by Derrick Smith
Beat Cop, the throwback police simulator which takes an influencial bite out of those corny, yet cool cop 80’s tv shows is certainly a good time down memory lane. While Beat Cop may not grab hours of attention from many younger players, for us more mature gamer who lived through the 70’s and 80’s, Beat Cop can definitely puts a smile on your face.
The nostalgia effect here is wonderful!
Developed by Pixel Crow, Beat Cop throws players behind the badge of officer Jack Kelly, a former detective who has been unfortunately framed for a murder and thus demoted to ‘beat cop’ status. Now, your reputation is in question, you are regulary disrespected by your peers and at every turn you are looking for clues to clear your name.
As an experience, despite its 2D side-scrolling low-res spites presentation, Beat Cop takes itself serious. In fact, what is on display in the form of those good ole 80’s cop stories, layered with senitimental nuances highlight the time period. Beat Cop maintains a narrative rythym which is humorous and entertaining throughout. This of course benefits the games sometimes slow periods of monotony.
Brooklyn stand up!
Taking place in 80’s Brooklyn, Beat Cop relies heavily on the boilerplate characters which all bring this narrative together in compelling fashion. From the scary by any means necessary mafia hoods plaguing these narrow streets, the outspoken and extremely prejudice pizza shop owner, cops of precinct 69 always giving you scrap, to your over-the-top and obnoxious boss, the world of Beat Cop is well showcased.
If you finds yourself launghing more than usual while playing Beat Cop you are not alone in that regard, as the game is founded on an invincible yet genuine comedic meter.
Sure, if you’re on the sensitive side Beat Cop does elicit certain stereotypes which are audacious and crude, yet seemingly necessary in fully pushing its point. Dialogue between officer Kelly and the citizens of Brooklyn maintain an amusing length of signature sayings that will have you laughing at the screen. This in fact is where the magic happens making the experience memorable.
Beat Cop gameplay is positioned as daily objectives which are tracked throughout the day. With your trusty watch officer Kelly can prioritize his tasks based on the time of day, in order to get all of his duties completed. These objective can rang from speaking with citizens in order to solve minor issues, writing parking tickets, or even getting a taste of the underworld by running errands for the mafia.
Interestingly, how you choose to position your daily tasks will dictate your reputation among the citizens, gangs, fellow officiers, as well as the mafia. At the end of your shift you are given a progression update detailing your advancement or lack thereof with your relationships.
Here is where Bat Cop does begin to show its limitations, as mentioned before, the game can grow at bit stale as the initial excitement of your daily tasks begins to wear. More variety in the tasks department would have been greatly appreciated.
The story can seem disjointed as officer Kelly is accused of murder, yet players may forget this important fact until reminded through hints of his circumstances. Otherwise, officer Kelly’s demotion can appear like a slap on the wrist. In addition, while the characters supporting the experience are quite memorable, officer Kelly’s action throughout can begin to reflect signs of a desperate officer looking to bend the rules ever-so-slightly in order to clear his name, however those choices are up to the player.
Sure, from the outset Beat Cop takes its sweet time buiding up its experience, however with a little patience players will be laughing out loud while subconsciously manifesting officer Kelly into either a class act law enforcement officer or a dirt bag cop with selfish ambitions, again the chose belongs to the player.
Beat Cop is quite entertaining, regardless of its limited scope I had a blast getting to learn about the random citizens of Brooklyn, while cultivating officer Kelly into the ‘living on the edge’ vengeful type. With its retro visuals and classic 80’s nostalgia Beat Cop concluded leaving a smile on my face.