Title: L.A. Cops
Platform: PC, PS4 and Xbox One (reviewed)
Developer: Team 17 Digital
Publisher: Modern Dream
Release date: March 13th 2015
Family Focus: Click here for more information.
This game is set in a 70s-themed Los Angeles where cops are trying to do their rough job in a dangerous city: Kill bad guys and save innocent people. Simple enough, right? So how does this shooter stand up? Grab a donut and a cup of coffee then read on.
L.A. Cops is 3D top-down twin-stick shooter. Players aim with the right joystick and use the shoulder buttons in order to adjust their aim properly. Although it is not a proper twin-stick shooter per se as you still need to pull the trigger to shoot.
Starting up the game, players choose two cops to use through the game’s missions. Keep in mind that two cops means two lives. Lose ’em both and it’s game over. Players need to tackle different situations where they’ll need to save innocent bystanders who were at the wrong place at the wrong time. Dead criminals drop ammo or health which can be picked up in order to replenish your weapon or any lost health. If your partner should go down in combat, you’ll automatically take control of the other character. Survive long enough and you’ll be able to find health kits which will let you revive your downed partner, giving you a chance to survive the intense gun fights.
Targeting is pretty clunky. With the right joystick, you’ll be able to aim up, down, left or right; while using the shoulder buttons lets players target with more precision by allowing aiming the cross-hair around the full 360 degrees. It actually fits its purpose with sneaking around and cappin’ fools from behind, however when two or more enemies rush directly at you, it doesn’t work well. At all. You’ll be dead before you can say “Oh Shit”. If they hear unsual noises or they spot you, criminals tend to come at you like a rabid dog and will shoot you unmercifully. You can’t dodge, duck or hide. The best option is to simply go back into the room you just came from and try to adjust your aiming towards the door so you can shoot the minute you see your target entering the room. Fail to act quick enough and it’s time for retirement.
The game’s levels are pretty short and can easily be worked through in about 30 minutes; that is if you don’t die. And this will happen. Often. Not being able to spot the enemies outside your vicinity, mixed with clunky targeting are two gameplay mechanics working against the player. As you’ll sometimes wander into a room, you’ll spot your first target, however once you killed them, the sound will alert nearby criminals in the same room (that you couldn’t spot) and they’ll have time to kill you 5 times over while you try to adjust your targeting. This is the type of game that is ideal for short bursts as you’ll either quickly move onto the next level or simply rage quit.
Interestingly enough, the game lets you switch characters on the fly at the simple press of a button. Or if you’re feeling evil, you can call your partner at a specific point in the room (where you’re targeting) and bait the enemies, so while they shred him to pieces, you can still shoot them at the same time; which brings an interesting bit of strategy to the game. Successfully completing objectives will reward players with experience points (XP) which can be used to improve your characters’ skills and also purchase more powerful weapons to aid you in fighting crime.
The presentation really stands out. The game looks great and has a distinctive look which makes it stand out and feel unique. It’s still kind of strange to have characters with no mouths, but I guess that’s part of the game’s quirky feel and unique charm. Audio wise, it’s clearly inspired by the 70s, but nothing will really grab your attention.
Unfortunately, unless you’re a glutton for punishment, it’s really hard to recommend L.A. Cops. I enjoy a challenge but this is just nuts. Modern Dreams had a great idea with its humor and interesting concept/premise but its pain in the ass targeting system, limited field of view and unforgiving nature/difficulty makes its far from enjoyable as it will make casual gamers steer off and hardcore gamers might get bored and annoyed at the repetitive concept.
What Rocks! :)
- Great idea/premise
- Ideal to play in short bursts
- Interesting visuals
- Switching partners on the fly
What Sucks :(
- You’ll die. A lot. Too much.
- Clunky targeting
- Unexplicable spikes in difficulty
L.A. Cops is rated M for Mature. It’s a game about cops and criminals filled with violence, drug references and blood. What did you expect?
GGS was supplied a copy of the game by Xbox UK for the purpose of creating this review