This Is the Police 2’s compelling story and intriguing concept aren’t enough to keep your interest when the weak combat and dull resource management slow down the pace to a crawl.

Everyone’s favorite corrupted cop simulator is back for round 2 with This is the Police 2.

Handle multiple difficult moral choices as you consider the “best” way to run your police department while facing off multiple threats both to yourself and to the town itself.

This Is the Police 2 consists is a rather odd mix of elements. From resource management to puzzles and more story-based, cinematic sequences with dialogue choices. There’s even tactical combat similar to that of XCOM.

So many different gameplay elements can seem intimidating or confusing to learn, but most of them are introduced slowly through the early stages of the game, which eases the player into it rather nicely.

But even with all this diversity, the gameplay becomes monotonous rather quickly. These sequences usually appear in the same order each day, and they don’t seem to change them once you’ve gotten used to them.

Most of your time in the game is spent viewing the town’s map, where you need to manage your group of cops for the day. Random events occur throughout the town, and it’s up to you as the chief of police to send your deputies to deal with them.

All events require a level of professionalism, which is This Is the Police 2’s version of experience points – the more experienced the cop, the higher their professionalism is. These requirements force you to mix and match your staff so you can both effectively respond to the call and keep enough total professionalism “in reserve” to take care of any other police business that might pop up.

This Is the Police 2 review - Map

This system gets more complicated when you take into consideration the fact that your cops are mostly lazy assholes, and will come up with any excuse to either bail on you for the day, or refuse to listen to your orders. During the game, I’ve had cops arrive to work drunk, ask for a day off to read a new book or even refuse to work with partners who weren’t dressed nicely enough. Eventually, this became rather ridiculous and often pretty frustrating.

The game also tasks you with conducting investigations, where up to four cops go out for almost an entire day to try and solve a crime. You can assign a role to each of those cops – either look for more evidence or try to investigate possible leads. Then, it’s up to you to build a timeline using “frames” that depict potential suspects and modi operandi.

While I did like the idea when I first encountered it in the game, losing a cop or four for a whole day over for several days made the process very tedious. It does serve the purpose of showing how thinly spread a small town’s police force can get. It may be authentic, but it isn’t fun.

The tactical combat portion of the game was supposed to add a bit of action compared to the first game. Unfortunately, this idea doesn’t live up to its potential, and it ended up being my most hated part of the game.

This Is the Police 2 review - Investigations

Unlike the XCOM games, the system implemented in this game feels unpolished and almost unplayable. I found it very difficult to tell my deputies apart during combat, as they all look mostly the same on the map. The difference between them lies in their abilities and equipment, neither of which is tied to a class that can help organize them, so you better hope you remembered to bring along someone with a baton or a taser if the need arises.

It is possible to check what abilities and equipment the deputies are carrying, but that requires you to select them individually and open a menu which shows that information. That’s a somewhat cumbersome process to go through every turn of every combat scenario.

Another major issue with the combat is the poorly-planned “actions” interface. The actions menu comes in the form of a wheel, so the information on what actions you can take isn’t visible to you at all times. Instead, you are forced to click on a unit to open its action wheel, and sometimes even swap to another page to find the action you want to use.

The story of This Is the Police 2 follows the events of the first game, though the sequel does a pretty good job of providing all the background you need. So it’s not entirely necessary to have played This Is the Police to understand the story.

The plot itself is rather odd. I wasn’t sure what to make of the main characters and often questioned the logic behind certain actions they took. However, the further I got into it, the more I ended up liking the story. While it’s far from perfect, I’d say that it was intriguing enough to keep me invested and ended up being one of the main reasons I kept playing the game.

This Is the Police 2 review - Combat

One of the most impressive parts I’ve noticed in this game is the voice acting. I was amazed by how real it felt and how well they managed to capture the emotions behind every interaction between the different characters. Despite that, the actual writing of the dialogues in various scenes was often too dramatic and felt unrealistic.

The minimalist graphics design from the first This Is the Police makes its return in the sequel, and I must admit it does have a unique vibe to it. The art style is easy to appreciate and looks great.

Overall, This Is the Police 2 features an interesting story with a unique concept that is burdened by the very frustrating management elements and the badly-designed combat.

I wish I could say this game is worth a shot due to its unique plot and implementation, but I can’t. I spent more time frustrated and disappointed by the obvious failures than I did on enjoying what worked.

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