This is the Police 2 (PS4) Review

This is the Police 2 is the sequel to the rather addictive Tactical RPG game ‘This is the Police’ (obviously). I’ve already written, in detail, a full review of the game when it came out on PC in August – which you can read here: https://www.gamepitt.co.uk/this-is-the-police-2-pc-review/ 

However, the console versions have been fully optimised for using controllers and they have had all of the post-launch patches implemented, so that’s what this review is going to focus on. If you want information on the game itself, it’s story and how the game works in general, please take a look at my PC review and then head back over here for an update.

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Check out my PC review for story info.

This is the Police 2 came out on PC almost eight weeks ago now, I personally gave it a 9.2/10 as I loved the changes it brought over the original game, and everything was really polished. However, not everyone had the same opinion as me if the Steam Forums is anything to go by! Upon release there were a lot of people complaining about the difficulty, some people didn’t understand why certain things operated the way it did, and even some critics marked the game down for being too hard/unforgiving. I didn’t really have an issue with the original version though, I guess I was just used to playing Tactical games and saw the increased difficulty as a challenge rather than a barrier?

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Regardless, the paying consumer is the one the developers listen too and in the case of This is the Police 2, Weappy Studio listened to each and every complaint and suggestion in order to mould This is the Police 2 into what the gamers wanted, even if that means making things a little easier from the beginning. Looking back on it, and after playing the console version, I like the direction the game has now gone in as it makes it easier to progress without sacrificing the difficulty, it just gives you more rewards and more sense of accomplishment early on.

So, What are the main differences between my original review and the latest PC build and the console versions? Let’s take a look.

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Downtown, a place where men pee off the roofs of trucks and old woman go crazy in the bank…

One of the biggest issues I saw people query was in regards to balancing. Previously, a lot of the calls would require a lot of ‘cop-points’ to attend, this sometimes left you with no available cops or you had to turn down call after call. This appears to have been lowered. You are also given a much better initial starting team. When I first played This is the Police 2 back in July, every member of your team would phone in sick, say they have been out drinking, or refuse to obey you. It seems someone has given them a massive slap now though as they are all quite obedient and ready to help you out!

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Your team also only use their stamina points if they go out on patrol (not for sitting on their butt in the station), with false alarms no longer using any stamina up either, and they recover all their lost points upon having a day off – something which didn’t happen last time and led to a lot of lazy and worn-out team members. In relation to the above, you’ll also get fewer excuses, fewer people staying at home and less drunk officers – which is always a positive.

So overall, I would say all of these changes were for the better – it really helped balance out the gameplay and it means you can jump in and have a fighting chance of building up a decent team before the game demands weekly payments off you to keep you from losing the game. Initially, I thought that having all of these changes would lead to the game being too easy, but having played it on the PS4, it’s still a tricky game and the XCOP (XCOM-style tactical missions) still require a lot of strategy and planning.

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This event never ceases to amuse me…

You’re fired!
This option is quite massive and was one of the things I was fully behind from the start. In This is the Police 2, you’re Jack Boyd once again and you’re ‘helping’ out a fellow sheriff in a small town in exchange for you to remain there unknown. As such, you’re in charge of her team, a team who aren’t too keen on working for you sometimes. Yeah, the balancing fixes have resolved a lot of the issues, but what about the people who have strong personalities and just want to make your life hard? Originally, you have to just put up with them and learn to accept they weren’t going to do everything you asked or go to every case you send them on.

However, you can now tell them to piss off! If someone is being disrespectful or blatantly ignoring your requests, you can simply tell them to return back to the sheriff and they’ll leave your team. The issue here is that you won’t get a replacement, so you need to work out if it’s worth losing someone or trying to put up with them at the expense of your sanity? 

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This is a great option and  I’ve already sent a few people back to her with no regrets. I’m not putting up with lazy officers when I can now easily afford new ones thanks to the rebalance of how many ‘caps’ you get each day and the adjusted cost of new cops. 

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After playing Phantom Doctrine and XCOM, this feels so natural.

Technical:
Honestly, the game looks exactly the same as it did on my PC with everything at max settings and the audio is equally as awesome. I’m not sure if I mentioned this enough last time, but the voice acting from Jon St. John (Duke Nukem) and Lilly Reed (The Longest Journey) is great. Every single line is spoken with tonnes of emotion and acted out perfectly. When I played it on PC, I used my DS4 controller, on the PS4 it operates identically – so there is also no issues with cumbersome controls or a last-minute controller setup – it was created to fully use controllers, even in its PC build. 

Personal Opinion:
I love This is the Police 2. I played many hours on PC and I’ve put in about 5 hours or so on the PS4 version so far as well. The combination of the 911 calls via the map screen, solving crimes by reading witness statements and putting together a timeline, the XCOM-style tactical assault sections, and the visual novel-style cutscenes, all come together in a perfect package which is sure to excite and entertain fans of the TRPG genre. I give a more in-depth opinion over on my PC review here, and I have no issues highly recommend This is the Police 2 to fans of the original and gamers who like strategy games in general. 

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One thing I did notice, which seemed strange – I’m not sure if some of the specific cases may have been ‘censored’ in the console release. One such example is one I used in my previous review. You’re called to the scene where a woman is trying to castrate her son with a sickle because she caught him masturbating. In the PS4 version, I had a call out to a scene with the same images but it was regarding a different story. It could be that the same images are used on multiple call-outs? I’m not sure. I just thought it was a little strange and it led me to think that maybe certain things were changed?

Official Trailer:

Final Conclusion:
This is the Police 2 is a great example of how to present a Tactical RPG game on Consoles. Everything from the menus to the GUI is fully optimised for either the Mouse on PC or the Controller on Consoles – this may seem small, but there are some games out there which don’t get this right. The game is full of action, excitement, humour, and manipulation – a perfect list of ingredients for a game about dirty cops, corruption, criminals and the law. If you’ve played the original game then you need to play this as it follows on directly. If you haven’t played the original, either go pick it up or just jump right into this one as all the backstory is fully explained.

A copy of the game was kindly provided for review purposes

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This is the Police 2

£24.99
9.2

Final Score

9.2/10

The Good:

  • The 911 calls are hilarious
  • The XCOP (XCOM-style) events are really well done and require a lot of strategy
  • Lots of backstory and exposition for those who didn't play the previous game
  • Great art style
  • Really good voice acting and soundtrack

The Bad:

  • The XCOP events can be a little unforgiving with the hostage missions
  • The initial cutscenes and exposition takes about an hour before you actually start playing the game on your own
  • All the characters look alike in XCOP mode (Just me being picky!)
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