In the 1970’s, cop shows were all the rage and everyone had their favorites. The characters were usually larger than life caricatures of real cops which made it very interesting to follow the shows through multiple seasons. As a way to pay homage to those days long past, Modern Dream, the indie developer behind the games Typing of the Dead, The Button Affair and The Cat that Got the Milk, has made available through the Steam Early Access program their new 70’s inspired game, LA Cops. It is a fast-paced, action packed, 3D top-down shooter set against a backdrop of 1970s cops in Los Angeles trying to clean up the mean streets with nothing but their wits and their skills as no-nonsense officers of the law, one shootout at a time. Can you dig it, baby? Solid!
LA Cops is a rad action game with a tactical aspect that sees you and a partner cleaning up the tough streets of 70s Los Angeles. It is reminiscent of games like Hotline Miami but with isometric graphics instead and a more deliberate pace. While the shootouts can get pretty bloody, the game is done in a fun tongue-in-check style that never really takes itself too seriously. To get started, you simply navigate to the squad room, maybe grab a doughnut, and see which officers are available for duty.
You get six cops to choose from in Early Access (one is not shown).
At the beginning of the levels, you get to choose two cops to take out into the city. During the levels, you can switch between the two at the press of a button so that as you clear the rooms with one cop, the other is covering your a$$. If your current weapon runs out of ammunition, you simply walk over the corpses of the fallen bad guys who will drop their weapons and you can either replenish your clip or pick up a totally different weapon. To clear the level, each will have a certain number of goals that must be met before you can proceed to the next level. There is also a touch of RPG elements in LA Cops so as you meet the level objectives, your cops abilities will increase making her/him an even more 70s styled bada$$.
The graphics in LA Cops have a unique, ’70s, psychedelic-cartoon style that is very interesting and seems to work well in both cut-scenes and in-game action. There isn’t a lot of detail in the character models or in the environments as everything seems to be a little flat and drab but that is something that can be addressed as the team at Modern Dream is putting the final touches on the game. The isomorphic design of the game seems to compliment the art style as it gives you a glimpse of the environments from a 360 degree birds eye view. These environments, I should mention, are not your typical static playing fields as the player has the ability to rotate the levels so that enemies can’t get the drop on you. The pure 1970s decor and style is where the heart of this game lays and what will ground you into the story and the events that take place.
You can swivel the environments around so you can see behind columns, walls or furniture.
LA Cops is currently available in Steam Early Access for just $11.99 and will be coming soon to console and PC as a full release. While you get five full stages to start out with, the price at this point seems to be a little steep at the moment. The full release will feature many more levels so if you can wait it out, there will be more content to devour at some point in the future. For now, your contribution will go towards helping the developers to finish the game. It looks like this game could shape up to be a hit for Modern Dream if they are able to keep up the pace throughout the levels and make leveling up the characters a fun endeavor.