Ready to punch in and handle the beat? Patrol your street and write up some tickets, that’s what you’ll end up doing in Beat Cop. Now as boring as that may sound, the game does have some witty commentary to balance things out.
You are a detective named Jack Kelly in mid-80s New York being accused of stealing diamonds from a senator. Due to the ongoing case against you, you’re demoted to a patrol officer. This means you patrol the same street every day, from meeting the shop owners and making sure they’re doing well, to doing favors for some of the tenants like getting donuts for an older lady who enjoys them. There are other scenarios that happen at random, so every playthrough will be different. Like that time I got liquor and a burger in order to prevent a murder. Who knew that was the solution to stop a murder? Then above all else, you have to write tickets! At first, there was something satisfying about writing up people for parking in a No Parking zone, or even for parking next to a hydrant, but that mechanic of the game became so bland, more on this later.
Beat Cop was nothing like I expected. I wanted to roam the street at my own will, talk to people, see what their needs were, go from shop to shop stopping theft, and maybe even get into some gun fights. Instead, Beat Cop is a time management game where your lieutenant gives you a a daily quota, then you hit the street. Get there around 8 am and your shift ends at 6 pm. In-game time is so fast that there really is no time to free roam. Searching a car for a broken light or bad tires takes 2 minutes in real time. But in-game time is about 30:1, so you waste 1 hour of in-game time doing simple tasks. Also if you get a quota for 10 light tickets, you have to write 10 light tickets, no other types of tickets count! With time moving so fast, it is difficult to meet the quota and take care of other tasks like preventing a fire from spreading, or doing a favor for a priest who is sick.
Day after day, I was penalized for various things. Each penalty results in money lost for the day. Eventually losing money becomes an issue because every few days you have to pay for alimony (no clue where this took place within the story). Running from one side of the street to the other to complete a patrol became difficult with the running mechanic which has you sprinting for a short amount of time, stopping for air, then walking to refresh stamina, then clicking again to where you want to go. This is great and all but when you’re in a rush to stop a thief, it becomes an issue when you can’t arrest them even though they are just a few steps away.
So it’s clear that I have an issue with Beat Cop; it was far from what I thought it would be. It’s a great time management game but I’m not a fan of that genre. That’s not to say it wasn’t satisfying at first but then you get lost in a lot of other situations within the game. Apparently, you have 30 days to clear your name from the story that is buried in the game, but I could only write enough tickets for 13 days. It got so bland and I didn’t care for anything that I was being told to do anymore, I had more fun doing what I wanted to do. Doing missions for the Italians or even for the Gangs provided more entertainment due to the dialogue.
Be warned that this game will trigger anyone who isn’t prepared for some edgy commentary. The gang characters all happen to be black and the locals refer to them as “the darkies”. Italians are called “greaseballs”, Asians are “slanty”, and the gays are “faggy”. At one point in the game, one of the officer starts talking about his penis, yeah not odd at all. Then there were two different scenarios that played out where I got the surprise of seeing the words cunt and cum in a video game. Thanks Beat Cop, I can check those off the list!
None of this bothered me, it’s a silly game and to be upset over it seems idiotic. Everyone is just so sensitive to anything lately, Relax, it’s just a game.
After all of this I still think I will continue to play the game until the 30 days just to see what happens. But at the time of writing this, I just couldn’t do it anymore as it became a boring task. With that in mind, proceed with caution in buying Beat Cop. Visually it looks pleasing and the first couple of days are fun. The dialogue is full of jokes and works well with the atmosphere of the game but remember that at the end of the day you’re investing in a time management game. If that’s your thing you will enjoy this game.
Beat Cop is now available via Steam for $15.