Chicken Police (not to be confused with the Freelance Police) is a noir visual novel about two chickens who are also police detectives.

It might be strange in any other city, but Clawville isn’t “any other city.” It’s a place where crime, corruption, and, well, claws, are around every corner. Animal-human hybrids roam its streets, clubs, and yes – police stations.

Meet Sonny and Marty - the Chicken Police

A Concrete Jungle

Sonny Featherland and Marty MacChicken are two washed-up detectives. Together, they are known as the Chicken Police because they are both chickens and are police officers.

You’ll play as Sonny, a cop on the verge of retirement pulled back in for one final case – a classic noir / buddy-cop premise. The game’s Gamescom 2020 demo doesn’t reveal a lot more about the story, but after a short cutscene, our goal is clear – head to a mob-own nightclub and investigate threats made against the owner. But first, we need to pick up our partner Marty at the station.

The visit to the police station highlights two of the game’s strengths – the highly-detailed, photo-realistic environments, and the characters populating them.

Clawville is full of shady characters

In the demo, you visit only three locations and talk with a handful of characters, but they are all expertly voiced by actors who clearly know what they are doing. You’ll speak with more than 30 characters throughout the game in the full game, all fully voiced with over 8 hours of spoken dialogue.

I’m not sure how many of them are crucial to the investigation, but they all bring something new to the experience, be it humor, a little backstory, or a vital clue.

Ruffling Some Feathers

Talking with characters seems to be the main thing you do in Chicken Police. I spent the short demo chatting with fellow cops, drunkards, mobsters, and femme fatales. If you can think of a character that should be in a noir detective story, Chicken Police has it.

Being a chicken police officer, means you'll be doing a lot of talking

There’s a lot of dialogue to go through, and luckily the game supports my favorite feature in any visual novel – autoplay. You can sit back and listen to Sonny crack wise with a horse bartender, or dredge up that time his partner almost killed him.

When speaking to all these characters, you have the chance to ask and even question them. “Ask” seems to have more to do with general information about a person or a specific location, while “Question” prompts an investigation of sorts. You can choose from a series of questions and try to get under your suspect’s skin. Sonny will occasionally remark on the suspect’s state of mind and even give you hint to what buttons you should try and push.

Chicken Police features an inventory and even a journal where you keep a record of all your observations, but I never got a chance to see both of these come into play. You can also practice shooting your gun in the police station’s shooting range, indicating we will need to use it at some point. But again, not during the demo.

You're going to have to use your gun

Final Notes

Every character you meet, location you explore, and clue you uncover gets filed into your journal. It’s where you do if you need a quick reminder who someone is, or what you just learned from a rigorous interrogation.

There’s also a codex that provides you with a little more information about the world if you want some extra lore. While interesting, I’m still not sure who it all comes into play just yet. 

The Chicken Police stops at nothing

Chicken Police seems to be a noir adventure through and through. If you’re a fan of the genre and its tropes, you should join the Chicken Police by playing the demo on the game’s Steam page.

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