REVIEW: Beat Cop

Apr
28

REVIEW: Beat Cop

The main feature of Beat Cop is the outrageous adult humour peppered with F-bombs that would make a porn star blush. Pixelated sex and violence galore!

Status: Released
Type: Single-player
Genre: Sex, Violence, Adventure
Developer: Pixel Crow
Publisher: 11 bit studios
Release Date: 30 Mar, 2017

The scene is set in the seedy underbelly of Brooklyn, NYC, in 1986. You play as Officer Jack Kelly, a former detective busted down to rookie Beat Cop after being framed for murder and other unsavoury incidents. The game plays out over the course of 21 days and the aim is to eventually find the truth about what happened and clear your name.

The daily routine always starts with the sergeant’s briefing where he gives you tasks to be completed for the day, for example a certain number of parking tickets or investigating certain people. You are then dropped off on the usual street, which you become very familiar with. As you try to complete your tasks, other tasks and emergencies are called in on your radio and you have to chase after perps, investigate incidents and so forth. Each of these tasks appears in your notebook so you always have a list of things to do while the clock ticks down towards the end of the day.

Gameplay Video (skip here for pure filth)

There are 3 factions in the game: the police; the Italian mob and the black gang. You are constantly having to make choices of whether to accept tasks or decline, and these decisions affect your standing with each of these groups. For example, if you agree to do a certain job for the mob and you fail to do it by the end of the day, you lose relationship points with the mob. If your standing with a certain group drops too low it can spell danger for you, so you can either try to keep everyone happy or else gain favour with one faction over all the others, and everything you do affects this. There is also the matter of making money, which you can get by completing your police duties and/or taking bribes, doing shifty side jobs for people etc. Each week you have to pay your alimony which keeps increasing, and if you don’t have enough for your payment it’s GAME OVER.

The game keeps you busy with a list of tasks to complete and decisions to make, but at times it feels more like a visual novel. There are many… I won’t call them cutscenes because they are more like long conversations, which progress the storyline or just divulge some comically shocking detail of someone’s personal life. The day to day events lead you towards discovery of the long-term story events, and you’re always waiting for the next spit-your-coffee comment or obscene insult.

Difficulty

The focus is on fun and storytelling rather than challenge. You have to make a lot of choices and keep up with your tasks, but generally you don’t need to think too hard and failure only results in minor loss of money or relationship points. These failures can accumulate over the course of the game but you have plenty of warning before it reaches a critical point. Sudden death can occur if you lose a gunfight, but even though it says GAME OVER, it’s really not…

One of the best features of the game is the rewind option. If you have a bad day and lose a lot of money or relationship points you can go back to the main menu, rewind to the start of whichever day you like and replay from that point onwards. Even if you die, you can simply replay that day and avoid death the next time. There is absolutely no stress or disappointment here. It’s a casual game you might play instead of watching a movie.

Sound & Vision

The pixel graphics are very… pixelated, but you can easily recognise the various characters, for example black gang members with big afros and ghetto blasters; large black-suited italian mobsters; pot-bellied, blue-shirted cops etc. The scenery is constantly on the move, with traffic passing and the crowded sidewalk full of people going about their business. There’s a nice sense of hustle and bustle of daily activity with ’80s tunes occasionally breaking out. If you’re old enough to be familiar with this time period you’ll notice occasional ’80s references and the overall vibe is all very nostalgic.

Steam

The achievements collection is particularly good. 32 of them, many consisting of tasks you can complete, or not, depending on your decisions, so this encourages replay. Trading cards available but no Steam Cloud, which I would like to see as a feature. It’s particularly useful for fully cross-platform games like this which attract dual-booters like myself who appreciate being able to continue their game whichever OS they happen to be using at the time.

Value

Yes I would definitely pay full price for this in a heartbeat. It keeps you engaged every step of the way and has plenty of replay value.

Verdict

I like the way the game is portioned into bite-size days so you can play as much or as little as you like in a session, with natural places to stop for a break.

It’s one of those games where instead of striving to achieve goals, it feels more like the game is leading you on a merry tour of ribald hilarity, dirty dealings and shenanigans. It’s an absolute riot!

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About JimDeadlock

My main focus is puzzlers or anything with puzzle elements in it. I also like forward-planning strategy and discovery/adventure. Games that engage your brain without too much urgency. || I'm a rabid Linux user and try to avoid Win-only games but I'll suffer it if the game is worthwhile. || I don't go for multiplayer games in general, and you couldn't make me play FPS if you tied me to a chair and held a blowtorch to my toes. || Steam Profile

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