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L.A. Cops (PC) Alpha Review

 
LA Cops logo
LA Cops logo
LA Cops logo

 
At a Glance...
 

Formats: PC, Mac
 
Genre:
 
Year:
 
Publisher:
 
Final Score
8.0
8/ 10


User Rating
1 total rating

 

We liked?


Fast-paced action, stylish art direction, satisfying difficulty

Not so much?


Too short, occasionally weak AI


Final Fiendish Findings?

L.A. Cops is a whirlwind of ‘70s cop clichés and super-stylish shootouts, not to mention plenty of donuts. This is a fast-paced action game reminiscent of Hotline Miami, combined with the action (and hairstyles) of the Beastie Boy’s “Sabotage” music video. You and your partner bust into a criminal lair, kick down the doors and […]

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Posted December 29, 2014 by

 
Full Fiendish Findings...
 
 

L.A. Cops is a whirlwind of ‘70s cop clichés and super-stylish shootouts, not to mention plenty of donuts.

This is a fast-paced action game reminiscent of Hotline Miami, combined with the action (and hairstyles) of the Beastie Boy’s “Sabotage” music video. You and your partner bust into a criminal lair, kick down the doors and take out the bad guys before they take out you.

While Hotline Miami is more focused on brutal melee beatdowns, in L.A. Cops you’ll be using firearms nearly all the time. Your only melee attack is your nightstick, which allows you to instantly knock out and cuff criminals in one quick swipe. Arrests earn more points than kills, but unless you’re stealthy they’re much harder to get. By the end of each short level, the scene will inevitably be splattered with blood, bulletholes and debris.

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As of this writing, L.A. Cops only has nine missions, and you can probably clear them in under two hours. The game does get tough quick, though. Each mission only takes a couple minutes to pull off successfully, but that won’t be easy – failure is swift and frequent.

While L.A. Cops can get fairly difficult, it rarely feels punishing. The game is so fast-paced that restarting and playing each level over becomes an addictive cycle of analyzing enemy positions and planning your attack until you pull off the operation successfully.

Quick thinking is absolutely vital if you want to survive, and you have a lock-on ability to help you quickly dispatch all the enemies in a room. You also have a partner, who can easily be issued orders to give you backup as you bust into each room.

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The game has several playable characters, each with their own stats for speed, health, damage and weapon clip size. Completing missions will earn cops XP that can be spent to upgrade abilities and unlock new weapons.

Possibly the most noticeable aspect of the game is the distinctive minimalistic visual style, which perfectly complements both the slick, too-cool ‘70s action and the cartoonishly exaggerated violence.

The characters all have fairly decent voice acting, lending some personality to the simple and faceless designs. There’s also a hard rock soundtrack that goes well with the utterly ridiculous chaos you’ll bring down on the fully-destructible levels.

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The story, told through brief cutscenes in between missions, is fairly simple but features some snappy dialogue as it uncovers corruption in the forces and the struggle of the force’s only female officer to prove her worth against the guys.

Considering recent events in the news, I couldn’t help but think that maybe a game about cops who shoot first and ask questions later was poorly timed, but the tone is clearly emulating over-the-top action flicks and nothing more.

The game is still in early access and still has a few rough edges. Occasionally my partner would try to shoot through solid walls, and doors would shatter when someone casually brushed against them.

Aside from those typical early-access issues, it’s already a solid game, and despite the short length, it offers enough replay value to justify the asking price.


Jason Meek