Pixelated games are making their comeback with their retro soundtracks and Beat Cop is no exception. On the streets of a 1980’s Brooklyn is Jack Kelly, an officer who has mysteriously been demoted from being a detective. Furthermore, his boss absolutely despises him, the mafia wants his head served on a golden platter, and his ex-wife is a money hungry demon. To stir the pot some more, he becomes accused of murder. Poor guy just can’t catch a break.
Developed by Pixel Crow, Beat Cop visits the heart of 80’s cop shows. Though it is currently a work in progress, it is radiating a lot of potential. If you’re a person who is disgusted by vulgar language, turn the other cheek and do not waste a minute with this game. If you’re like me and have heard every nasty thing in the book, stay awhile and listen. Beat Cop portrays the actuality of what New York crime was and is like. There is no sugar coating anything here. It’s pretty cool because I have the option of being an asshole cop or that guy who saves kittens from trees.
Starting out, Kelly is ordered to complete simple tasks. This includes writing tickets, handcuffing smug criminals, and introducing himself around town. Well, okay. This would be simple if he didn’t have the lung capacity of a five hundred pound avid smoker. It’s quite annoying because he has to stop and catch his breath every two seconds if he’s forced to run. Hell, I can run further for longer and I assure you that that’s saying something.
Despite the terrible shape he’s in, Kelly is kind of a badass.
He’s quick to retort when he’s insulted (which is often) and doesn’t take anyone’s crap. The conversations exchanged radiate with crude humor, but it meshes flawlessly with Beat Cop’s environment. However, the dialogue is purely text based and is designed in a way where each comment has a set time and then it disappears. Forever. Clicking furiously though will bypass conversation at an even faster rate. Yet, there is no way to slightly hinder dialogue to, I don’t know, maybe blink?
Not even do I not have the opportunity to blink, but pausing the game is basically useless and not a thing. My attempt at “pausing” led to Kelly’s shift ending abruptly without filling his quota. After exempting the most dramatic sigh, my daily report reminded me of all the earnings Kelly did not acquire along with a lovely reminder that he still owed his loony ex-wife $300.
Luckily when such mishaps occur, the option to restart or replay a level is available. Thank goodness because it is a challenge keeping up with all the delinquencies surrounding Kelly. Granted, restarting a “day” resulted in a strange corruption in the sequence of events. For example, Kelly didn’t approach a murder scene in time (you know, because he’s so out of shape) and I wanted him to have the benefit of the doubt. He deserved a second shot. Consequently though, restarting that particular day threw events all out of order. The day had barely started and Kelly was getting his ass chewed out for not being at a crime scene prior to when the crime was even committed. Confusing, right?
And to think Kelly could have used that time to handcuff the guy stealing condoms at the porn shop.
What a shame.
Beat Cop also provides mini side favors that Kelly can do for civilians (or mobsters) on the street. Completing these tasks can alter Kelly’s initial rating as an officer. Of course, these must also be done in a timely manner. It’s important to know what Kelly can and cannot fit into a single day, which is from 8:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M. Additionally, Kelly has his daily tasks to check off his notepad. Sure, it’s a load of fun arresting punks on the street, but handing out parking violations is also part of the gig.
Not only is Beat Cop a handful, but it can also be a lot of fun. The fast-paced setting keeps me on my toes. Radio calls are constantly coming in and it’s up to me to decide where and what to investigate. Hell, depending on what Kelly does inspect also elects certain pieces of the puzzle to come to light. With the promise of multiple endings, Brooklyn ought to be full of surprises for Kelly and his problematical life. But really, could it get any worse?
Beat Cop is already fairly entertaining, minus some gameplay issues and the hasty dialogue. It would be nice to blink every once in a while without missing out on crucial information. Also, before Beat Cop’s release date this fall, let’s put Kelly on a diet plan to better his apparent poor health. He’s got one hell of an extensive mystery to solve.