Police Stories is like Hotline Miami but with actual tactics instead of over-the-top action. Published by HyperTrain Digital and developed by Mighty Morgan, it is a tense game where each mission tells a story involving two police operatives.
John Rimes and Rick Jones are partners who have become best friends throughout their time together in the police force. After leaving town, Rimes returns to his partner Jones who is now the top cop. Following a dispatch call, they discover a series of connected crimes way bigger than they ever anticipated. Together, they work to stop a variety of different cases including defusing bombs, drug busts, and rescuing hostages.
Before each mission, dispatch will give you an explanation of the situation. Included with this report are the number of enemies, hostages, and fake civilians that can be expected. Fake civilians will pretend to be hostages and can potentially shoot you down instead of surrendering so you have to be on your toes. After this, players get to choose their loadout. You can choose from several equipment items that are familiar to police officers like pepper spray and smoke grenades, but you also have items like lock picks and flashbangs.
The further you advance in the campaign, the more items you unlock. In the beginning, players start with three equipment slots but more unlock over time. Naturally, there are items that I’d say are generally more useful than others and are a must have but all of them have their moments to shine (flashbangs I felt were over powered and always needed).
During the mission you can apprehend the suspects without resorting to violence by either shouting at them or firing a warning shot near them. Your other option is to engage them in melee combat, forcing them to submit so you can handcuff them. The learning curve can feel daunting to begin with but once you start getting into it, it becomes fun.
If you are playing solo you play as John Rimes and can issue commands to your fellow cop, Rick Jones. It can be useful as he can open doors for you or cover you from behind. In each level the criminals are placed randomly along with the hostages and evidence which makes each level unique. I like this aspect as you can only memorize the layout of the level but not the enemies. You can also play in local co-op and complete missions together for better scores and more enjoyment. I feel it does make the game a little easier so if you prefer a challenge I suggest playing it through solo. Unfortunately it is only local co-op so you will have to have a buddy in the room to play with.
There are 18 missions for you to play through. You will need to get a certain score to unlock the next level. At first I was annoyed with this, but then I realised it’s a good thing as games are far too easy these days and you can’t play each level sloppy. You have to play it how it intended – killing bad people, avoiding hostages and arresting the people who give up.
You can also create your own custom mission. You can set the location, whether there’s a bomb, how hard you want it to be and how many evidence items and suspects there are. It’s a nice little addition and you can create a level with total carnage or a nice simple one. It has perfect old school vibes and I feel developers are hitting this kind of market and theme so well recently. These old school vibes are making me feel young again, haha!
Police Stories is definitely worth a look if you like tactical shooter-like top-down games. It has a good, fun story and if you take your time with it you will enjoy yourself. Whilst you will find yourself sometimes playing the same level a couple of times, once you complete it you do feel a sense of satisfaction.Become a Patron!
This game was tested and reviewed on Xbox Series X/S. All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version. Game provided by publisher.Want to keep up to date with the latest Xt reviews, Xt opinions and Xt content? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.