Rebel Cops – Review
Follow Genre: Tactical turn-based RPG
Developer: Weappy Studio
Publisher: THQ Nordic
Platform: PC, Xbox One, PS4, Switch, Mac, Linux
Tested on: PS4

Rebel Cops – Review

Site Score
7.0
Good: Takes the turn-based warfare we got to love and tries to do something different with it
Bad: The interaction lay-out can me terrible, can feel tedious
User Score
8.0
(3 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 8.0/10 (3 votes cast)

Rebel cops is a game that’s been derived from the game This Is the Police. It’s the tactical X-COM type of tactical turn-based combat that Rebel Cops is all about. With even Ubisoft adapting the gameplay in its Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle, it’s a type of gameplay that got increasingly popular and has been around for all ages to get acquainted with.

Story

In Rebel Cops, you play as an underdog police force which decided to take matters into own hands. With a lot of people being corrupt in the city run by crime boss Viktor Zuev, it feels like the final possibility to save what’s left. By doing carefully planned missions and helping out the community where they can, these rebel cops are slowly pushing crime back, one step at a time.

The story is being delivered one step at the time. Not really with cinematics but by a guy named ”Old” Spice, telling you what’s new and guiding you on missions. These moments of guidance are simple blocks of text, but it’s enough for the game that Rebel Cops is. It’s more about the gameplay and the (at times) complicated level design than it is really into its own story.

Graphics

The graphics are taken from This Is the Police, so you can expect exactly the same. The models are rather realistic, on a map where everything you can interact with is being properly indicated. Properly, though the camera really could use a rotating function because sometimes areas of interaction can overlap. And especially with a sensitive controller on your console, it really sucks if you accidentally misclick and screw up your turn. Everything is accompanied by characters and as such is drawn in a more serious comic-style of fashion.

Sound

Accompanied by tension-filled jazz tracks, you guide your squad through the dangers ahead. Like a bunch of commandos (yes, also from that old strategy game), they respond with lines for each of your actions. Fun fact, these lines are coming out of the controller for PS4 users, making it feel a bit more immersive like a central headquarters location on your couch. There are just some clear sounds for all the moves and every character has their own voice. It’s also nice how they use elderly cops, males and females alike. Cause you know, inclusivity.

Gameplay

So Rebel Cops is a turn-based tactical game, but where other games like these depend a lot on encounters with the enemies and shooting them till they are dead, Rebel Cops twists it into the possibility of having a lot of stealth. Each character has two Action Points to start their turn with, and you can use these points to walk (twice), shoot (twice), or do stuff like picking up objects, opening doors, telling enemies to freeze, or arresting somebody when you stand next to them. practically, this often means that you will come close enough to an enemy for a ”hands up!” move to be effective, and then letting another cop move in and arrest them or wait a turn to arrest them in that turn. By the lack of another Action Point early in the game to simply let a cop resolve a full arrest in one turn, this can feel tedious after a few rounds.

In a way, the arresting mechanism makes the game a lot more like a puzzle than it is a real shoot-out game. You try to eliminate the guards or criminals one by one without alerting them and setting an alarm off. You can also loot valuables from the map that you can sell later on. When selling, you can also buy new gear since your rebels are poorly equipped in general, and eventually, give everybody a tactical advantage. Such an advantage could be a silencer for their weapon, a flashbang, body armor to take more hits, and so on. Also, being sneaky can give you a different advantage by giving you (about four) points for each criminal you silently arrest without alerting others. These points you can trade in for single-use perks such as being undetectable for one turn, giving the game a nice little twist. The same goes for a sniper that accompanies you on some missions. He can scout buildings to give you more information, or in a firefight, unleash hell every three turns. All these things together give the player opportunities and ways to look for the best options. Together with missions often being on some kind of timer, it can create a fun tension despite being somewhat tedious in arresting criminals.

Your characters get tired after a mission which causes you to do a bit of maintaining and managing as well when it comes to your team. Who are you going to bring along, and what level are they? Levels unlock valuable character-bound perks such as running close and shooting in a single turn, which can be great if you use it at the right moments. At the same time, the game has a weird twist on the third main story mission where it drops your agents on a HUGE map, really breaking the learning curve you had before and increasing the difficulty by a bunch. By doing so, the game can feel very rough on some players. To indicate, you can easily spend three or four hours on this map. Not only because during our playthrough it was bugged, but because in general the indicators and movements of characters are rather slow. The game could really use a speed-up function, as well as some improvements to the overall controls and cameras.

Conclusion

The experimental way that Rebel Cops (and This Is the Police) approaches stealth in gameplay that previously has been mainly strategic and aggressive is worth something. Despite being a bit boring at times, the game succeeds to bring tension and multiple possibilities to the table, as well as some surprises while playing. The way it quickly changes to a huge challenge for players who just started is perhaps a weird design decision. The camera and interaction controls could have used just a little more work to not get in your way, but after all is said and done, it’s an amusing game that offers a good challenge in (puzzling) gameplay.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.0/10 (3 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
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Rebel Cops - Review, 8.0 out of 10 based on 3 ratings
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Find me on youtube to see some playthroughs! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuBrlulGywcb0EiYWBnA1ng

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