Every kid wants to be a cop at one time or other, either that or a fireman or an astronaut, right? In Crime Patrol you get to play a cop and have real life enemies coming at you, because this is not a game that uses standard graphics – it’s an interactive movie (like most laser-gun shooters). You get to crime fight all over town, and battle all sorts of crooks; get your side arm ready, this is Crime Patrol.
There are no video game graphics on show here, none used to represent enemies and non-playable characters (NPCs); instead you have a running movie that stops when you need to interact. What has to be judged, instead of the graphic quality, is the video quality; just exactly how much the visuals immerse you in the gaming experience. The video quality is fairly good throughout; where it won’t win any Oscars it does set the pace for an authentic cop game. Like in many other laser-gun games there is an on-screen representation of your bulls-eye, your remaining ammunition, and also a progress map. All these do their job adequately. The visuals, although simplistic, always remain just the right side of ?good enough’.
The bullet sound effects, ricochets and explosions are as effective as they are in a movie, but nowhere near Saving Private Ryan standards. The voice acting is an important issue in this type of game; it must always convey a believable storyline otherwise the game can quickly sag. Thankfully, it is well realized here in Crime Patrol. It certainly adds to the game’s credibility by having real actors on screen. The gunshots are probably not real (or are they?) but they sure sound like it; if you crank up the volume you’ll likely jump from your seat more than once.
No worries here, playing Crime Patrol is as easy as playing Duck Hunt (tears of nostalgia NES flashback!). Just grab your plastic laser-gun, or rather your mouse if you lack the peripheral weaponry, and start blasting bad guys, and if your aim is bad enough then maybe some civilians too. But note: all you trigger crazy players out there, shooting civilians is bad and it won’t earn you extra points. It has to be said that not all laser-gun titles have the same response when actually shooting, and that’s about the only gameplay element that truly matters in this genre. If it’s not well executed then the game will be very frustrating to play. Fortunately, Crime Patrol has excellent gameplay response and that only helps makes it a more enjoyable experience. Obviously it is highly recommended to play this game with an actual laser-gun (even more so with one without a cable). And if you are psyched, and crazy enough, it is extreme fun to play the game with some space. That is, don’t play it with your butt sucked into a couch seat, get up and move some furniture – or even leave it in place for cover, and move around it while doing some rollovers!! For anyone outside your house, this may give the impression that you’re an absolute nut but it is soooo much fun.
If you’ve ever wanted to be a cop and shoot real, genuine, authentic criminals – well, you should have joined a Police Academy. However, if you don’t have cop ambitions, but you get a kick out of pretending to be one, then this is the game for you. That’s the beauty of video games, you can pretend to be something you’re not and experience scenarios you’ve never lived through – and probably never will. Cop Patrol is by no means a state-of-the-art game, but it exudes one vitally important element, it’s fun.