Sometimes, simply reading the title of a game will make me want to play it. For instance: Enforcer: Police Crime Action. When I saw it in the Steam store I was immediately intrigued by two things:
But wait! After carefully re-reading the title, I noticed a third item of interest:
Well, I’m sold. I decided to check out how much police crime action there was in Police Crime Action. After buying it, I noticed that it’s also a simulation game, which means in addition to the action of policing crime I’ll also have to manage my off-duty hours, stress levels, home furnishings, hunger, and so on. Perfect.
The first day on the job for my policeman—Jack Action—gets off to a promising start. A loading screen tip (“you can buy your own vehicle at the car store”) has provided me with a personal goal, plus a police cruiser has been thoughtfully parked outside my house, meaning I can get right to work. I slip into my uniform, step outside my home, and am instantaneously assigned my first mission: set up a speed trap. I station a couple radar guns and stealthily park the cruiser behind my own house to wait for violators. Then I sit there waiting for roughly five hours. Eventually, a truck drives by and is auto-dispensed a ticket. Five more hours pass. I’m assuming this isn’t the action part.
Suddenly my radio squawks. Some drug dealers have been spotted downtown. Action! I speed away (driving directly over my radar gun). I keep my lights and sirens off so I won’t alert the criminals and also because I don’t know how to turn my lights and sirens on. Eventually, I spot a suspect. Hopping out of the car (“hopping” is a bit of a stretch, because it takes me a minute to realize I need to turn the engine off before I can get out) I approach the perp with my gun drawn. Night has fallen but luckily the crook is bathed in a red glow. A red glow of CRIME, as if he’s being judged by the furious heat-vision of God himself, or perhaps being abducted by an alien crime spaceship.
The suspect appears to be holding something, maybe, possibly, but it’s hard to tell.
Could be a phone. Could be a gun. I walk right up to him and peer down at the object from roughly six inches away while he politely waits. I finally determine that it is indeed a gun, and the perp confirms it by firing it into my body at point-blank range. I fire back, and manage to drop him, then radio for an ambulance (for him—I seem to be okay). Unfortunately, I’ve forgotten I was looking for drug dealers, plural, and his accomplice, who apparently doesn’t walk around bathed in a glowing pillar of crime light, abruptly guns me down. Dead on day one.
I respawn in the hospital with a new mission: find the man who put me in the hospital! It’s payback time! Well, actually, the game has removed the drug dealer mission and instead wants me to find illegally parked cars and ticket them. This proves to be a difficult task because I can’t seem to determine what constitutes illegal parking. I see a car parked near a no-parking sign, but after parking my car (in the middle of the street) and walking over, I’m penalized for ticketing it. Another car, parked behind a store, also turns out to be legal. Even a truck parked facing the wrong way, toward the flow of traffic, turns out to be legit.
I write a bunch of tickets and they’re all wrong and I decide that maybe it’s time to go home. A good first day, though! Except for being fatally shot and ticketing a bunch of innocently parked cars. I think I’ve earned a day off.
In addition to police work, I’ve got to work on myself. After sleeping for the remainder of the night, I need to eat, so I visit my fridge which sells me unspecified “food” for $5. Ah, food, my favorite meal. I also take a shower, which lowers my stress level, and I call my grandparents to see if they want to hang out—another stress reliever—though they don’t answer. Time to focus on my personal quest, to buy a car. I decide to head to the car store and see what’s available.
This proves to be a problem. When I exit my house I can choose which area of the map I’d like to materialize in. I choose “Downtown” but when I appear I’m just standing outside my house, which isn’t anywhere near downtown. I could take the cruiser, but I can only drive it while I’m on duty, and I don’t want to go on duty for fear of being fired for writing several dozen fraudulent parking tickets. I reenter my house, choose another map location, and spawn into what appears to be a barren desert.
Now what? My cruiser has spawned in with me, but again, I can’t drive it unless I’m in uniform and my uniform is back in my house. Now I’ve stranded myself and my police car. Fittingly, it begins to rain.
Eventually, I discover I can call a cab from my phone, and I get dropped off a few blocks from the car store, where I discover the cheapest car is $9000. I currently only have $3000. Time well spent! I take another cab home where, itching to buy something to improve my life, I use my laptop to purchase a chair for $190. It won’t let me sit in it, however. I call my grandparents again. They don’t pick up.
I’m back on duty! My task today: set up a roadblock and “check for vehicles with problems.” I don’t quite know what that means. A faulty transmission? Malfunctioning airbags? Grandparents that never answer their calls? Well, whatever. I set up a row of traffic cones across the road in front of my house, and a cab pulls up. I tell the driver to stop despite him having already stopped, and order him out of the car. Looking over my options, I decide to administer a breathalyzer. Turns out, he’s quite drunk! My hunch paid off. I frisk him, cuff him, lead him to my squad car, and drive him over to the police station, leaving the row of cones and a line of traffic patiently waiting for what I assume is probably going to be several hours.
After jailing the driver, a call comes in: people have once again been spotted selling drugs. Maybe it’s the same crew that lit me up yesterday! I drive around the area but don’t see anyone selling drugs or radiating crime energy. Well, my first hunch paid off, so I decide to just start frisking random people and hope one of them is a drug-murder enthusiast. The first guy I frisk isn’t carrying drugs, but he is carrying a gun.
I start thinking maybe I’m a psychic cop, which would at least partially make up for my apparent disregard for civil rights. I arrest the guy and put him in the back of my cruiser, then frisk a few more passersby, finding nothing. This puts a hole in my psychic cop theory, though unlike when I ticket legally parked cars, the game doesn’t penalize me for frisking people without cause. So, there’s that.
Dispatch calls me with another sighting of the drug-dealers. I rush to the spot, and see a guy pointing a gun at me. We both fire but he goes down, and I don’t need to be psychic to know he’s a drug dealer: he drops a giant plastic sack of white power, plus what looks like an suitcase-sized brick of uncut product. His partner—somehow I’ve again forgotten there are two of them—blasts away from further down the block, then starts running. I try to give chase but accidentally press the button that makes me direct traffic, which means I stand there making “come on, come on, drive through” gestures with my hands until I figure out how to turn it off.
I pick up the drugs, briefly hoping I can maybe go crooked and sell them—I don’t know how else I’ll ever afford a car—but it’s taken as “evidence.” I call an ambulance for the wounded perp and they pick him up. It’s getting late, so I drive to the gas station, fuel up the cruiser, then drive it to the mechanic because I’ve damaged it quite a bit by driving into things over the past few days. I also stop to eat at a restaurant (“food,” my favorite!), and it’s late as I return home to find my roadblock cones still up and several cars lined up behind them, drivers waiting to be hassled. Eh. Maybe tomorrow.
I try to enter my house but I can’t: an on-screen message says I need to escort someone somewhere first. What? Oh, shit. The guy I frisked and arrested earlier, with the gun! I put him in my backseat and he’s just been sitting there while I drove around running errands and eating dinner. Now I have to drive him all the way back to the station before I can go to bed. A cop’s work is never done, especially by me.
Next time on Police Crime Action: More of those three things!