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Cops 2170: The Power Of Law
game: Cops 2170: The Power Of Law
one star
posted by: Eric Bodrero
publisher: Strategy First
developer: Game Factory
ESRB rating: T (Teen)
date posted: 12:00 AM Sat Mar 19th, 2005
last revision: 12:00 AM Sat Mar 19th, 2005

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Click to read.Cops 2170 is an RPG/strategy game that lets players assume the role of a police academy graduate by the name of Katy, a great student and an exceptional athlete. Katy's story is a fairly clichéd one. Cities in 2170 are completely under the government's control, and they watch everyone for the safety of the public. Cyber links are implanted into newborns so they can be tracked individually. Through a series of events, Katy is placed in the path of an evil genius and a group of cyber punks whose intent it is to destroy the ruling arm of the government.?

That's the good part. Unfortunately, the game goes racing downhill from there, which is a real shame, because the game could have been something halfway decent.  Instead, it relies on trite play mechanics and an ancient turn-based strategy system that seems even more ancient in the way it's implemented during the course of the game. Sometimes, a game is salvageable even with a less than perfect story. Unfortunately, that's not the case with Cops 2170. The whole game is a tortuous mess, and murderous clowns, giant gun-slinging mechanical rats and ferocious robots with a bloodlust don't quite help the cause.

Let's start with the turn-based combat system. In a word, it's horrendous. Your characters have an extremely short range of vision, so enemies suddenly appear right before you once you start your move, popping up hither and yon with no rhyme or reason.  This gives you almost zero chance to adequately plan a civilized strategy. At one point, my character was being shot at by an invisible character with an extremely powerful weapon, and I eventually collapsed to the pavement in a bloody heap because I had no idea who was doing the shooting, or just what the hell was going on at all. Be prepared to deal with this kind of frustration throughout the game.

The graphics don't do anything to help, as everything is very dark and dreary to the point where you'll be squinting in some places just to make things out. Enemies blend in with the background, and it's usually a chore to tell what they're even doing. The animation is mediocre at best, and could have used a lot of work. The levels in the game are dull and outright boring, with nothing happening to help liven up the mostly frustrating action.

Which is a great segue into what is probably my biggest complaint of all. The levels are so big that if an enemy runs away from you, you have to go on a wild goose chase searching for them in turn-based mode, which has got to be the most frustrating thing I've ever attempted to do in my life. At this point, all I wanted to do was rip open my CD-ROM drive and fling the game out window.

The voice acting is downright pathetic. It's easy to tell that the voice talent was reading straight from the badly written script, and they do nothing to add life to the otherwise ill-conceived and clichéd characters. The sound effects and music are just as bad. Weapons sound like cheap imitation pop guns from the dollar store, and the music is annoyingly generic techno-punk garble. On top of all that, the radio transmissions in the background sometimes overpower the spoken dialog, and you end up with voices rambling on to the point where you just want to mute everything in the game and stick to reading text.

A few miscellaneous things here and there such as no multiplayer component and no difficulty setting hammer home the fact that there really is no redeemable value to be found in this game, even for die-hard RPG/strategy fans.  It would be my advice to stay far away from it. Sure, the story does get kind of interesting later on, branching into different sub plots and what not, but the game just gets avalanched by poor play mechanics, a prehistoric game engine, mediocre graphics and sound effects, and just plain bad voice acting. The game has that rushed-out-the-door? smell and could have used at least six to twelve more months in development and fine-tuning. Ultimately, Cops 2170 ends up as the epitome of how not to make a video game.

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