SHORT REVIEW: PC VERSION
I do enjoy a nice isometric town with small people to bother. Let’s bother all the small people. Clicking their little heads. Go on, move… move on my command. Cue mighty laughter.
So you command a police force: The computer game. Wonderful. I really do enjoy these types or games and it’s been a while since I’ve played a decent one. Imperio…. isn’t that a make of car? What a rather silly name.
Ok, let’s talk about why this game pisses me off so much.
The game looks like the 90’s. I’m not going to judge it on its simple looks. I’ll judge it for its Ai. Namely, what fucking Ai? You set up your carefully constructed police patrol, before manually sending your troops into action (as they won’t do it themselves), only to have to tell them to get back on patrol afterwards. Away we fall, deep into the timewarp, tumble, tumble, we go.
After arresting groups of crooks your brave police will stand on the same spot forever, dead-eyed and dribbling. At the beginnings of your career, that’s a manageable problem. Fast forward to 40 officers, 18 cars and a decent sized map and this game can fuck off.
This example sums the entire game up. So I ask… Can you stomach such a thing?
Hankering back for a simpler time, keen to go back into heavy micro-management? Good news! You can pick up Gangsters 2 or a million of those Emergency games or even Constructor, or every other game of this type, in an era that couldn’t do sophisticated Ai. I suspect you could pick any of these up for almost next to nothing, provided it works on your fancy modern PC.
Strangely, or more accurately, because I’m unwell I’ve played quite a lot of it. I’m a glutton for punishment. Polis Tactless Improv scratches an itch and (depending on your mental state) you do get into an agreeable gaming flow of muscle memory, keyboard shortcuts and the desire to unlock a swanky detective car, or helicopter.
It actually starts well enough as you slowly figure out what does what, as the game drip feeds you different troops and crimes. The game feels like one big tutorial. There is a pleasure is upgrading rookies to specialist positions, such as detectives, as more interesting scenarios pop up. Soon the niggles welcome themselves to your face, whilst burping. Little things such as “where the hell is that guy?” and “why isn’t he doing anything?” occur, followed by, “where the fuck is the criminal?”, as you have to manually look around an area trying to find him. I mean, I’m the police officer manager, I shouldn’t have to search for them. Why can’t they do their fucking jobs! Also no-one is able to use public transport or cabs, so your limited supply of vehicles hurt as the map grows. All these little things add up, why the hell can’t the group of detectives get out their cars to speak to each witness individually? They insist on going to them one by one, as the rest sit in the car. The lazy bastards. Sorry, I meant to have said, I have to shift click on every single witness before they speak to them.
A quick word on the story coming right up, just a quick word though. Let’s get right to it. Without further ado. For your pleasure. A note on the story. if you would like further information, please, enjoy, what will be a very brief statement on the matter.
The story is shite. Sigh… Ok, you want to know why don’t ya?
An overarching plot is made up of a series of main mission quests to break up the sandbox. The wonderfully named Imperio gang were taken down by your Daddy, who was a bit murdered, naturally the evil boss had never been caught and there’s talk of betrayal. Hijinks ensue! A poxy bit of dialogue here and a reason for the escalating threat there. Naughty people doing naughty things. This may or may not include evil toxins, riots and standard everyday police work. The story acts as a vehicle to introduce new elements to the sandbox. Hey… now we need the informants to listen to the bad guys. Ta-da: Unlocked informants and the corresponding crimes to the sandbox. Serviceable game nonsense. The disjointed chapters for each district easily lose your attention as they’re small and meaningless “follow the trail of money” it says. Inspiring stuff.
Let’s see, what else? Oh yes, I had to mute the music. Did I mention it looks utterly average, possibly even a lil’ crap? I’ve also encountered a few fair bugs such as groups of criminals going missing (crafty sods!) and the main mission required a restart as it seized up. Not a big deal as I saved it and restarted and failing a mission means you have to wait a minute or two before trying again.
Clicking on blobs of criminals standing around with a timer really hammers home that this is a computer game and you are not the genius police architect you’re striving to be. The systems are all too basic, we won’t be finding any interesting moments in this town. We’ve been spoiled by Prison Architect, Satellite Reign and Rimworld.
I’ve heard that arresting criminals is a pretty dangerous thing to do and our semi-coherent officers have the potential to get injured. To patch the poor sods up you have to return them to base to bravely stand around. Remember earlier when I mentioned you get over 40 of these bastards to look after. You stop caring. Fuck it, let the hospital take care of them. That is one less thing to manage.
Clicking on blobs… not caring about the health of your team? I guess I really am the chief of police! Ho-Ho-Ho!
The weird thing is I’m likely to return to the game after this mildly cruel review. I think it’s because I’m lazy and I can’t be bothered to install something similar from ten years ago. As the game becomes more intensive and complex the design unravels and you curse the minor quibbles as they become huge design tossers.
The idea is a great one. Running your own police department is fun. I can’t wait for someone else to have a crack at it as we’re due a definitive version.
Hey, do you remember those computer games where the Ai would get shot in the face multiple times and wouldn’t respond? Man I’m happy that doesn’t happen anymore.
It’s ugly and dated. Cops Tarts Imps really annoyed me but I don’t despise it.
The lunatic mind could find pleasure from obtuse UI and buying tiny police cars. I know I strangely did but I’d be a right bastard to recommend this to any of my friends.
Lastly, a top tip for those complaining about a lack of a sandbox experience… simply don’t click on the next mission. Voila. Sandbox mode.