This Is The Police 2 Review
The sequel to 2016’s This Is The Police, This Is The Police 2 looks to build upon the foundation that the first game set, and make it bigger and better. This Is The Police 2 is a police management and simulation game, with elements of strategic gameplay as well. While I did not play the first game, the concept had always intrigued me, but the time and opportunity to give the game a try never presented itself. While the first game took place in the big city of Freeburg, This Is The Police 2 takes place in the sleepy, small town of Sharpwood.
This Is The Police 2 is a sequel to the original game, and players once again take the role of Jack Boyd, who was the police chief of Freeburg city from the first game. Due to the events of the first game, Boyd has found himself in the role of an advisor for the Sharpwood Police Department. The narrative of the title begins with a bit of backstory that brings players up to speed with what is happening in Sharpwood. The long and short of it is there is a new sheriff in town, and boy are they having a tough time keeping things in order. While many comparisons have been made between the game and Fargo, the game reminded me a lot of the movie Red Hill for those that may have seen it. The game’s narrative is intriguing, with many plot points clamoring for more attention. However, the game has some drawn out cutscenes and conversations, and players are only able to skip the whole scenes rather than fast-forwarding through them. Other than the pacing of the cutscenes, the game’s narrative is solid.
The gameplay in This Is The Police 2 is definitely a challenge, as one might expect running a small town’s police department. As a police management game, players will be tasked with scheduling staff, dispatching officers to emergencies and investigations, and planning assaults on hideouts and the like. While this sound relatively simple, players will have to deal with officers’ strengths, nuances, professionalism, and more when it comes to deciding which offers to dispatch. The game is definitely more unforgiving in the early portions, and when it rains, it pours. Say you lose an officer on the job; well, their widow may cause a stink in public, another officer may retire for their safety, and there will be one less officer to dispatch to a growing list of citizen calls and reports. In addition to regular police duties, players will have to navigate through corruption, including making money on the side through alternative means when necessary.
While the management portion of the title may require attention daily, so too does the strategy portion of the game. Certain calls for the police require dispatching up to six officers and a sniper to deal with a number of criminals. In these scenarios, players have to decide which officers and skills to bring along for the ride and utilize them in a grid-based combat system. Players will have to exercise caution in these situations, as one careless move can result in needless deaths (and perhaps replaying the mission).
While the gameplay loop of This Is The Police 2 may be somewhat of a challenge, the game feels rewarding when you get things right. Successfully answering an attempted murder call without any casualties? Score. Not answering a call that turned out to be a false alarm? Even better. Players who enjoy management simulation games will be sure to enjoy this title, and even more so if they enjoy strategic combat and making lots of choices.
The graphics in This Is The Police 2 is reminiscent of the first title, with minimalistic characters and designs. The aesthetics line up well with the subject matter and are detailed enough to distinguish what the graphics are meant to show. Occasionally during combat sequences, however, I find that I may not notice an enemy or even one of my officers if they stand behind a wall or object of some sort. Besides that one detail, This Is The Police 2’s minimalist aesthetic is otherwise enjoyable. In addition to the aesthetics, the audio in the game is also done well. Between the superb voice acting of the characters and the fitting, catchy tunes that play as your day goes by, there is little to complain about.
While not playing the first game is cause for a bit of confusion at the start of This Is The Police 2, I found that newcomers to the franchise should not have too tough of a time getting into the game. Having not experienced the formula two years ago, I found that the gameplay loop in the game is tight, but perhaps a bit too tight, too early in the game. Besides the smaller margin for error earlier in the game, This Is The Police 2 keeps players both on their toes throughout, as well as interested in moving the story forward. Overall, This Is The Police 2 is a solid police management game, playing to its strengths and providing a well-rounded experience for players.
*** A PC code was provided by the publisher ***
- Consistently challenging
- Interesting narrative
- Slick voice-acting and soundtrack
- Steep learning curve
- Cutscenes a bit slow