Future Cop LAPD
Take a bite out of crime with L.A.P.D. 2100, a mech-style action game from the team that gave you the chopper-based Strike series.
"Serve, Protect, Survive"
Your vehicle can arm itself with over 30 weapons, most of which are found scattered throughout each level. In addition to "walking mode," your mech can transform into a hovercraft for increased speed.In the gameplay department, L.A.P.D. features three modes of play: a one-player Story mode and two two-player games (head-to-head and cooperative) that both use a split-screen view.
In the year 2100, gangs rule the streets and have completely overrun Los Angeles (whaddya mean, in the future?). To help battle the growing lawlessness, the police department uses walking mechs that are armed to the teeth: Think of the ED-209 robot from the movie RoboCop, and you'll get the idea.
A New Way To Strike
In the Story mode, L.A.P.D. features 12 levels, each crowned by an end boss. Like those in the Strike games, the missions are long and have multiple objectives. Combat zones include a plethora of locations that range from heavily populated urban areas to aqueducts on the outskirts of town. The stage geography is vital for any strategy you may use: In some instances, you'll have to use long-range weapons that can vault missiles up and over tall structures.
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While it's true EA realized the Strike games needed some changes to compete with today's Command & Conquer series, it also realized (thankfully) solid action will never take second place to multiple-objective missions. That's why Future Cop (formerly titled L.A.P.D. 2100 and, before that, Future Strike) is so much fun--it's C&C for itchy-fingered action morons.
Future Cop sets you up as a cop in futuristic Los Angeles, where your missions vary from destroying weapon sites to rescuing hostages, all of which you accomplish in a very Robocop-ish ED-209, called a "walker." You can also transform into a speedy hovercraft that can skim over long distances much more quickly, adding to the action element of the game. And action is what Future Cop is all about. You blast buildings, vehicles, and human opponents with alarming vehemence as you find weapons along the way to help you achieve your ultimate goal of ridding L.A. of some nasty gang warlords.
Along with adding split-screen and cooperative two-player modes to the game, EA enhanced the basic Strike engine with a multiplayer capture-the-flag game that lets Strike fans battle each other for supreme cop dominance.
Future Cop's graphics, sound, and control all live up to and surpass their counterparts in EA's Strike series, and the game has even better pre-rendering and motion-captured fluidity than Soviet Strike's. As for Fun Factor, you'll be halfway through the game before you realize you're playing a Strike game, so detractors had better put their arguments on hold. Future Cop is fun, pure and simple, and just the kind of game that borderline C&C fans would love to own.
- Save the shield regenerators until you really need them. You get only about three in each level.
- The second boss has a tough attack pattern. Make sure to shoot the annoying gang members around him first, then destroy the tower he resides in piece by piece. As he ascends, run up the gangplank and continue to blast him.
- The hovercraft is useful in situations where speed is important--like darting past the flame bank in this level so you can get behind it and hit the switch that turns the flames off.
- As soon as you gain a height advantage in a level, look for targets that you can destroy by using the mortars. This will help you get past some sticky situations later on.
Excellent miniature graphics-including some gory special effects with human characters-and well-detailed vehicles are partially offset by too many offscreen battles that will have you shooting blindly at phantom targets.
The analog and standard controls are both a breeze to use. Simple three-button weapon discharge and the absence of sub-menu weapon switching intensify the action. But turning the bulky walker and steering the sensitive hovercraft require practice.
The central dispatcher has a pleasant female voice that's never too hard on the ears, and all the explosions rock out the PlayStation's sound set. The overexaggerated boss voices are grating, however, while the vehicle effects could have used some fine-tuning.
It helps if you're a fan of the Strike series, but even first-timers will easily get the hang of Future Cop. Blasting bad guys and destroying the scenery while remaining true to your "protect and serve" ideology is a great diversion. Future Cop is fantastic fun.
I'll give Future Cop one thing--you'll get blown to bits if you go into a level with guns a-blazin' and no plan of attack. This game is not some mindless shoot-'em-up. Future Cop is very challenging--most of the time because of tough enemies, objectives and other obstacles. Problem is, other times the challenge comes in the form of bad control (at least when your vehicle is in its mech form). Basically this changes challenge into frustration. Why there are so many thin walkways and platform jumps I don't know. When you throw in enemies flying around blasting you, things can seem downright impossible. Dying because of a fall or because it's hard to turn around is no fun at all. The hovercraft on the other hand handles quite well. The game-play is along the same lines as one of the Strike games, except with a police theme instead of a military one. It works pretty well, but I'm not sure why EA didn't just call the game Cop Strike or something like that. Keep in mind, you have to play into this one for a few levels before things start getting interesting. At first it seems rather average. Overall, the game's not incredible, but it's worth checking out (especially if you're a fan of the Strike games). I'd have to recommend renting it first to see if you dig it or not. One last thing: What's with the lame name?
FC: L.A.P.D. makes for a decent one-player game, as long as you don't play it like most conventional shoot-'em-ups. You have to take things slow and dart for cover, or the game gets too hard too quickly. But the real perks here are the multiplayer options. You get a Versus Mode, which has you protecting your fort from player two. I prefer going through the missions in Co-op Mode, despite the occasional freaky camera angle.
I like Future Cop. No, it's not the greatest game of all time, but the diverse missions, decent graphics and different play modes make for an interesting romp, if nothing more. Sometimes the game is a bit tedious in both control and difficulty but overall I'm pleased. Destroying crazed drug dealers and insane crime lords is always a pleasure (I do it in real life all the time). Kidding aside, Future Cop is worth checking out.
Future Cop may seem like a mindless blasting game at first, but it turns into quite a strategic experience. You'll need to think before you blast as well as experiment with the various weaponry on each stage. On the downside, the camera angles can't be manually controlled and the scrolling is jerky at times. The toughest pill to swallow is that you have to start over from the beginning of a stage if you die. Challenging, but fun!
Thanks to a registered 9.1 earthquake, Los Angeles is now out of control. The gangs have taken over every area. These are not just street punks, they're a mob armed to the teeth with rocket launchers, flame throwers, and other weapons ready to take out the police. And that's just the ground troops! You are the police and you must take control of the situation.
This game has two modes: Crime War mode and Precinct Assault mode.
In Crime War mode, you must work through each of the zones in Los Angeles defeating all of the ground troops and the zone boss. You control the X-1 Alpha, a motorized convertible hovercraft walking warrior thing. It's got armor and three slots for different weapons. As you work through the game, you add to the variety of weapons you can put in each of the slots
You need to destroy anything that would destroy you. The cool thing is that each of your three weapon types will lock onto targets. You simply need to decide which weapon is the most appropriate and pull the trigger
You must manage getting rid of the threats to your health while making sure you don't run out of ammunition before you make it to the next reloader. For ground troops, you'll want to use your basic guns. This takes them out quickly and this is the ammunition you start with the most of. For armored turrets and other fixed baddies, your heavy missiles and lasers are a better option. You start with a good helping of these, but if you overuse them, you'll run out too soon. For out of reach targets, your special weapons are the best. Again with this weapon, fire sparingly.
You also must figure out where to go next. Some zones are tricky and your mission is stated in general terms. If you get lost, you have a radar with a green mark to show you which direction to go next. It also has yellow dots for refuel stations and red dots for the bad guys. As with most games of this nature, if something looks strange, there is probably more to it than meets the eye. Make sure you exhaust all of your possible actions. If that doesn't work, look around. Sometimes things change slightly in the areas where you've been to open up a new path.
Status can be saved and/or passwords written down after completing each zone. One annoying thing about the game is that if you have a hard time at the end of a zone you are going to have to repeat the whole thing again and again. This makes the game take a little longer to play through and it gets really repetitive. I'd rather see new stuff more quickly, so I would rather have it save my progress after each section of the zone.
The game has an opening sequence that includes an explanation of the situation by a dispatcher with a pleasant voice. She's generally helpful throughout the game and will give you specific tips on how to solve some of the puzzles. She also makes it clear in the first zone, she needs a date for the policeman's ball -- so she has a vested interest in your health! My apologies to you female gamers, the assumption is that only men will be playing this game. It might be nice if you could tell the game your gender.
The realism of the game has a few weak spots. While the X-1 Alpha can strafe (walk sideways) whenever you want, it doesn't look very realistic. There is a lot of planted foot sliding going on. Also the jump ability can get very tiring as it doesn't transition well from walking or running to jumping and back. Finally, when you walk by things, your X-1 Alpha can stick to them, sometimes when it looks clearly as if you didn't even touch it.
The controls are complex but after a few games, they seem intuitive. You have buttons for strafing left or right, selecting targets, firing each of your three weapons, and for other actions like calling elevators. Also, if you press L1 and R1 at the same time you convert between hovercraft and walking robot.
The music is upbeat and helps you stay in the mood to conquer. Some of the levels sound more haunting, so if you're not into evil, you'll want to adjust the sound. The options allow you to turn down the music and turn up the voices. I found this to be helpful as I wanted to hear what the dispatcher was saying clearly without her being drowned out by the tunes and destruction sound effects.
In Precinct Assault mode, you can either play by yourself or with a friend. It is a lot different from the Crime War mode. In it you start off with 10 points to spend and so does your opponent. You gain more points as you destroy units controlled by your opponent. You can buy basic units or buy an outpost or buy big Dreadnot units. You can run around the field and claim turrets or take on enemy units yourself. The artificial intelligence increases after every victory. This mode is very addictive.
The graphics of the land and units are highly detailed and would look better on a larger television. It's a multi-tiered game where you can climb on top of buildings or walls or slip under tunnels or walkways. There can be a ton of action on the screen but it is still not too hard to keep track of what's going on. The small red line connecting you to the target you are locked onto is very cool.
This is definitely a game worth renting and probably more than once. Despite it's weaknesses, it's fun and innovative. It's the kind of game that brings out your inner child, driving around a killer robot with lots of cool weapons. The levels are diverse and challenging and finely detailed. It's really a heckuva lot of fun.