LA Cops Fuses Hotline Miami, Syndicate, Beastie Boys

Sometimes I also shoot people

Oh my god, it’s a mirage, I’m telling you all it’s sabotage. Beastie Boys’ “Sabotage” is apparently a big inspiration for LA Cops‘ overall attitude/look, but I’m even more pleased that it describes the top-down shooter strategy’s moment-to-moment gameplay. Inspired by Hotline Miami‘s gore-spattered thrills and (classic) Syndicate‘s cold strategizing, this one puts you in control of two hard-boiled eggs law enforcement professionals at any given moment. Positioning is key, but so are split-second smarts and reflexes. So you might, for instance, use one cop as bait and then run them right into a bullet firehose – aka, your partner. SABOTAGE. This looks like one to watch, and watch it you shall in a pair of videos below.


LA Cops heralds from Modern Dream, the studio that produced the hyper abstract The Cat That Got The Milk and the much more well-known The Typing of the Dead: Overkill. This, however, is quite far outside either of those already rather disparate wheelhouses.

“LA Cops is a game inspired by the EA Bullfrog classic Syndicate and modern top down shooters. It builds on the Art style of Modern Dream’s previously released, The Button Affair, combines it with a 70’s Cops theme whilst taking influences from David Hockney’s ‘A Bigger Splash’ and Edward Ruscha’s ‘Standard’ Painting. Not to mention attitude from The Beastie Boys Sabotage!”

“The gameplay style is that of a top-down shooter set in a full 3D world. You’re in control of two characters at any given time. You can do cool things like set one to cover you while you kick a door open, or set them in a position, ready to fire, and loop around and lure enemies toward their position. You can even set them up to mirror your movements and move in unison with you, an idea the developer said was borrowed from Syndicate.”

It’s not Syndicate’s four-character dance of contemplation, but the possibilities are still quite intriguing, and the faster pace will likely lead to some pretty wild improvised strategies. Meanwhile, you’ll have a whole host of various characters (each with their own attributes) and weapons/items to choose from. Oh, and the whole world is destructible. Yes, even walls. And in the game.

The art’s still a little simple, but with some polish it could evolve into something with serious style. My biggest concern, actually, is that it’s headed to iOS/Android in addition to Steam. The concept sounds like it’ll allow for a fair amount of depth, but mobile concessions could hamstring that. I mean, the interface poses big problems where rapid multi-tasking is concerned while PC can handle it like a squid with smaller, more dexterous squids for arms.

Fingers (or squids) crossed that LA Cops can live up to its potential, but for now I’m a little worried. We’ll see. It’s coming “soon,” apparently, but there’s no word on a concrete release date.


  1. Fumarole says:

    But are these LA Cops Licensed to Ill?

    • HothMonster says:

      If they did I imagine we would know because, like ma Bell, Nathan has ill communication.

      • Tom De Roeck says:

        word it up word word it up ma bell aah aah keep it going on going on going on

        (phone is ringing, oh mah gawd)

  2. Artiforg says:

    The top image art style reminds me of Interstate ’76.

  3. Premium User Badge

    Hodge says:

    I’ll buy it because I liked The Button Affair.

    Then again, I liked The Button Affair so much that they could put out a press release saying “our next game will be a fucking spreadsheet” and I’d still be on board.

    • randomkeyhits says:

      Wait…… Does that mean they are venturing into EVE Add-ons?

  4. Kollega says:

    Is that Los Angeles again? I mean, I understand that this is a tribute to classic cop movies, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s apparently some sort of dystopian edict that EVERY COP MOVIE AND EVERY COP SERIES IN THE HISTORY OF EVER must be set in LA. Except Miami Vice.

    • aldo_14 says:

      And anything in New York.

    • djadomi says:

      And Dirty Harry, Bullitt, Streets of San Francisco, etc and so on.

    • Oozo says:

      And those little known series set in Baltimore.

    • roryok says:

      And CSI, CSI Miami, Kojak, Hill Street Blues, Cagney and Lacey, NYBD Blue, Criminal Minds, Profiler, The Monk, Law and Order, Law and Order SVU, Law and Order Criminal Intent, The Wire, Homicide – Life on the Street, 21 Jump Street, The Killing, Jake and the Fatman, Castle, Cold Case, The Mentalist, Bones, Without a Trace and Crossing Jordan.

      • borkbork says:

        Don’t forget Reno 911.

      • Kollega says:

        Yeah, I shouldn’t really have complained about the cop series… it’s buddy cop movies and simply cop movies that are often set in LA, and the series tend to vary more in their locations. But I couldn’t resist appending “except Miami Vice”, because it just sounded funny.

        Actually… come to think of it… I can’t remember any cop series set IN LA… it seems like every cop movie is set in LA, and every cop series is set outside of LA. Does that point to the unspoken lines of division between the film and television industries?

        • roryok says:

          Lots of cop shows are set in LA too. The Shield, Starsky And Hutch, Chips, Colombo, Southland, and Dragnet. The issue seems to be that a huge number of cop shows are set in the NE,SE, & SW corners of the US – either New York, LA, or Miami. Only a handful are set anywhere else, and most of those seem to be FBI / profiler shows which change location each week

    • jonahcutter says:

      48 Hours – San Francisco – Eddie Murphy and Nick Nolte
      Running Scared – Chicago – Billy Crystal and Gregory Hines

      Two great 80’s-buddy-cop movies.

    • Prolar Bear says:

      While cop movies are a slightly different field, did you know that LA is THE noir city? The original noir novels were set in LA because the real life city is a tad problematic (i.e. an immense sprawl, perfect for hiding). The game looks like it’s got potential but I certainly hope they make the setting more fleshed out…otherwise it could be set anywhere and there’d be no difference.

      • Kollega says:

        I didn’t know this. Now I know. And it explains so, so much – including L.A. Noire. I really would associate New York or Chicago with noir much faster than LA, but now it all makes perfect sense. Knowing really is half the battle.

        • Prolar Bear says:

          Exactly, before studying LA in literature I thought New York was the default noir city for some reason. I dunno, maybe it’s Max Payne’s fault…lots of people were disappointed when the third game wasn’t (mostly) set in NYC, but San Paulo is actually a perfect city for a noir story.

        • LennyLeonardo says:

          Technically Noir is cinema. The booky equivalent is Hardboiled. LA’s prominence in both is down to Raymond Chandler (one of the greatest American novelists) and Mickey Cohen (a terrible human being.)

    • LennyLeonardo says:

      Misomer Murders.

      Edit: Misnomer Murders.

      Editedit: No wait, Midsomer Murders. There we go.

    • tormos says:

      This is a good rule though because it set up Fargo

  5. CookPassBabtridge says:

    The visual image and maybe the distorted bass are very beasties, but the guitar chords are pure Tom Morello. I like.

  6. Tom De Roeck says:

  7. Bull0 says:

    Neat style, badly needs a proper title. LA Cops isn’t a title, unless they’re trying to be satirical or something. Didn’t really get that vibe.

  8. Temple says:

    I feel like a terrible person because I thought their blog post was a spoof:
    ‘Straight after we began working on a follow up to our massively popular game The Cat that Got the milk called Abstract No3 Kandinsky’s Violin. But then tragedy struck and we found ourselves laid off from our day jobs. This meant we had to change plans radically and put Abstract No3 on hold.’

    If any devs are perusing the comments the headline shot and a lot of the art is gorgeous, please put up/release as hi-res when you have the time.

  9. P.Funk says:

    I would adore a coop mode.