LA Cops (PC) (2015)
Not Rated Team 17 |

Review By: Fusion3600 | April 20th, 2015

Plot: What’s it about?

Want to take down criminals, but need the kind of funk only the 70s can provide? You’re in luck, as LA Cops lets you join a squad of 70s police officers as they clean up the mean streets. The narrative here is simplistic, as your department is tasked to take down criminals in various scenarios. There are some brief cut scenes that set up the situations, but don’t expect an in depth story. The situations are mostly comical despite the violence involved, such as crooks taking a donut shop owner hostage. You choose two officers from the department, each of whom start with varied stats, then head out to take out the criminals. Once in the level, you need to kill or arrest all of the crooks in the area, then sometimes secure an objective. You can shoot the enemies, but that makes noise and draws nearby criminals. The shooting mechanics are twin stick shooter inspired, but ammo is limited and every shot counts. You can be gunned down very quickly, especially in later levels, so use tactics over brute force. In fact, you can sneak up and melee the crooks, which arrests them and leaves them helpless. You also need to make use of your partner, who you control and can use to give cover or provide a new angle when storming a room. The partner system is kind of fun, but in the end, your active agent will shoulder the burden in most situations.

The game ramps up the challenge quickly, as enemies gain added health and more lethal damage. But you can even the field, using experience points to upgrade your squad members. You earn points based on your performance in the levels, which you then use to gain added health, damage, speed, ammo count, or other benefits. Having some extra health or ammo can turn the tide in a gunfight, so upgrades can be crucial. You can also expend the points to unlock more powerful starting weapons, so instead of a pistol, you’ll arrive on scene with a shotgun or assault rifle. You are able to pick up guns dropped by defeated criminals however, but you won’t always be able to find your preferred weapon out in the field. The upgrade system provides some depth and replay value, as well as a way to push through later levels and harder difficulties. The gameplay is sure to remind some folks of Hotline Miami, but the games are quite different. They share some similar traits and fans of Hotline Miami will find a lot to like here, but LA Cops isn’t a carbon copy at all. I do wish enemies were more varied and a coop system was implemented, but the partner system can be fun and overall, the game has a lot to offer. So if you like top down shooters that make you lean a little more on strategic play, LA Cops is worth checking out.

Video: How’s it look?

The game has a very stylish 70s vibe, with bold colors and ample era appropriate touches. The sunglasses, afros, and clothes aside, the game doesn’t run the theme into the ground. There’s enough reference to the decade to make it evident, but not so much that the game drags from slavish devotion. The visuals look terrific, with a great art style that is a pleasure to soak in. The character designs are blocky, but have just enough detail to shine. I really like the art choices made, as they invoke the era and stand as enjoyable visual treats. The levels follow the character design, as objects tend to be stylized over realistic. I think it was a wise choice and really helps LA Cops stand out from a visual angle.

Audio: How’s it sound?

The music has a 70s slant, which is of course an ideal fit here. The rest of the sound design is rather middle of the road though, not bad by any means, but not memorable. The game sounds fine and nothing seems lacking, but I think more creative audio would have boosted the atmosphere and experience. Even so, the music is nice and while forgettable, the rest of the sound design is more than serviceable.

Disc Features
  • (1.78:1) Aspect Ratio
  • Audio: Dolby Digital
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Audio Commentary
  • Deleted Scene(s)
  • Featurette
  • Documentary
  • Digital Copy
  • Digital Download Disc Set
LA Cops (PC)