The year is 1975; you’ve got a handlebar moustache itchier than a trouser leg full of poison ivy, some stir crazy goldfish in the heel of your platform shoes and this song is probably playing in the background. I would imagine, anyway. I wasn’t even alive in the 70s so I don’t really have a clue but what I do know is that according to LA Cops it was full of jive talkin’ punks (!) that needed to be put down with a swift dose of justice in the form of the bullets that fly unabashedly from your guns. Hey, keeping criminals off the streets doesn’t always mean you stay on the right side of the law but police guidelines were really crummy back then and besides, bad guys are called that for a reason. More on LA Cops after the break.
LA Cops: Top-Down Till You Get Shot Down
LA Cops is top down but you’ll be armed right up to the curls in your afro (I started that 70s allegory and I’m sticking with it) as you put these goons out of their misery. Unlike Hotline Miami, which the game is very much in the same vein of, you’ll be in control of two of six of the titular LA Cops as they blast sticky, strawberry jam-like chunks out of enemies and redecorate the decor.
Pistols, shotguns, grenade launchers, Uzis and assault rifles are all an option here and judging by the way things play out in the above trailer that’ll lead to such tactical strategies as “[setting] one to cover you while you kick a door open, or set them in a position, ready to fire, and loop around and lure enemies toward their position”, or, alternatively, you could send both your errant coppers up together and shoot them all to smithereens, or obliterate their cover because LA Cops has destructible scenery. That’s all up to you though, which is going to prove to be half the fun of the game.
Further tactical options include upgradeable stats for each of the cops (who in turn have their own standard attributes) so even though LA Cops brings with it just 8 levels (the Early Access version gives you the first level, presumably with a free upgrade to the rest at a later date) it makes a very strong case for replaying it until the next 70s rolls its (hopefully platform shoe-less) self around.
Hotline Miami, Modern Dream and The Morally Grey (Ethics of the Characters)
By now you’re probably thinking that LA Cops is sounding very Hotline Miami-ish and don’t worry I thought that for a second too! But it’s making all the right noises to be its own standout game not least with the fact that all of playable characters in the game are named, with multiple moral questioning cutscenes (in 3D) and not all of them are white males either. Triple whammy.
Not only that but the dev team (Modern Dream, who you might know from The Typing of the Dead: Overkill)’s heart seems to be in the right place too,
“There aren’t enough top down hardcore shooters out there right now. With LA Cops we want to make one that not only scratches that itch but is great fun to play, has that tactical element and celebrates the handle bar moustache in Pop Art inspired style.” [Ollie Clarke, Team Lead]
“We’ve worked really hard to ensure that this Early Access version offers a really polished taste of the full game. We’re hoping to hear what players think and work with them to make it that much cooler before releasing the full high quality experience.” [Helana Santos, Lead Programmer]”
A team with an earnest reason for making the game along with plans to use Steam Early Access exactly the way it’s meant to be used? Count me in.
LA Cops is available on Steam Early Access now for £8.99.