When you think about it, isn’t every game a sim game to some extent? Grand Theft Auto V is an extensive sim game of how not to uphold the law, Mass Effect is a space exploration sim, and Warframe is a grinding simulator teaching us the futility of life where we do the same actions over and over again while expecting different results. On the other hand, Police Simulator: Patrol Officers takes itself far more seriously. There are rules to follow, laws to uphold and no one is exempt from them. Not even you. The protagonist and conveniently also a police officer.
Upon starting the game, I realized my task is anything but simple. Or should I say, tasks? As a member of the Brighton Police Department, it is your job to keep things in order. You start first on foot, by issuing parking tickets, verbal warning (or written ones) for littering, and many other menial tasks. But hey, we all gotta start somewhere, right? Be thorough enough with your job and soon enough you’ll patrol the neighborhood with a proper police car. Your list of responsibilities will also expand but that comes with the territory. The city is divided into districts. Each week you have to pick up 5 shifts (as in, 5 working days). You can take 2 days off and receive a new set of new shift options. As I said above, these tasks aka shifts range from absolutely mundane to seriously engrossing. One day you might hand of parking tickets and the next day you will be investigating accidents or search for wanted persons.
There are two things that you have to watch out for while playing. CP and SP. But that tells you absolutely nothing, right? Well, CP is short for conduct points and SP would be shift points. After each shift, both CP and SP reward you with district experience points, which earns you duty stars. You unlock items and other areas by accumulating enough duty stars. Remember when I said that there are rules to follow and no one is exempt from them? Well, if you don’t want to earn too much CP you should know what things you shouldn’t do and what things you should do in proper order. For example, asking citizens for ID without a reason will deduct CP from your score. You also can’t go absolutely bonkers with handing out tickets just cause you can in order to progress, otherwise this would be a really short game.
With Police Simulator: Patrol Officers being in early access, there are some acceptable bugs as well as plenty of room for improvement. I decided to trust the game by setting my graphics quality automatically and I found myself playing it on medium for some reason, even though I can run everything on high and ultra. After setting the quality manually to high, I found myself in a way better-looking game than before and without any technical hitches. So it might be a good idea to tinker around in the setting menu before blindly jumping into a game.
Speaking of setting, there are two ways that you can play in Police Simulator: Patrol Officers – simulation and casual mode. The first mode is something that I would recommend to experienced sim players only. By choosing the first mode, the game will throw a hurricane of information on you and expect you to untangle it all. The casual mode is something that I would recommend to everyone in general and if you want a more laidback experience of this sim. You’ll receive plenty of helpful tips and tutorials as you progress through the city and in your career. As far as audio is involved, I can’t find many words to describe it or even praise it. The usual sound effects are in place and the city feels a bit alive as you patrol through its streets. As for any soundtrack, it is hardly noticeable but then again, considering that the game just released in early access I can’t really expect all that much right at the start.
There is a lot more progress expected from Police Simulator: Patrol Officers before we can consider it a fully-fledged game but from what I’ve seen experienced so far, this sim is quite promising. It might greet you with a slow start, but if you push through a generic first few missions, you’ll be rewarded with plenty of diverse missions and soon find out that being a police officer is no easy task. As of right now, the developers have new districts to add in the near future, as well as multiplayer-co-op and night shift options. By the looks of it, this game might pretty soon turn into something rather impressive.
A promising police sim that’s already engaging enough in its early stage.