LA cops has a few likenesses to Hotline Miami so it’s understandable people will be drawing more than a few comparisons.
From the start of the game you get your choice from 6 characters, complete with cop like names such as Kowalski and Murphy.
After choosing your two protagonists you head out to the Donut Store to save the Chef, Although there’s a small tutorial called the LA Cops Academy, this first level is all about easing you in softly, with enemies spaced out, giving you plenty of time, and the perfect opportunity to fulfil achievements for not getting hit, not dying or arresting all enemies.
You arrest automatically when you melee with LT, and firing your chosen weapon is on the right trigger. You can swing the view around using the bumper buttons, but sadly, no matter what you never quite see enough of the screen which means charging enemies will regularly get a shot off before you’ve seen them.
Fortunately you have your partner in tow, and while you can switch between the two using ‘Y’, It’s often easier to position them using ‘A’ to set up an ambush as you antagonise a few enemies to lure them towards you, unfortunately there’s no co-op play at all, which is a massive shame.
So far everything sounds great, and that’s because at this point it is, but sadly it doesn’t always stay that way, with only 8 main missions, and the first few serving to get your feet steady, the difficulty ramps up quite quickly at the half-way point, with the jump from half a dozen enemies to a few dozen instant.
This is infuriating at first, especially if you’re not utilising your partner, the A.I isn’t the best, but it seems to have pretty good aim.
That’s great when it’s your partner, but if he’s down, and you have three people rushing towards you then you’ll need a more powerful gun to stand a chance.
Thankfully there’s a full arsenal, Pistols, Machine guns, Assault Rifles, Shotguns, and even a projectile launcher that doesn’t know if it’s a grenade or a rocket. You can also choose to start with a better weapon by purchasing it with your XP, on the character select screen.
With XP rewarded for each successful mission, you’ll soon have enough to level up your characters attributes such as speed, ammo and health, on top of that you can choose any gun you wish to start with for a small XP fee.
While the auto-rifle was my personal favourite, each seems to have it’s strength’s and weakness’s such as ammo capacity, rate of fire, accuracy and spread.
Sadly they’re not as noticeable on the floor, the black, black, and black means unless you can see the whole weapon’s shape, you can tell what you’re picking up.
Graphically, everything looks very smooth and tidy, sharp colours, and some intentionally patchy cut-scenes fill a little back story between missions, the animation and voice acting is near passable, but don’t expect to be wowed.
Sadly sound is another issue, while you can turn sound effects off (which I did for a while) it will mute the duo constantly repeating the same lines again and again and again, But it also mute’s the gunfire, which completely subtracts from the experience.
take into account how little work there is with the sound, and it does leave you a little disheartened that a pretty decent game can be so infuriating on the sound alone.
“I’m going in, I’m going in, I’m going in”…. yes, we heard you the first twenty times.
on top of the 8 main missions there’s a selection of side-quests which each serve as their own standard mission, these feel like a missed opportunity, personally I would have liked to see these as main quests, and maybe a random spawn warehouse/dungeon, or a horde mode like add-on to keep people occupied after the first play through.
because of this, you’ll easily get through the main story in an evening, as long as you don’t throw your controller in frustration when you get shot with a pistol after your head shot with a shotgun didn’t do enough damage.
There are 3 difficulties to try your luck (and patience) with, with a few of the otherwise very easy achievements, reserved for completing the game on each.
At around £10 LA Cops certainly isn’t a terrible choice, but there’s a lot of other titles vying for your attention.
If you head into LA Cops expecting quality along the lines of Hotline Miami, you’ll be bitterly disappointed, but otherwise it’s not a bad addition to the ever increasing line-up of ID@Xbox games
I'm going in!
LA Cops is an average game which will appeal to many and please and infuriate them equally.
Sadly with no co-op, and limited levels, it feels like so much more could have been done to really improve the game,
While it’s no Hotline clone, it’s still worth a look.