As a great scientist once said (or maybe it was Jeff Goldblum): “A butterfly can flap its wings in Peking and in Central Park you get rain instead of sunshine.” Meanwhile, in This Is The Police 2 an idiot cop empties pepper spray into their own eyes and a woman burns to death because I don’t have enough law enforcers to answer her distress call. This is an everyday occurrence in Weappy Studio’s cop management sim, a place where the daft and the disturbing rub shoulders on a daily basis and it all comes to a head in XCOM-ish tactical missions that can go as horribly wrong as everything else. As demonstrated in this video.
I didn’t play much of This Is The Police The First, but I don’t remember getting so easily caught in a spiral of failure. My idiot cops fail to do their jobs, in turn preventing me from earning the currency to replace them with not-idiot cops. Perhaps you’re meant to chip away at minor misdemeanors, turn a blind eye to all the horrible murders while you build your gang of fools into a formidable team. I know Brendy found more drama in the failures than the successes in the original game, but here the odds feel stacked against me in an arbitrary way. The mistakes are more like punchlines written by a prankster god than logical outcomes. I chuckled, sure, but it hardly encourages me to put in time and effort.
I should also add that I’ve removed the long stretches of cutscenes that sit between each day. Brendy was more into the visual novel aspects of the first game, but they seem ludicrously indulgent here - there’s about half an hour of talking between the opening tutorial and getting to play more of the game. About three minutes of this was a conversation about toilets with a door-to-door salesman. I think they’re going for a Fargo-ish idiosyncrasy, but they’ve mistaken baggy for barmy. I did like the bit where I stole chocolate from a pervert, though.
This Is The Police 2 is available now on Steam and GOG for £12.59/€13.49/$13.49. It was meant to be out on August 2, but came out two days early. The developers clearly have their shit together better than the characters in game. I guarantee none of them pepper sprayed themselves. For more of this kind of thing, why not subscribe to the RPS YouTube channel? Or you could go to the video page to see what we’ve been up to recently.