Being at the service of the law in a big city is certainly difficult, but it is perhaps even more challenging to administer justice in a small village of a few inhabitants lost in the middle of nowhere in the far north. The inhabitants are in fact grumpy, armed and decidedly unwilling to respect the law, and for this reason the policemen are always in serious difficulty, obsessed with the fear of losing their lives the next time they go out on patrol. Fortunately, there is now a man of great experience to bring order to the plant, a certain Jack Boyd… How? Do you know him? Of course, is the protagonist and chief of police of This Is the Police. Unfortunately for him things have not gone very well and now, to escape the justice that he himself has enforced until recently, he is forced to hide in a remote village where he will show off his skills to administer, for better or for worse. , the sheriff's office.
THQ Nordic and the Belarusian developer Weappy Studio lead us once again to take on the role of policemen and this time, in addition to telling us the rest of the previous story, they also added some interesting news within This Is the Police 2. Are you ready to discover them?
The hard life of the fugitive
Not to be indicted Jack Boyd had to flee Freeburg, finding shelter in the laughing Sharpwood, a small town lost in the far north inhabited by people who are a little rough and cruel. The previous sheriff was assassinated in an ambush and his replacement is not exactly up to the role he holds, which is why, after a series of vicissitudes, he finds himself at accept our help, despite being aware that we are at the top of the federal wanted list. This is the beginning of the story told by This Is the Police 2, which will affect your game for the duration of the story.
A typical day for a police officer
Just like in the first chapter of the series, the player will alternate his game between Visual Novel phases, where he will discover the progress of the story, and management phases, where he will have to decide which policemen to work and respond to the ever-pressing 911 calls. Visual Novel phases your choices will prove to be limited, during the management moments it will be just the opposite. It will be your job indeed carefully choose the staff day by day, in order to meet the continuous requests of citizens, without forgetting at the same time that each of your agents has a very specific personality, and that they will not always be happy to work with other colleagues. In fact, there will be the sexist policeman who does not want to have a woman as a partner, who does not want to share the shift with half socks and who is a drunkard and always comes to work a little tipsy, thus invalidating their skills and hindering colleagues. . If your subordinates successfully answer calls, however, they will make money experience, which will allow them to increase their level of competence and learn new skills.
Each cop also has five statistics which are divided into strength, intelligence, speed, aim and negotiation. Each of these features can be increased up to three levels and of course it will affect the success of the agent's actions. At the end of the day all your decisions will be analyzed and, based on these, you will be given or removed some "tin tabs" (internal currency to the department to acquire new agents and armaments). The more criminals you have arrested or killed, the more tabs you will get; but remember that criminals who escape from you or kill other civilians will make you lose them.
Let's not forget, however, that, as explained in the opening words, Jack is a fugitive, and if for three days in a row the tabs obtained are less than those lost, the "deputy commissioner" will necessarily be forced to call the Federals, thus bringing you to the game over. Of course, the underworld hasn't forgotten about you either, and to keep their mouths shut with the police who are hunting you, they will ask you in exchange for $ 20.000 every week. You will therefore be forced to compromise with people who are not exactly honest, for whom you will do some extra work in exchange for some money. It will be up to you to decide if and how many to do, weighing well what it can mean not to pay the protection money to your old friends ...
So far we have analyzed all the aspects that, at least in part, were also present in the previous chapter of the series; let's go now to find out what novelties await us in this new work.
This Is the Police 2 also integrates tactical sessions this time (in X-Com style) that alternate with the management part, thus making the player's experience more varied and enjoyable. Often during your working days you will receive tips that will allow you to find out more about escaped prisoners, kidnappings or murders and, given the importance of the cases, you will be called to act in the first person. It will be your choice to intervene or not, but be careful: not answering the call will give you a big penalty on the tabs obtained daily and this could inexorably lead you to the game over. If, on the other hand, you decide to take matters into your own hands, you will be taken to the scene of the crime and, before taking the field, you will have the opportunity to exchange more or less valuable items with the locals to obtain vital information. Once the mission has started, you will be able to manage the men you have brought with you, moving them on the map grid based on the number of steps they will be able to cover each turn. It will be up to you to choose how to advance on the "battlefield": in fact, each character will have different equipment and skills based on your choices and these will also greatly affect your approach to the enemy. You could in fact decide to face the danger at gunpoint, giving life to a real carnage, or perhaps adopt a more stealth style that will allow you not to alarm the criminals and to arrest them without resorting to force. A very interesting feature of this mode is the loyalty of your subordinates. In fact, if you don't get their respect, they will decide to go their own way, endangering the rest of the team.
Another juicy novelty in this second installment of the series is the localization in Spanish. Finally all the menus and dialogues have been translated and, even if there are rarely any words written incorrectly or not localized, this allows you to follow much better all the interesting story that is told in the game.
We visit the heart of the police station
Graphically, the title is very beautiful, despite its simplicity. Just like in This Is The Police, characters and environments do not aim at photorealism, but on the contrary, they are proposed to us as if they were part of a painting. Just like in some works of famous painters, the facial features are not well defined, but rather are barely sketched, very often showing only the most obvious elements, such as the mouth, nose and eyebrows. However, this technique does not prevent the player from understanding the various emotions felt by the characters, but perhaps even emphasizes the effect: poorly defined traits force the end user to imagine who he is in front of in more detail, thus allowing him to immerse himself more in the story being told. After having praised the graphics sector, we cannot fail to do the same for the audio one. This work in fact offers us a very respectable soundtrack, full of very interesting songs that go well with all the events proposed within the game. The sound effects are also reproduced in an excellent way: in fact, steps, gunshots, batons and so on are very truthful, and thus give the user the opportunity to identify even more with the character they are playing.
If we should find a fault, the dubbing, present only in English, is not at its maximum potential. Many voice actors have been able to give a perfect tone of voice to the various characters that we are going to meet in our adventure, thus giving them an emotionality and a pride that goes well with the work; Unfortunately, however, some voice actors, even if minimally, have not been able to fully show off their skills, thus giving the subjects aseptic voices, very similar to those you can hear on cassettes and CDs used to learn the English language.
This Is The Police 2 is a great title: developers of Weappy Studio in fact they managed to take all that was good in the previous work and to propose it again in a renewed way in this second chapter. The play then also features one well-structured tactical style that blends perfectly with the two genres that characterized its predecessor (Visual Novel and Strategic / Management). In conclusion, This Is the Police 2 is a perfect match and it is a title that certainly cannot go unnoticed, despite the small "defects" I mentioned earlier.