Aviator sunglasses and great mustaches.
Who doesn’t want to be a slick cop from the 70s with a superb mustache? Not this guy. LA Cops is the latest from publisher Team 17 and developer Modern Dream, whose only previous offering was the incredibly awesome Typing of the Dead: Overkill. This top-down action shooter leans heavily on its unique style and retro vibe, while delivering a challenging, yet somewhat shallow experience.
LA Cops will garner a lot of comparisons to Hotline Miami, and for good reasons. The game is extremely punishing, has a similar perspective, and involves navigating buildings like a violent puzzle. LA Cops does have a few things to set it apart though. The most obvious one is that players get to take back-up in the form of another cop. I could switch to them at any time, and also position them in the environment to attack foes from multiple angles at once.
Platforms: XB1, PC
Price I’d Pay: $9.99
It takes a bit of getting used to, especially since my partner was not always as quick on the trigger as I was. I ended up using them mostly for ambushes and luring enemies into their path of fire; or in a lot of cases, as a second life.
LA Cops is hard. My cops took very little damage before expiring. The idea is strategy, but this is one area where the game comes apart sometimes. My partner would not always have my back, and the lock-on mechanic wasn’t always on my side. I got a rhythm down after a while, which involved me simply alternating between lock-on and fire; creating a flurry of dead bodies. It also doesn’t help that ammo can run out quickly, leaving me to die and restart the entire level.
There is an upgrade system, which makes using the same cop duo imperative. It is a grind though, and earning enough points to make my officer a bullet sponge took forever. Points can also be used to purchase new weapons. The shotgun is immensely satisfying.
There are 13 levels to master and three difficulties for each one, plus the grinding for upgrades, but it all feels a bit shallow. There is little reason to come back outside of grinding XP, and the missions are not nearly as fun to replay once I had the patterns down. Enemies do switch up some of their movement and weapons, but none of it feels significantly changed upon going back.
LA Cops is a neat diversion with some fantastic style. I had a blast in the short time I played it, but feel like it grows stale far too fast. This is the perfect game to snag during a sale, it is fun for the time it lasts, I just wish there was more to come back to once the raiding was over.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.