What do you get if you make a GTA game where you play as a cop? You get True Crime. Okay, but what if you make a good GTA game where you play as a cop? You get Sleeping Dogs. Fine, what about a GTA game where you actually play as a uniformed cop, not an undercover police officer? In that case, you get Bigmoon Entertainment’s Police Simulator 18.
At gamescom 2017, I attended a presentation of the game led by Bigmoon’s Lead Programmer, Pedro Pinho. An open-world adventure game set in a fictional non-descript American city, Police Simulator 18 aims to provide you with the true experience of being a beat cop. From filing paperwork in the station to going out on patrols, the game tasks you with maintaining law and order over the fictional jurisdiction you find yourself in.
In order to perform your duties, Bigmoon’s equipping you with most of the police arsenal, from tasers and handcuffs to vehicles and guns. The preview session I attended mostly saw only a small look at the game’s mechanics, from character interactions to weapons and world systems. Starting from within the precinct and choosing between a male or female police officer, you can walk inside the police station and interact with the other cops before choosing a mission and going out on patrol.
Outside in the parking lot, we got to see various police vehicles that are unlocked as you level up, from regular sedan patrol cars to FBI-like SUVs. Taking out a shotgun, Pinho proceeded to blast the cars with pellets, breaking their windshields, denting the plates, and shooting out tires, causing the chassis to lower close to the ground. This damage to government property caused the player to lose several points in his “cop” meter, which according to Pinho, will lead other police officers to arrest the player on sight if it gets too low.
Jumping into an undamaged car, we went out for a patrol of the city. Investigations, speed fines, and even bank robberies are part of the job, and they are all recreated in Police Simulator 18. Even the inside of cars are fully functional, allowing you to drive in first person and answer to radio call-ins just like real cops do.
The game can be played alone in single player or with a friend in co-op, allowing two people to patrol the streets of the weirdly named Lonton Bay. Don’t forget to bring in donuts for the full “US cop” experience. Built on Unreal Engine 4, it all looks pretty, but animations and car movements could use a lot of work -- given the game has no release date, there is still plenty of time to improve.
Police Simulator 18 is expected in Spring 2018 for PC, and you can follow it here.