G-Police Weapons of Justice
Among 1997's crop of Psygnosis games, two stood out from the pack, due to their unique futuristic design Vk and intriguing gameplay: Colony Wars and G-Police. Now that Psygnosis has already released a much-improved sequel to Colony Wars, many have been wondering what the G-Police sequel would be like. Well, the suspense is over now that Psygnosis has given us a beta of G-Police Weapons of Justice to play.
While the previous installment of high-flying helicopter action had been a critical success, there were still a few, substantial criticisms leveled at it, most notably the extremely problematic draw-in. Buildings and enemies would pop up only a few feet in front of you, causing much confusion. This famous draw-in problem has been met with a clever solution. Each craft now has something called an "echo-location" system. What this means is buildings and ships far off in the distance will be rendered in wire-frames until they're revealed in full 3D models (if you've played Krazy Ivan for the Saturn, you know how this works).
Numerous other features have been implemented to improve the overall playing experience. To begin with, in addition to the original helicopters, three new vehicles have been added to the game. These are the Raptor (a two-legged ground attack craft), the Corsair space craft, and a ground-based police car. While the original control scheme is still intact, an additional "arcade" setup is included to give the game an easier learning curve. In addition, weapon variety has been increased from 14 to 25 different weapons, each mission will have multiple objectives, enemy Al has been enhanced and mission briefings will be clearer and enhanced with audio cues. To top it off. even the HUD has been cleaned up for easier reading. In Weapons of justice, you also have ground forces that will aid your progress and help take over hostile installations.
Keeping the G-Police story line moving smoothly is the addition of in-game cutscenes rendered with the game engine, as well as CG FMV's at the beginning and the end of the game. Due to arrive in stores this May, G-Police Weapons of Justice looks like it may put to rest all of the problems the first incarnation had, while adding more than enough to warrant the sequel. Aiming for the feel of the old while adding an exciting new chapter to the series, fans of the original have a lot to look forward to this spring.
- MANUFACTURER - Psygnosis
- THEME - ACTION
- NUMBER OF PLAYERS - 1
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I have to be honest...I wasn't looking forward to reviewing G-Police 2 since the first one was so freakin' difficult. Thankfully, part two isn't near as tricky as the first one, which makes the game much more fun. In fact, GP 2 has a definite arcade feel compared to the first game--which I enjoy. GP 2 still has the same type of objective-based missions where you control your heli-craft around a futuristic, domed city, but this time they're a tad more simple--but not so simple the game becomes too easy. GP 2 also has a couple new vehicles to tool around in: the ground-based armored attack vehicle and mech-like chicken walker. Problem is, even though they're tons of fun to mess around with, controlling these new machines gets old rather quickly and doesn't really add much to the overall experience. The main problems are this sequel is just as dark as the original, and still has terrible draw-in. I'm afraid the PlayStation, though an amazing machine, just can't handle the stuff GP 2 is throwing at it. Sure, the frame-rate usually stays high but that's because you can only see 10 feet in front of you! I like the addition of the slight wireframe in the distance to help "hide" the draw-in, but it still looks bad. GP 2 has its problems, but it also has plenty of fun missions to play through, and a lot of extra stuff to open up after you do chowin.
G-Police 2 promises the type of immersive flight-combat action I crave. Too bad the graphics don't deliver on that promise. The detailed cityscapes make for a draw distance just as measly as the first game's. But aside from that gripe, G-Police 2 is a slick shooter with a gradual difficulty curve that keeps things from getting frustrating (rare for a Psygnosis game). I like the new vehicles, although they don't add much to the gameplay.
So...we get wireframe scenery to compensate for the crappy draw-distance, but even that fizzles out just in front of your nose. It's like being a pilot with cataracts. The scenery looks great--but you can hardly see any of it. What's the point of that? Although I love the whole Blade Runner ambience, the look of the thing is so obstructive, it sucks. The whole thing hangs together a bit better than the first game, but I can't recommend it at all.
There comes a time when a game outgrows the system it's on. G-Police 2 just doesn't seem to fit right on PlayStation. The game itself is really good--futuristic mission-based cop game where you take out the bad guys and save the day. Missions have enough variety to keep you busy for days. But when you're flying a helicopter around a city and can't see past 20 feet in front of you, there's a problem. Fans of the original G-Police will find lots to like about this sequel.
The futuristic cops of G-Police return in Weapons of Justice, which looks to top the original in every department with more weapons, missions, and an improved enemy A.I. The most striking new feature, however, is the additional vehicles. You can pilot a car and a mech (both for ground-based combat), and then jump into the cockpit of a spaceship for some deep-space shooting. The beta version featured silky-smooth controls and challenging missions, but the graphics were plagued by pop-up and draw-in. If the developers can arrest these problems, Weapons could be a top fall title.
This game picks up where the original G-Police left off. The war is finally over on Callisto but, unfortunately, crime and fighting are as popular as ever. You and the other G-Police forces are the only ones standing against the crime syndicates and thus preventing civil war. Sadly, the G-Police forces are a bit thin and generally are unable to mop up the bad guys on their own, so the marines are sent in to help you out of this mess
I never played the original G-Police so I really didn’t know what to expect. My initial reaction was frustration because I couldn’t seem to quite get the hang of flying the Hover. The problem was that I would hit thrust and wouldn’t ever let up on it -- this didn’t help when trying to twist and turn among the buildings and still trying to keep my target on the bad guy. More often than not I found myself banging into a building or just moving around hoping to get off a single shot. The magic secret (for me anyway) was to take things a little bit slower, pivoting on the y-axis and not thrusting all the time. With this little nugget of gold I was soon blasting enemies away with ease and if they tried to run away, I’d follow them and finish off the job. So the first vehicle, the Hover, didn’t take long to master at all and I found myself getting involved more and more. After a couple of missions I got to fly the Venom which is a lot like the Hover except it has better firepower and space-faring capabilities.
After a while I got to check out the Rhino. This puppy looks like a police car on steroids. Even though it has a gun that automatically tries to ward off ships, it doesn’t always do the job so you’re often outrunning the ships, zigzagging to your next destination. Once you get there there are some cool weapons at your disposal like the arching missile launcher and a big cannon. Speed fast enough and you can use a turbo boost or if you need to make a quick stop then a handbrake is within reach (the sound of using the handbrake was especially pleasing). This is a fun little car and one of my favorites. You also get a Mech-like ground assault vehicle called the Raptor that is a blast and, lastly, you can fly a Corsair air ship.
Psygnosis also did a great job of making this more than just single person missions. Sure, you start off by yourself but you soon get to command a wingman or two and a ground assault team. This gives the game some strategy aspects because you can decide who to target and how much firepower to throw at them. The missions themselves are interesting in that you’re given some objectives in the beginning but sometimes something goes haywire and your objectives suddenly change. You’re never quite sure if you should use all your missiles while accomplishing an objective because you might suddenly get a new one and wish you’d saved a couple. The game does a great job of giving a decent storyline to follow with each mission, and every new weapon you get has a bucket load of cool tech sounding specs and details.
The graphics are decent close up but can be a bit frustrating at times. The environment is so great that they had to sacrifice the far-off scenery. They tried to make up for it by making everything a wire frame that gets painted in when you get closer. Although this is a clever solution it is still irritating when you see a green square and you don’t know if it’s an enemy or a friend until a laser or two hits you. Overall you’ll appreciate why they did this when you fly around this futuristic planet that is busy with commuters, cool looking buildings, and other normal city objects. The developers definitely pushed the limits of Playstation’s hardware.
The audio is also superb with what seems like unique sounds for every single ship. The sounds of lasers, bullets, and missiles are incredible and even the normal city activity will make your ears perk. As if that wasn’t enough they also accompanied the mission text with a narrator that reads it out loud. This is great for the little kiddies (although moms might not appreciate it).
This game is fun. If you liked the original G-Police then chances are you’ll love this one. The graphics are gorgeous (although a bit irritating at times), the sounds are incredible, and the gameplay will keep you busy for hours. I suggest renting it if you’re a bit unsure although I doubt you’ll be sorry if you buy it
Lock and load for the second G-Police tour of duty! The flying shooter from Psygnosis returns with more weapons and an engrossing plot.
Back to the Future
Weapons of Justice brings players back to the domed cities of tomorrow, where law is enforced via armored helicopter/jet hybrids. The war from the first game has ended, and the cops are in charge...for the time being. Unfortunately, the 6-Police face unruly citizens and increasingly well-organized crime syndicates. To make matters worse, the marines are stepping in...but whose side are they on?
Death From Above...and Below
G-Police: Weapons of Justice packs 30 new missions--and this time you'll strike from both land and air in five vehicles. A.I.-controlled fellow officers can assist you, but enemy forces can work together, too.
Psygnosis is also promising an easier learning curve and Dual Shock analog controls that aren't as frustrating as the original's. Hopefully, the draw-in that plagued the first won't return, either.