When I first started playing Beat Cop I had the impression I was in for a Hotline Miami clone or some classic GTA type of game. Boy was I very happy to be wrong. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with Hotline Miami or classic GTA, I just like to be surprised.
Before playing the game I had never heard of the term ‘beat cop’, but a quick google search revealed to me that it is an often used term amongst police to describe the time and place an officer patrols. The game opens with some wonderfully cheesy 80’s cop show style music to set the stage for our adventure. The kind you’d hear on the likes of Magnum Pi or Miami Vice. Beat cop puts you in the shoes of the recently demoted law officer, Jack Kelly.
Jack was once an upstanding detective, one of the best. Right before our story begins we learn that he was set up and now he is forced to work the streets as a ‘Beat Cop’, writing tickets to meet his daily quota while also dealing with any and all other crime that dares to take place on his turf.
On top of all that Jack has to find the time to sniff out any information he can on his own case to prove he was framed before it’s too late and he finds himself behind bars. Each day, before you go out on patrol, you receive a briefing from the chief. The chief will set you a daily quota of tickets and sometimes a little extra task too. While in the briefing room you’ll be with other officers and I really enjoyed being a fly on the wall to their conversations. I don’t want to spoil too much, a joke is never as funny the second time round but trust me, you’ll at least have a smile on your face. The game has a fairly dark sense of humour at times too so hopefully that’s your thing!
One thing I really enjoyed about this game was its multiple-choice options. There are many situations you’ll find yourself in that will force you to make a decision, one of the most common is taking bribes to let people off tickets. While at first you may find yourself wanting to be a good upstanding officer of the law, it quickly becomes more difficult to live off just your pay cheque. While on duty Jack will often get hungry and will need some food to keep him going, which cuts in to your wages a little… but the real money killer is your damn ex-wife always pestering you for alimony money. You can earn money by doing odd jobs for the mafia or the local gangs as well but this may negatively affect your upstanding reputation. You must balance your reputation with the mafia, gangs, people and the police or there will be negative consequences.
I only had access to a demo version so I unfortunately didn’t get to see where my choices and actions would eventually lead but the game promises multiple endings and I’m honestly very excited to play some more!
The demo I got to play is pretty short but from what I have seen so far I can safely say that this game is going to be a lot of fun. While there are certainly exciting events within the game it’s not like most other cop games; you’ll not be running around firing your gun at criminals or commandeering any civilian vehicles in pursuit of a suspect or anything like that. The game takes a more realistic approach to the life of a cop while still managing to keep things entertaining. You meet your quotas, you keep the people happy, you try not to get yourself killed by the local criminals and above all else you WILL prove your innocence.
Overall, I must say I absolutely loved what little I got to play of this game. Like I said, the game is still in development, when the demo reached its end I actually found myself being a little upset, I want more! If you’re interested in the game the only information I have on a release date is Spring 2017 so hopefully we’ll be seeing this game hit the steam stores soon. Until then you can keep your eyes open for more news on the games website or the developers twitter.