Police Simulator: Patrol OfficersOur Rating: 6/10
Simulators hold a special place in the hearts of many players. Putting players in the shoes of cops has been attempted in several games (and game mods). Another attempt is Police Simulator: Patrol Officers. We say “attempt” because not all games have succeeded in creating a truly unique or long-lasting experience for a profession that deals with emergencies. The most recent Firefighting Simulator was a pleasant surprise in this genre, but it was this time devoted to the profession of a firefighter.
However, police activity, as fascinating and popular as it is, has not always been accurately depicted. We had the chance to try out Flashing Lights, a game that combined the roles of a police officer, firefighter, and nurse in one game, but it was in the early stages of development.
We now have this new Police Simulator to provide us with the most realistic police experience possible. For the time being, it’s only available in early access on Steam, and it’s worth noting that it still needs some polishing before being released.
Astragon has even stated that it will publish these types of games. Its Firefighting Simulator is still very popular, so this new game has a lot of potentials to be just as popular. Okay, we can’t call this popularity overwhelming or unprecedented. Because of the simulation component, this is a niche game, a very unique experience that shouldn’t appeal to a large number of people. But keep in mind that LSPD: FR, a popular mod for Grand Theft Auto V, does exactly that: it simulates the day-to-day life of a police officer. As a result, there is potential here.
Aesir Interactive’s new game wants to capitalize on that success by creating something unique. The goal is to put us in the shoes of a police officer in the American city of Brighton, which is representative of any American city center.
We began our career as inexperienced agents, passing parking tickets at first, but as we progressed through the company, we were given increasingly important and delicate tasks. At each level, new sections of the map are unlocked, as well as new equipment and vehicles that can perform various functions.
I’ll admit that the first few minutes of playing Police Simulator: Patrol Officers are exasperating. I’ll go over some of the game’s technical issues. However, it’s the game’s progression logic that will irritate you the most. It was expected that Aesir would dose the action, pique our interest in progressing in the profession and gaining access to more and better tasks. However, we will devote far too much time to a game model that is not appealing to all.
As you can imagine, passing parking tickets until you’re exhausted just to get a speed control pistol is a chore. The issue, however, is not with the technology; rather, it is with the numerous constraints that those who want to go further faster face.
The problem is that the game’s turn system is extremely limited. Each shift lasts an average of 20 minutes. This may seem long to those who only pass tickets on foot, but is relatively short for those who perform other duties. The turn ends abruptly, and the reputation points begin to decline. All because we lingered a little longer in the hopes of gaining points.
For those who want to do more, the penalty is obvious. It is exacerbated by these small turns. They are frequently the victims of errors, such as finishing too quickly or without warning the player. It simply doesn’t make sense to do more to unlock more.
Gameplay Balance and Progress
When it comes to the balance of gameplay, progression, and reward, the game has a lot of room for improvement. Even with a few character flaws here and there, the game provides a good experience when everything works properly, with “role play” working relatively well. Even when we have to use the taser to deal with a miscreant who refuses to cooperate, everything has a light and unimportant tone to it. I didn’t pull out that pistol on any occasion.
I should mention that a significant portion of the game is still unfinished. At this point, the simulator is essentially non-violent. I’m not sure why the agent carries a gun because I’ve never felt the need for one in any situation. Aesir is likely to introduce some more delicate tasks, such as gunfights or more violent actions. Of course, I’d like to see a multiplayer mode here, even if it’s cooperative. For the time being, it appears that this is not the game’s path forward. We’ll have to see what production plans are in the works. Nonetheless, there’s a solid foundation for future development.
Naturally, as an early access game, everything needs a lot (really a lot) of work. Collision detection errors, cut dialogs, blocked options for no apparent reason, animation errors, lack of coherence in dialogs and reactions, numerous visual “glitches,” in short, I could talk about all the issues I encountered for several minutes.
This isn’t fair because this isn’t the finished product. Even so, I’ve seen my shift end almost as soon as it began on several occasions. Not to mention the game’s inexplicable black screens and freezes, which forced me to abandon it. The game’s appearance, on the other hand, is far from consistent.
It’s entertaining, but it’s not going to win any awards for visual creativity. Because of the repeated models, particularly the passers-by, the simplistic textures, and the sloppy animations, I say this a lot. Lighting and visual effects also require significant improvement. When we make a 50 mph turn and the car slips for no apparent reason, everything is very “robotic” in the field of interaction, and the driving physics is fallible, with no other adjective possible. With a cast of voices that makes little effort to intonation, the sound is also quite unreliable. You’re getting Police Simulator: Patrol Officers early access, so you should know what to expect.
Before I go any further, I should point out that the game is based on many assumptions. The rules of the road in the United States, as well as the laws concerning alcohol and drugs, are extremely peculiar. Although the game’s help section explains many of these details, I wish the game provided a little more assistance.
There’s an intuition system, as well as a few quick tutorials, that fails more often than it helps. In some situations, however, I felt lost. When someone’s blood alcohol level exceeds the legal limit or when their documentation expires, for example. In any case, it necessitates some meticulousness. On the other hand, it isn’t very forgiving of errors. I’m hoping that the production team is aware of this detail and that the activities are better documented.
This is an excellent example of how good ideas require a great deal of effort to be fully realized. If everything goes according to plan, Aesir Interactive will work on the progression balance issues, technical glitches, and, most importantly, the stability of Police Simulator: Patrol Officers. Underneath it, all is a fun game for fans of role-playing simulators. It isn’t exactly a technical behemoth, but it does have some good ideas in place that just need some dedication and proper player support.