Genre : Strategy/RPG
Developer : Mist Land
Publisher : Strategy First
Release Date : January 25, 2005
Pre-order 'COPS 2170: Power of the Law': PC
Have you got an itch for a deep strategy game with lots to do? Developer MiST Land, with the help of Strategy First, hope to remedy that tingle with their latest attempt at a strategy title. COPS 2170: The Power of Law is a new title that will surely have fans of games like Fallout or Jagged Alliance pleased with its similar gameplay. There’s a hefty dose of exploration to be had, and an interesting focus on teams and combat and even piloting vehicles.
There’s actually a fairly well-developed storyline here. The game follows Kati – actually, her name’s Katrine – an edgy, beautiful young lass with a precision aim and an even more deadly wit. But Kati’s just a rookie, a newbie, a girl open to lots of things and some of them are undoubtedly going to be better than others.
As you progress through the game you’ll note the game’s open structure; Kati’s not just limited to one rigid path. Instead you’ll find yourself taking on a variety of missions, whether it’s taking out a big crime boss, suppressing a riot, apprehending a criminal and protecting a witness, or lending a defensive hand to the rest of the police academy. The path you accept as you progress through the game will ask you to make decisions that will affect future events, and sometimes the most insignificant, nonchalant action could blossom into drastic changes in the primary plot line. This compliments the "thinking-man's" gameplay quite nicely, offering a good reason for players to travel through the game more than once, experimenting with different missions.
While the game rewards exploration and such, it doesn’t lend itself so much to that as it does to combat. One can travel through the world in real-time, even instantly zapping Kati around with a double-click if you so wish. But once you step into a battle situation, things take a turn for the, uh, turn-based… bad pun not intended. Controlling Kati and her team is simple on the surface but offers up a lot to do with a deeper look. Every action – moving, firing your gun, tossing explosives, driving vehicles - consumes points, and you can only dispense so many points until your turn is over and the enemy strikes. This is obviously where the word "strategy" comes into play, and fans of the genre won’t be disappointed.
Some of the battles practically require planning in order to successfully come back home. Not every battle is a quick little fight in a confined room or a constricted alleyway; there are actually some very large, sometimes seemingly epic brawls in huge streets or other large areas. This is where vehicle use really comes into play – these fights have not only people, but robots, cars, and even tanks. In comparison, the exploration facet of the game is actually quite tame.
Kati starts out as a sargeant in COPS 2170, but she can work her way up from there. Of course, this means taking on a variety of different missions, but it also means she’ll get to try out slick new gadgets and weaponry as she advances in rank. Granted, the bases are covered, with several types of handguns, rifles, and automatics – even more heavy duty tools like rocket launchers, but the real fun is in the unconventional stuff. For instance, there’s a remote control camera for peeking at a distance that is only one of many things in your repertoire for strategizing for the battles. It’s worth noting that Kati can only carry so much; she has a small inventory box and you can only carry as much as you can comfortably cram into it.
The graphics in the game don’t disappoint. If buying a new graphics card is the equivalent of having your doctor prescribe Viagra to you, COPS 2170 is more like a pat on the back from your best buddy than pleasing that real looker of a wife you’ve got like Half-Life 2 might be – but hey, a pat on the back is better than nothing. Character models are reasonably detailed, but as you’ll be seeing them from a distance most of the time so it’s not so important. Textures and animation and the like are equally fine, if not amazing. You can actually go into a first-person mode if that strikes your fancy, and the game’s graphics still hold up relatively well if you didn’t happen to be expecting too much.
Sound isn’t delightful, but it’s decent overall. The game is fairly quiet most of the time, but every now and then music kicks in, and we all know turn-based-battles could use some good tunes to keep things interesting throughout. The voice acting is less than impressive – it seems like the actors just dropped by to read their lines without giving them a second thought. The text also zips along onscreen a lot faster than the actual voices, making the voices somewhat offputting. This isn’t a game that you need to mute to enjoy, but it isn’t one that has you drooling over its audio.
Those who like strategy games have a lot to look forward to in COPS 2170. There’s a huge adventure here, with branching plot paths and a variety of characters to meet along the way while building up a nifty team that will thusly go into battle with you, and what battles they can be! The fighting is definitely the high point of this title and should put a smile on the face of any person with enough patience to enjoy turn-based gameplay. With decent graphics and sound backing things up, those who enjoy a solid tactical game should not let COPS 2170 slip under their radar.