Published on March 31st, 2017 | by stafunoob0
Review – Beat Cop
Imagine being at the height of your career, accomplishing everything you had dreamed of up until that point. Now imagine all of that being ripped away from you, bringing you crashing back down from that high point. That is how Beat Cop opens up.
You play as Jack Kelly, a once revered 1980s detective who has been demoted to lowly beat cop. He has been framed for a murder and the theft at the senator’s mansion, resulting in his unfortunate demotion. Now Kelly is forced to patrol a city street in Brooklyn, busting the citizens on simple traffic violations and petty thefts. However, Kelly is out to find out who framed him in between his menial tasks and has sworn to clear his name.
The game drops players in on Kelly’s first day on patrol, kicking off activities in the police stations debriefing room. Here you get a taste for the kind of humor and edginess the game has to offer, and meet the stereotypical 80s cop characters in all their retro glory. You have the jerk boss who hates you because that’s clearly how ranking officers are in the 80s right? The one female officer who is always getting sexually harassed. The male officer who constantly brags how easy it is for him to “get some” every night. They even have the overweight cop because they love donuts! Hilarious right?! No, just no. I found this type of humor to be very tiresome, especially after the 3rd day of hearing how the one officer took this chick to “pound town” last night.
Speaking of tiresome let’s talk about the gameplay of Beat Cop. Everything is controlled just by clicking and most of the days are spent writing tickets for various parking violations. Expired meters, busted lights, and worn tire treads are all fair game for a ticket. Some days players will be tasked to write up tickets for certain violations, and each day has a quota that has to be met. Meanwhile other opportunities open up to make some extra cash for Kelly, which he needs because he is divorced and has to make those alimony payments.
Some jobs require Kelly to be in a certain spot at a specific time, some require him spotting a certain individual and keeping an eye on them and their activities. These jobs were nice and broke up the mundane process of writing parking tickets, but they would have been even more enjoyable if they would have actually worked properly. I’d be given a time to be somewhere and still had an hour of in game time to make it there but I would still fail the job. I would be told to look out for a guy in a purple suit by a certain building at a certain, and he would never show. And then on the “end of day report” I would get informed that I missed my target and failed to do my duties for the day, resulting in losing money out of my pay for that day.
Kelly has to be careful while performing these different tasks though because they do not come without consequence. There are 3 different groups in the game that he can gain or lose loyalty with by taking on different jobs while on patrol. The groups are The Police, The Mafia, and The Crew. Naturally The Police are his fellow officers and is influenced by how well Kelly upholds the law. The other two are The Mafia and The Crew and they are at odds with each other. The Mafia is your typical Italian family while The Crew is a local street gang. Doing a job for one lowers Kelly’s reputation with the other, if it drops too low then they will start to want him dead. This won’t come as surprise though because they give you plenty of warnings about this before actually taking any sort of action.
The tension between The Mafia and The Crew leads to another issue I have with the game. This tension leads to the constant use of racial slurs, which they beat into game more than the terrible stereotypes in the debriefing room. The Crew is constantly referred to as “darkies, Chinese people as “slanty” or “yellow”, and The Mafia as “greaseballs” or “dagos”. Now including racial slurs is already a slippery slope to head down, my take is if you’re going to include them in your game at least have it serve a purpose. The inclusion of all these slurs just come off as adding them for the sake of adding them. For the developers to say “Look at us! We used racial slurs, we’re pushing boundaries!”. When really it just looks foolish.
Beat Cop advertises itself as a game with humor your mother wouldn’t approve of. If we’re being honest I wouldn’t subject my mom, dad, or any other relative to go through the pain of even trying to approve this “humor”. With that on top of the stale and broken gameplay I just couldn’t, in good faith, continue playing Beat Cop after The Mafia finally killed me.
Summary: A game that misses the mark with its "edgy humor" and broken redundant gameplay.