Friday, April 7, 2017

Beat Cop Review; Framed of Murder & Robbery

Reviewed by Joseph Benbella for TheOmegaNerd

Beat Cop is the first game from developer Pixel Crow and was released on March 30th, 2017 on Steam. The game follows along officer Jack Kelly, an officer who is framed of murder and robbery and who has been demoted to the role of a regular street patrol officer. The game is as advertised, you play a police officer patrolling a street and looking out for anything that may go against the law. At first the premise sounds dull and admittedly was a bit to swallow in a time in which high quality triple A titles seem to be owning the console space, but I found Beat Cop to be a fun time waster in the same vein as Papers, Please. The pixelized artwork is pretty to look at and the sound design, albeit a bit simple, really does a great job at placing you on a busy city street. Your primary job is to keep the peace, which is consistent of checking expired parking meters, arresting thieves, or fixing a number of incidents which occur in your jurisdiction. Something I really enjoyed about the game is the amount of freedom it gives you in allowing you to determine what type of cop you might what to play. Do you want to bring honor to the city and be a hard ass on anyone who expects to get away with even the pettiest crime? Or are you going to turn the other cheek and allow some “external” entities to remain in control of their territories? The decisions made by the player in Beat Cop does result in a variety of endings, so it really matter in how one decides to play the game. In addition, the street you work on starts to feel like it is something of your individualized touch, as citizens and business owners begin to become more familiarized with you and learn your personality through the type of work that you do. 

In regards to the gameplay, it is a relatively simple point and click game. Jack has a stamina bar which you must be careful of, but to be quite frank, in situations where I might have needed to care about the stamina bar, like chasing after criminals, it never really seemed to be a hindrance and the stress that it had tried to produce seemed comically artificial. The game does expect a lot of you on a day to day basis, especially as you progress further through the relatively short story, but there was never anything that prohibited me from wanting to play. 

At times Beat Cop felt like it was giving me busy work to grind through, but the fabulous writing and pretty artwork helped to push me through times of unfavorable gameplay. Beat Cop is far from a game for everyone, but if you’re someone who has enjoyed titles such as Papers Please or any other management simulator, Beat Cop may be the game for you. Although I am in total agreement that the $14.99 price tag is extremely fair for the content that buyers will be getting. I can’t help but feel like Beat Cop will have a better chance at finding an audience during times of sales. Ultimately, if you like management simulators, Beat Cop is a great game to pick up right now. But if it is something you may think you’re unsure of, there is absolutely nothing to be lost in waiting for a cheaper price.