Games

Police Simulator: Patrol Officers PS5 Review


Our Score

4/10 – Below Average

The Good

Hardcore sim fans will find some joy in the criminally boring gameplay.

The Bad

Boring, bland, and a wasted opportunity to do something fun and cool in the simulator space

Release Date

November 10th, 2022

Developed By

astragon Entertainment GmbH

Available On

PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PC

Reviewed On

PS5

Police Simulator: Patrol Officers has me in a quandary. On the one hand, it does what it says on the tin, and I have to respect that. On the other, I wish that the tin was designed by Michael Bay or a kid with an overactive imagination. Same thing, really.


Simulators set out to do one thing: simulate their given subject. Let’s be honest, most do their job admirably in delivering the mundane, dull gameplay that one would expect from such a simulator. Put it this way, nobody is going into Farming Simulator expecting a hillbilly shootout on the old McGregor ranch. But a game that simulates law enforcement? C’mon, it’s ripe for a bit of excitement, something that the simulation genre could do with a good dose of.

DUALSHOCKERS VIDEO OF THE DAY

RELATED: Marvel’s Midnight Suns ReviewSadly, it isn’t to be, and Police Simulator: Patrol Officers revels in the mundane. Writing tickets and sending pissheads and junkie drivers to the precinct for a night in the cells is about as exciting as it gets.

Interactions with the public are very basic and a far cry from the investigations in the far superior police simulator, L.A Noire.

Police Simulator: Patrol Officers is a slow start. The basic run of play is that each day you’ll choose which part of the city you’ll do your shift in and for how long. The longer the shift, the more experience points you’ll earn, assuming you do a good job and don’t taser somebody for jaywalking.

To begin with, shifts are on foot, and my first few in-game days were spent running around my patrol area checking meter maids, writing tickets for bad parking, and holding up citizens for the crime of crossing the street. As a Brit, the crime of jaywalking is ridiculous, but I did my job and collected some cash for the city coffers.

Interactions with the public are very basic and a far cry from the investigations in the far superior police simulator, L.A Noire. And, yes, I know L.A Noire is not a police simulator, but that should tell you something.

Talking to a suspect opens up an interaction wheel where you can choose from several actions, like running a DUI test, asking for ID and insurance, and so on. It’s simple and it works, but it lacks any kind of nuance, and on several occasions – mostly during car crash scenes – the person I was talking to would bugger off halfway through my investigation. I would chase them down and press the “talk” button only for the interaction wheel to revert to its default state instead of showing the options available during an investigation. I guess I didn’t do everything in the right and proper order?

police simulator patrol officers car crash scene

Don’t go into Police Simulator: Patrol Officers expecting to live out your Nic Cage Bad Lieutenant fantasies – it’s not happening here. You have a taser and a gun but you’ll spend most of your time drawing and firing your speed gun to catch drivers going a few over the limit. On the one occasion I did draw my gun and fire at what I thought was a suspect (they were dressed pretty “sus” to me…) the game punished me by making me do the day over again. I got off quite lightly, I reckon.

While there may be a lack of big blockbuster action movie shootouts that any cop-based game should really have (or so is my opinion) there’s also a severe lack of polish.

I’m assuming Brighton is the starting point for an alien invasion and these skinwalkers are the first wave.

The city of Brighton is dull, generic, and not really much fun to move around in, whether that’s awkwardly running around on foot or haphazardly driving the cars that handle like reject shopping trolleys. It’s a bit of an eyesore, too, especially when traveling at speed in a police car. Citizens, cars, and other objects will pop in aggressively, furthering the feeling of the game being a bit cheap. Character animations are quite poor, too, though I had to laugh at my own character; moving the left stick while the run toggle was on resulted in him moving in a mock slow-motion fashion. In a game with not much going for it, I had to take the small joyous moments where I could.

police simulator patrol officers city scape

The NPCs in the game are also quite weird. Take a few IDs and you’ll notice that everybody is the exact same height of 6,04ft. I’m assuming Brighton is the starting point for an alien invasion and these skinwalkers are the first wave. How else can their behaviors be explained? From glitching through vehicles to straight up disappearing during a conversation, there’s something not quite right about the residents of this cursed city where the sun shines the whole night long. Of course the clock system doesn’t work…

As far as simulators go, it’s not the worst. To the game’s credit, it does offer the dull, mundane day-to-day routine that a lot of actual police officers call a career. If you want to spend hours writing tickets and slowly progressing in a meaningless career in law enforcement, you can do it here without the risk of being vilified on social media. But it could have been so much more had the systems in play been deeper and more robust, not to mention, fun. Instead, Police Simulator: Patrol Officers is a bit of a buggy mess that feels half-baked and not ready for patrol just yet. Back to the academy with this one.

NEXT: Blacktail Review: A Test Of Magic And Morality



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