I was expecting a Lethal Weapon, what I got was more of a Dixon of Dock Green. I mean, all the elements for an exciting action-packed adventure are there. Motorbikes, maverick American cops, drug dealers, corrupt officials, guns. Youd think it would be impossible to miss out with those kind of ingredients, but Blue Force manages it.
Part of its problem is that it comes across as being so American middle-class suburban in its attitude that you find it very hard to take any of it seriously. Would you really expect hardened gang members to say things like: Sheeeit. Yo homeys pushin dis too far man? (And how do you pronounce anyway?) Of course it wouldnt be fair to condemn a game simply for its attitude, so Im going to condemn it for its lousy programming, its uninspired control method, its inability to create any kind of interest and its linear gameplay.
I hate linear adventure games. Okay, I know almost every adventure game on the market is essentially linear, but at least most of them try to hide the fact. Blue Force practically thrusts it in your face. For example, early in the game I have to try to find a baseball card for an unhappy kid. Earlier I had been in the same room as the baseball card, I had looked the baseball card and had tried to pick it up but for some reason I couldnt.
There was some kind of invisible force field around it preventing me from actually putting my hand on it and picking it up. Its not until later that I can go back, find it and then pick it up. I am firmly of the opinion that if something is on the screen you should be able to interact with it no matter what role it plays later on.
The end really came for me when I found myself involved in a shoot-out atop an island paradise. There I was, pinned down behind a large palm tree by a young punk with a semi-automatic. Id tried returning fire but it didnt seem to help. Neither did trying to talk my way out of it. Then, out of sheer luck (or was it desperation) came a solution that was pure Douglas Adams in style. Quite simply I figured that if completely ignored the fact that there was someone shooting at me, the problem would cease to exist in my mind and I would no longer be affected by it. Sure enough, I decided to just stand up and walk straight past him and couldnt believe my eyes when it worked.
I was able to just walk straight past someone shooting at me (or rather slide past since the graphic of me crouching behind the tree didnt actually change) and carry on as if nothing had happened. It was around this point in the game that 1 made my excuses and left. Only journalistic duty forced me to return to finish the thing, which, I might add, didnt take too long.
Thats another of the problems Blue Force contains, although to be fair it shares it with a lot of other adventures of late. No, on second thoughts, why should I be fair? Just because it fails to solve a problem that existed before it came along, thats no reason for me to let it off. Blue Force is almost completely unchallenging. To solve practically any of the puzzles you just laboriously click each of your possessions on the subject at hand to eventually come across the solution.
The only other way of solving things is to use your range of actions and with only Look, Talk, Pick Up and Walk to choose from, what you can do in any particular situation is extremely limited. To solve a tense hostage situation you simply continually talk to the man until he gives up. Phew, talk about excitement (although if you did it would be completely out of context). Its not like you even get to choose what to say.
Blue Force is quite simply a poor adventure game -in every department. I cant even rely on the graphics or sound to provide some kind of positive aspect as neither of those are anything special. The key to a good police adventure is filling it with action and excitement. The trouble with real police techniques (one of the games marketing points) is that real police techniques are dull. Games are like films, we play them to be entertained. We dont want documentaries, we want all-action heroes, defying death by the skin of their teeth and performing physically impossible stunts. If I wanted authentic police procedures Id watch Crime Monthly on tv.
Living In A Ghost Town
Looks big doesnt it? The truth of the matter is that in this entire city there only seems to be about 20 people milling around (and half of those never leave one location). It isnt hard to convey a busy city scene, just take a look at Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis. Whenever you were in a city location, there would always be random people just walking in and out of the scene (like movie extras). Whats more you could even talk to them. The only other game to get more realistic than that was Lure of the Temptress in which not only were people constantly milling around, they all had there own real lives if you decided to follow them around.
Blue Force could easily have done it. On this map screen you could have had little animated cars driving about. In the many street scenes you could have had people just wandering around (you wouldnt even have had to interact with them, just to see them would have been enough). As it is we have a city with a vast amount of real estate on offer and where the criminals outnumber the citizens (and there are only about six of them).
Download Blue Force
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP