“Alright, listen up! I got the Mayor on my ass about this like a hernia, and he wants you guys on the case. Why he wants you guys, I don’t know. You’ve cost this department more than all the Precincts in the rest of the state combined!
Anyways. You’ll be headin’ up a team of cops in LA, and you’ll be goin’ up against all manner of bad guys, packing some serious heat! Not to mention The BIG Boss, Hawaiian Mo. Sure, it’ll be dangerous, but heck, it’s nothin’ you ain’t done before”.
LA Cops is a top down, twin-stick shooter that puts you in the shoes of a pair of 70’s cops given the task of cleaning up the city. 8 main missions & 5 more optional extra missions, LA Cops is not a long game but it is a lot of fun.
Controlling two cops at once, it’s up to you to use strategy to clear the levels of enemies & complete the objective. When not controlling one of the cops they will wait & fire on any enemies that come into their line of sight. Smart players can use this to clear rooms with ease, something that is actually necessary on harder difficulties.
The targeting system is very simple to get to grips with. One stick controls the cop & the other controls aim. On both normal & hardcore difficulty, a simple press of a button will see the targeting reticule automatically lock on to the nearest enemy. It makes the game even easier but on nightmare mode this crutch is removed. It’s best to get used to playing without it.
Considering how short the game is, replay value comes from the three difficulties. Each is a significant step up from the last. On normal your cops can take a few hits before dying. However, on nightmare difficulty it’s one hit & you’re dead. It’s the most challenging but also the most fun way to play the game.
If one cop dies, control is automatically shifted to the other. In each level, a first aid kit is provided to revive your dead buddy just once & there are also doughnuts dotted around that give small amounts of health back.
To help with the later levels & tougher difficulties there are 6 cops to choose from each with their own attributes that can be upgraded. Health, speed, ammo clip size & damage dished out. You earn experience points during play, the amount determined by how well you completed the case. You can also spend your XP on unlocking better weapons such as a shotgun or an assault rifle. The latter of the two is the weapon of choice for those tackling Nightmare mode.
So that’s LA Cops. The main story on normal difficulty can be wrapped up within an hour. The extra missions & tougher difficulty levels add some much-needed replay value. It’s a lot of fun, it’s easy to play & easy to get hooked on. The simple controls, cool soundtrack & mission rating system will see most players coming back for more.
The Final Score - 7/10