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This the Police is overly long, unfair and a great game

Content of the article: "This the Police is overly long, unfair and a great game"

While looking for more Bureaucracy-em-ups in the vein of Papers Please, I was led to this game. You play as Police Chief Jack Boyd who's trying to make $500,000 before his retirement and drama ensues.

The game is split up into police dispatching and investigation segments. In the former, you send out your limited roster of officers to go stop crimes around town, sometimes having to complete little "choose your own adventure" style mini games to arrest the culprit. With investigations, your detectives gather pictures of a crime scene and you have to piece the chronological order of events together to nab the bad guy. This is all fun on it's own but the game is made difficult to enjoy on account of bad conveyance, random nonsense and the positive feedback loop this creates.

Every unit has a professionalism score, the higher it is the more likely they are to successfully solve a case but you're never sure by how much. The whole game is like playing XCOM without knowing your shot accuracy, you're just working on blind faith things will work.

Random events also hinder your gameplan. Cops will not bother to come to work, show up drunk, get drunk doing missions (both of which can lead them to die via DUI accidents) have their presence requested by city hall at random, get killed on jobs, be requested to testify against you, so on and so forth. It's really hard to manage all these things which leads to scenarios like this.

City Hall requests 4 cops to guard the Mayor's Wife's birthday party, you send them because you'll have your department budget slashed if you don't and then 2 crimes appear at once. You're short of hands and don't know what the odds of success are so you send a small number of officers to each emergency where they are gunned down and killed. Unhappy with your performance, your budget is slashed anyway and you have to fire one of your guys leaving you more understaffed and less prepared for a similar scenario happening again in the future.

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Not even counting times where police are killed for unavoidable story beats, you're constantly put in these no win situations and that feels terrible. The only thing really keeping me going is the stellar presentation of the game and the genuinely interesting story. I'd recommend the game if you have a high tolerance for BS.


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