox One. I have a tiny obsession for World of Warcraft and caterpillars but you may also claim I have a devoted passion for the gaming industry in general. If you want to hit me up, find me on twitter!

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