The original This Is the Police came out of nowhere and made an extremely positive impression with the current Steam rating sitting at 9/10. Now, with the sequel out on parole, the team at Weappy Studio have a lot to live up to.
In the original game, you play as hard-boiled Police Chief Jack Boyd who needed to earn $500k before he’s forced retirement in 6 months. This Is the Police combined a mix of detective game and management sim, with you managing not only your police force but also their drinking habits, the fact that no one police officer can ever work two shifts in a row, and earning enough on the side so you have enough to retire. In This is The Police 2, the less than legal way you went about your workings brings your chickens home to roost, with Jack Boyd being a fugitive on the run from the feds. Comical events happen, you wind up as the chief of police of a small town where you are hiding, and you have to help take down the vicious Necktie gang. Because of course.
I have been given a chance to play This Is The Police 2, and I must say, they have done a really good job in keeping with the spirit and theme of the original while giving it a new game feel. One of the main additions is the tactical shooter sections. If you have played X-Com, these will look very familiar. Each officer has their own skills, traits and perks and being able to manage those effectively will be the difference between life and death, success and failure. They also have their own personalities, and if an officer doesn’t like you, they will do what they want, often resulting in them breaking stealth and murdering a suspect you wanted to handcuff and take away quietly.
This Is The Police 2 also manages to crank the difficulty, and ridiculousness to 11. Having staff not turn up because their band’s drummer’s sticks got lost because they were used to stop a seizure and they had to go cut down a special tree to carve new ones was definitely something that was unexpected. On top of that, your standard sleep deprived or alcoholic officers are back, being either low energy or causing car crashes resulting in them and whoever they are travelling with being off work for weeks at a time.
With your officers being as useful as a screen door on a battleship, you still have to make all their hard choices like if they want to try and tackle the guy who is urinating on random passers-by, which may result in the perp falling awkwardly and having their neck broken. Yes, that happened more than once. The choices you make, and the officers you choose to take matter more than ever, with the slightest mistake in judgement costing you in the end, in generally absurd ways.
The other new addition is the “tab” currency. At the end of each day, you are giving beer can tabs as rewards for taking down criminals and stopping crimes and losing tabs for letting them get away or not responding to calls. You can then use these tabs to fill out your roster and buy new equipment like extra stun gun cartridges or more pepper spray. This is a great system that really punishes you hard for a single days worth of failure, and the Steam reviews so far have not been very kind about it. I personally enjoyed it, but your mileage may vary.
The graphics of the game have improved, with the management screen looking very nice indeed, as well as the cutscenes having a very nice stylised look to them that is appealing to the eye. It’s also fully voiced and well written. If you were a fan of the original This Is the Police, you owe yourself a run at the sequel. Don’t let the Neckties take over the town and get away with murder. The game is available on PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Switch.