G-Police Image
Metascore
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  • Summary: We recommend using the tutorial mode to get used to the, er, touchy controls for, oh let's say, eight to ten hours before attempting even the first level. That should do the trick.
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  1. Nov 5, 2012
    9
    In the late 1990s, a number of games were based on the premise that cops in the future would have access to military-grade weapons. "Crime Killer" was a rather poor example of this; "Future Cop LAPD" was better; but for me, "G-Police" was not only the best of its type, but a genuinely excellent game. Psygnosis knew what they were doing, having released the space-combat game "Colony Wars" the previous year, and produced a game that was large, varied and pleasant to play. Set on a colonised Callisto in 2097, the player is issued a Havoc gunship (a VTOL craft that packs a hefty amount of ordnance in later levels) by the titular organisation and is sent out onto the streets (skies?) of the colony to maintain order against criminal syndicates and corrupt, ruthless corporations. Extreme prejudice is the norm here: although some levels grant you an EMP blast to capture enemy vehicles and their crew alive, most of your foes will end up as an explosion. The plot is simple fare but told in a film-noir style that gives it a unique (if somewhat cold) charm, with in-game dialogue establishing many elements of the story whilst narration by the protagonist and short FMVs handle the major plot points. Variety is a spice that "G-Police" employs liberally: the opening missions ease you in gently, with some presenting new enemies for you to test your skills against, requiring you to tail a suspect or giving you a ground team to escort about their duties. The difficulty curve does rise sharply from mission 10 onwards, as missions become more hectic and foes more numerous. Thankfully, your arsenal expands as the threat increases: bombs to attack enemy ground forces, hyper-velocity missiles (green missiles that move so fast I thought they were lasers) and unguided rockets to blow chunks out of tougher vessels, and star-burst missiles to deal with swarms of fighters. Even the later levels retain some degree of novelty, with objectives that add an element of urgency or mystery to the destruction you unleash on your foes. Complaints about the game's graphics were common when it was released: whilst what you could see was pretty enough, the default draw distance was terribly limiting, and few computers at the time could handle its top settings. Fifteen years on, however, this is hardly an issue for PC gamers; and for those who play the PS1 version on their PS2s and/or PS3s, altering the Graphics Setup to favour View Distance and View Angle should not cause a corresponding drop in the Frame Rate, allowing for the best all-round experience. (Thanks to Khoa Vuong, another veteran of the Corporation Wars, for that tip). Another common complaint was the awkward and overly-sensitive control scheme, which I am sadly no longer qualified to judge: having played through the game several times, I have become quite inured to their quirks. However, I suppose the fact that a bumbling fool like myself was ever able to complete the game at all is a sign that any difficulties with the controls are not too problematic. "G-Police" is a relic from a bygone age. The FPS genre thrives, but vehicle-based shooters do not - fans of such games must trawl through the dust to find what they desire. For those who remember (or still play) space-based shooters and fancy something similar, I would whole-heartedly recommend "G-Police" (and its sequel, "G-Police: Weapons of Justice" sadly devoid of representation on this website - I'd make a new page for it, if only I knew how. Don't think I wouldn't: I was the architect of its Wikipedia page...) as a game to try. Good luck, and may your cannons never overheat. Expand