Monday, March 3, 2008

Game idea: A game from the law's perspective

There have been a whole lot of games focusing on super heroes, and just about as many based on being on the wrong side of the law. But where are the games about being the man behind the badge? Why aren't there more titles starring the boys in blue? Where are all the cop games?

I'm thinking the game would have a very open-ended format. Players could merely roam around the city, in cruisers, on foot, riding motorbikes, or whatever. "Missions" would be received on the police radio, with a marker appearing on the map. Players then race to the objective and perform the necessary duty. What could the missions be? Here are some ideas:

Robberies: Cops get called to robberies all the time, and the thefts featured in the game could range from a stolen magazine to a bank heist. The required tasks once at the scene would vary from crime to crime. The player could arrive to find the suspect already under control thanks to a store clerk, or perhaps the situation would elevate to a chase on foot (Or even a vehicular pursuit). If things get real nasty, a stand-off could take place, with several units pointing their guns at the crook. Players would have a choice of holding their ground, ordering fellow officers to charge, or disabling the perpetrator with non-lethal weaponry.

Police Chases: Possibly the most action-packed part of any cop show or movie is the inevitable chase scene. What would a cop game be without one? When called to a chase-in-progress, the player would have to make a few key decisions in order to intercept the chase. Quick thinking and driving skills would be key here! Once caught up with the chase, the player can use one of many maneuvers to get an edge on the fleeing vehicle. Working together with other units in the chase, the player could orchestrate a rolling road block, closing in on the crook from all sides. Or perhaps spinning out the criminal is more your style? A carefully executed PIT maneuver is just what the doctor ordered in this case. Of course, there's always the option of chasing until the guy gives up or damages his car beyond operation, but that's no fun!

Domestic Disturbances: This is probably the kind of thing players will most often be called to. Sometimes it will be as simple as just reaching the target in time, but in other cases it may be much more. Perhaps the fight has turned ugly, resulting in an arrest and calling for backup. Or maybe the culprit takes his victim hostage, leading to a stand-off. As with the human nature it's based on, this type of mission can take many unexpected turns.

Of course that's just for starters. There's still drug busts, field sobriety tests, hostage situations (As suggested in "Domestic Disturbances") and anything else that makes up the world of policing.

Like with real cops, excessive force would not always be allowed. Unless approved by a superior officer (Or if the situation turns violent), players would be heavily penalized for attacking, shooting at or otherwise injuring their target. So no running down a crook with your car to put an end to a foot chase. No shooting out a lawbreaker's knee for stealing a woman's purse. Applying the right force to the right situation would be key, and becoming too violent could result in mission termination (AKA: Failure) and suspension (Or even expulsion) from the force. This black mark would haunt your character for the rest of his career, permanently tarnishing his or her reputation. And if your rep is no good, you're never going to make that promotion to chief!

The basis of a police game would lend itself greatly to the tutorial sections. In the game, your character could be a rookie on the force, and whenever a new type of mission or situation arises, the character could recall a training course at police academy, with the flashback serving as the tutorial.

And with further steps up the career ladder, the player would gain access to new "abilities", such as working with a police dog or gaining the use of advanced weaponry (Non-lethal bullets, tasers, etc).

Players should also take special care to maintain their equipment. You wouldn't want to go into a police chase and run out of gas, would you? And it would be imperative to always keep a full clip of ammo in your pistol.

The possibilities for a police video game are insane, and I'm simply stunned to have not seen anything like this so far. Who hasn't wanted to be a police officer, even once?

Feel free to discuss the possibilities in the comment section or in this thread.

The Duck Has Spoken.

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