Home > Chronological Challenge > Chronological Challenge – Future Cop LAPD

Chronological Challenge – Future Cop LAPD

January 22, 2016 Leave a comment Go to comments

Hello! So this was meant to go up yesterday, but I forgot to get it scheduled and posted, so you’re getting it today. You’ll also be getting the usual update at 5pm, so this isn’t a replacement. Rejoice!

Future Cop L.A.P.D.
Publisher: Electronic Arts | Developer: Electronic Arts | Year: 1998 (US release)
Original System: PlayStation
Played on: PS3 (PSN release)

Goal: Beat the game

Actual Outcome: All eight missions complete!

So, this is another weird game that seems a little out of nowhere and that people may not even remember. In fact, on release it only sold about 2,000 copies and the development team split up and went elsewhere. And to be fair, on the surface it doesn’t look like it has much going for it, and it was released along with…well, every game that’s about to pop up. Which is unfortunate because there is something here.

Why do I have this? Like many of these weird, obscure titles, I came across it through a demo disc at the time, although I never actually got it because of…well, every game that’s about to pop up. Again. However, I did pick it up on PSN because it was there and I figured, why not?

So, on first glance, this is a dumb game. It’s every post-apocalyptic trope rolled into a single package along with the idea that the police will have mechs in the future, largely because all the criminals will have access to missile launchers. You’re accompanied by a sarcastic dispatch officer who occasionally likes to flirt with you. It’s completely clueless about how police work operates. It’s also not the best-looking game, even by PS1 standards.

As you move through the various areas of LA, many of which are just crazy metallic nightmare worlds that don’t resemble the actual Los Angeles, your job is to blast anything that tries to blast you, and not much else. As you move around, a female voice speaks to you and spends most of her time gleefully cheering you on as you murder a crowd of people and then occasionally tosses in some flirty line that only the women in teenage boys’ imaginations actually use.

The game also has no overarching story. You’re a cop who’s been assigned to control the force’s new state-of-the-art mech, and you’re sent on a number of missions to bring down drug dealers, the mafia and ultimately a sentient AI that’s murdered everyone. There’s very little to get invested in story-wise.

But do you know what? Future Cop: LAPD hears your criticism. It hears that it’s dumb and makes no sense, it hears that it’s cheesy and overblown, it hears that the disembodied voice that accompanies you really has no degree of professionalism, and do you know what it has to say about all that? It don’t give a shit.

And do you know what, neither do I. This is a game about blowing stuff up, pushing a switch and then blowing up some more stuff. The formula rarely changes, and yet, somehow, it never feels stale. It remains a blast from start to finish. The controls are fluid, and for some reason I can’t quite figure out, the idea of endlessly blowing things up never gets old. There are a lot of cheap thrills to be had here, and the game is fully aware of that.

The game revels in its own cheesiness. Upon successful completion of a mission, you’re treated to an FMV of your officer strutting about in his mech. Sometimes he HILARIOUSLY falls off a ledge, or tramples an innocent mob boss who’s got himself trapped in the luggage hold of an airport. And you know, while the dialogue is corny and stupid, it’s actually done by competent voice actors. This is not like Resident Evil, where the inept dialogue was delivered by non-actors, this is three genuinely good voice actors hamming it up for the sheer hell of it. And that’s fine by me.

So, sure, it’s kind of ugly. Sure it’s kind of mindless. Sure it’s never going to win any game of the year awards. But god damn it, it’s fun. From start to finish, I found myself giggling a lot at every part of this game. It’s the 80s action movie of video games – it’s stupid and vacuous and exists as a way to deliver explosions to your eyeballs, but damn it, it’s a blast to spend time with.

Oh, and the game inexplicably ends on a ragtime piano jam. Because that’s the kind of game this is, it seems.

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