G-Police

a game by Psygnosis
Genre: Action
Platforms: PC Playstation PSX
Editor Rating: 8.2/10, based on 4 reviews
Rate this game:

No, G Police from Psygnosis isn't about a band of gangsta police officers. The game is about a futuristic helicopter police force that makes sure things are safe on the ground and in the air.

The mission-based action title (35 missions total) takes the best parts of Black Dawn and some of the neo-futuristic elements of Syndicate and throws in a lot of originality for a concoction that gamers should think is delicious. G Police is the big one for Psygnosis-the one they're sinking all of their bean into.

G Police takes place on Callisto, one of Jupiter's moons where recent gang warfare has been escalating. Although it is unknown in the first missions, the recent crime has a lot to do with mega corporations on the moon colony.

Some missions take players to robberies that turn ugly when the criminals start firing on you, but it's nothing a couple of rockets can't take care of. The mission then unfolds into a larger one with air enemies and a lot more firepower.

While traveling from city to city in the massive colony (50 cities altogether), players will have to use their craft to outmaneuver and then take the enemy down as quick as possible (or at least quick as the objective requires). Players can switch to different views so they can get the best bead on whatever they have to investigate or destroy. In some cases, players will have to switch to an overhead view for a bombing mission on corporation buildings, or to a behind-the-heli view for you won't ram into the side of a bridge. Some views are just for show.

G Police features a large array of weapons to choose from, including different types of missiles and bombs, lasers and a cannon, among others. Players can also choose to have air support from a wingman. This is especially useful when attacking large enemies or huge targets (like enemy buildings, etc.). Another weapon that proves to be necessary in later missions is the EPP. The EPP creates an electromagnetic shield around the enemy so his/her vehicle stops operating. In some missions, this is required so the ground squad can come in and arrest him/her (instead of you destroying him/her like normal).

The graphics effects on the weapons are incredible-looking, but then again what else is expected from Psygnosis, the company that defined the style of cool weapon and explosion effects on the PlayStation.

The graphics in the game (as far as the polygons go) are very detailed, with little pop-up due to the inventive use of fogging. All the levels in this beta version of G Police took place inside a dome city. The city has vehicles on the streets and plenty of structures to zig and zag around. All seemed normal until the little blip on the radar turned out to be a bad guy. All of this happens at 30 frames per second.

  • MANUFACTURER - Psygnosis
  • THEME - ACTION
  • NUMBER OF PLAYERS - 1

Game Reviews

Overview/Storyline

This action game is set exactly 100 years in the future in 2097 (not nearly as far ahead as most computer games). Earlier that century, the earth's natural resources had been depleted, and tense competition over declining resources had led to a major war. Powerful multinational corporations united in victory and forced governments to demilitarize, while exploring space to strengthen their position of power. A government-sponsored multinational force called G-Police (the government police), composed of volunteers flying outmoded HAVOC helicopters, was established to keep order and prosecute criminal elements in the population at large. You play the role of a new recruit to this force, and in addition to the normal responsibilities, you attempt to uncover the mysterious circumstances surrounding the apparent suicide of your sister (while she was part of the G-Police).

In the course of the game you fly 35 strategic combat missions taking place in 51 3-D cityscapes and environments. You battle menacing rebel ships in the air and heavily armed installations on the ground, and you may destroy not only enemy craft but also buildings, bridges, and ground traffic. The setting is quite fluid, and you may fly your helicopter under buildings and walkways, as well as around or over them.

Gameplay/Controls/Interface

G-Police combines characteristics of an action shooter and a flight simulator, and as such provides quite a challenge for even the most experienced game player. The pace of the action is fast and furious, and quick reflexes are a must. Missions are more diverse than simply the "blow-everything-up-in-sight" variety. Each mission is preceded by well-done mission briefings and weapon data screens. There are 14 different weapons systems in the game, all of which are well-planned and quite enjoyable to deploy.

Although I found the colorful cockpit Heads-Up Display slightly less intuitive than in other games, the menus in the game are both attractive and well organized. You can choose to play a new mission, load an old mission, engage in training, or set game options (determining audio quality and volume, graphics quality, and keyboard or joystick controls). There is no multiplayer option in the game, which somewhat limits the replay value.

The biggest problem with the gameplay -- and it is a major one -- revolves around the user controls. Because this game combines shooter and simulator characteristics, using a joystick (preferred) or game pad is essential. Unfortunately, although G-Police nicely supports a variety of models of these two input devices, the controls are much too sensitive. If you try to perform a subtle movement, you move too way too fast. Given the high speed at which your enemies fly around and the constant presence of immovable obstacles in your flight path, not to mention the considerable artificial intelligence they have in eluding your attacks, this touchiness in the control is quite frustrating.

A second problem is that the viewing depth, even when set at the farthest distance, seems to be much too short for effective gameplay. Put quite simply, you are not able to see far enough ahead of you to avoid constantly crashing into buildings or the grid fence surrounding your locale. It's even difficult to avoid accidentally flying right into enemy gunfire. Speaking of the grid fences, they detract from the realism of the gameplay; other means could have been used more effectively to set the spatial limits on flight within a particular mission. Part of the fun of playing a game like this is feeling as if you can fly wherever you want to scope out the mission objectives or get a better attack angle to deal with your enemies; instead, in this game you develop an intense feeling of nearsighted claustrophobia.

Graphics

Assuming you have 3D video accelerator support, the graphics in this game are quite beautiful. The choice of colors, the lighting effects and the explosions are especially gorgeous. All the visuals are extremely consistent in tone, portraying ominous combat in foreboding cityscapes of the future. But I did not find the background settings quite as overwhelmingly detailed and attractive as those in Blue Byte's Extreme Assault (which still in my mind sets the standard here). The full-motion video segments in the game, available at high resolution with proper hardware support, are much more intricate than in most other games.

Audio

The music in this game is superb and exhilarating while not overwhelming your senses. The sound effects and vocal effects are also excellent. Every aspect of the audio is extremely sharp and clear. However, it was indeed a bother that this game is one of the few that permanently alters my default system volumes for digital sound and CD-audio after I quit playing.

Documentation

A nicely written and organized black-and-white jewel case manual, called the G-Police Handbook, is included with the game. The information is presented in a clear and straightforward way, without a lot of frills or hip humor, and it is more than adequate for its task. It should be noted that the detailed background story of the game is not in this manual and is only available through the opening video.

System Requirements

The minimum system requirements for this game are a Pentium 133 CPU, 16 MB RAM, 4X CD-ROM drive, a Direct Sound compatible sound card, and the Windows 95 operating system. These specifications are on the high end of newly-released games, particularly when you take into account that (1) 32 MB of RAM, 4 MB of video RAM, and a 3D accelerator card are highly recommended and that (2) the game supports Intel's MMX and AGP technologies.

Bottom Line

This is a tough game for me render an overall judgment. On the one hand, it is exactly the kind of action shooter I love to play, and its graphics and music are wonderful; on the other hand, controlling the helicopter was too difficult and seeing far ahead was nearly impossible. Also, I never felt the kind of absorbing addiction to the game I had been so eagerly anticipating. Perhaps its roots as a video/console game before being ported to the PC have something to do with these issues. In any case, if you really want a true challenge to your hand-eye coordination, this one's for you.

Overview

You are the hot new recruit in the young G-Police force. The G-Police stands for Government Police and it is now your job to keep good order within the colonies of earth and all off-world settlements. As a G-police officer, you have many rights (some of which bend the Constitution), but if it is in the name of stopping crime, I am all for it. As a member of the G-police, you are in charge of a DASA-Kamov HAVOC, which is your assault helicopter. This baby is loaded to the rim with arsenal and it is your job to pilot this bad boy through whatever mission is requested. Good luck!

G-Police is a 35 mission roller-coaster ride. You will pilot your chopper through the city buildings and tunnels. Air-to-air and ground-to-air combat is all here in this futuristic shooter. Sure, it is the 21st century. You don't expect crime to be gone in the future, do you?

Gameplay

G-Police is a game I had been waiting a long time for. Psygnosis has been hyping this one for a few months now, so when I finally got it I was pretty psyched. My initial impression was that the game was a lot different than I expected and it took some adjustments to get used to the flying. After a few hours, however, I started to get the hang of it a little better. I still have some difficulties and I will talk about these later.

The game is mission-based and you will be expected to to fly, to provide air-cover, to engage in dog fights, and to just blast the enemy out of the sky. Your chopper is equipped with numerous weapons ranging from standard cannons (machine gun), to rockets, to homing missiles. Each of the weapons are effective in different situations. You will find yourself relying on the cannon gun for most of your shooting since it is a rapid fire weapon that is not limited by quantity. You will have to make sure the gun does not overheat'keep it cool, and you can blast continual rounds into bad guys.

The game progresses through the different levels as your objectives are accomplished. Each level will have multiple objectives, so as you complete one objective, you move to the next until they are all complete. At the end of each level, you will see a recap of your kills and of your hit ratio. You will also be briefed on how many civilians you may have killed. If your mission is unsuccessful, your mission will immediately stop and you will return to the base. As the game progresses, the missions become more and more difficult and much longer. G-Police is so big and detailed, it is a 2 disc set.

One thing I had problems with in this game was aiming. I know that sounds funny because the basic premise of the game is to blast bad guys. If you can't aim, how will you ever win? I don't know why it was so difficult for me but I had a terrible time with any weapon that was not a homing device. I would shoot and miss constantly. Also, there were times that I felt like I was just slamming another ship but it would not explode. Like I said, this may have just been me, but I found it quite difficult.

Another thing that I had problems with in this game was becoming disoriented. If I started to fly up, it would always take me a few moments to straighten out and get my bearings. I think that this is an inherent problem in any game that gives you true 360 degree access. You could go whereever you wanted so long as there was no building or other object in the way. This is one of those good-but-also-bad things.

One of the coolest things in this game was the lighting effects and explosions. I have never seen explosions look this realistic. As you damage ships, they begin to show signs of being crippled. One engine may catch on fire, for example. When the plane does finally explode, it may or may not explode into thin air. Sometimes, if the ship is wounded and knows it is going down, the pilot will steer his plane into your allies on the ground, taking out a large number at one time. Also, if close to a building, the enemy planes will often smash into the side of the building and then explode. This was very cool.

One thing that this game could have not done without was the radar and the directional arrow pointing you towards the next objective. If you did not have this aid, you never would have been able to find your way around. Sure, the cities were beautiful and detailed but everything started to look the same after a while. No problem. Just look at your trusty radar, point you chopper in the direction of the arrow and off you go. Also, another cool feature was the voice that came across the radio. How may times have you played a game that has useless radio chatter? The radio is used perfectly in this game. Any time you complete a mission, the guy on the radio tells you good job and instructs you on your next mission. This was much better than having to remember from the start of the level or having to pause the game and read your mission.

Graphics

This game has some of the best graphics I have seen, but it has some other annoying little graphical problems. First, everything is excellent looking. All of the buildings, vehicles, planes, and people look awesome. You really feel like you are flying through the middle of the city. The annoyance was your limited visibility. I think that since they made everything so detailed, the Playstation could only handle so much. So the end result is anything that is not in the near vicinity is shrouded in darkness. This was lame and it also made it difficult to maneuver at times.

Bottom Line

If you are a fan of air combat type games, you will probably enjoy this game. The explosions and graphics are awesome, although I found that I struggled with the aiming. I think this game could have been a little bit better if it was not constantly surrounded by a sea of darkness but I guess you have to give a little to get a little. This is a decent game that should keep you entertained for some time.

People say:

9.0

Leave it to Psygnosis to come up with another innovative game. G Police is a lot of fun to play, looks great and has some of the best computer-generated FMV I've seen (we're talking Tekken 2 quality here). The game is a mix between Warhawk and Black Dawn, but to compare it to either of them doesn't really do the game justice. I really liked being able to fly anywhere I wanted (well, anywhere inside the walls of a futuristic city) and the missions they had were cool. I was a huge fan of Syndicate back in the day. and that's what G Police reminds me of in a sense. Granted you don't have any cyborg assassins to control in G-Police, but the mood of the game is along the same lines. And need I say the game has awesome lighting effects? Psygnosis is practically the leader in this Field. Another good point is the voice-overs. I'm pretty critical when it comes to crappy voice-acting, just because it's so obvious that they hired a bad actor to do the voice, but there's no sign of that in G Police. My main gripe is the pop-up. They did a decent job of hiding it through a kind of shad ow effect, but it still looks pretty weird. For instance, when you're flying near the corner of a city and you know the corner is there, it's all blacked out. For what they were working with on the PlayStation though, they did a great pick it up.

8.5

G Police has the most incredible cityscapes ever seen in a game (despite the draw-in problems). There's just something too cool about chasing bogies between skyscrapers and above traffic-jammed streets. No game since Snatcher has created such a Blade Runner-esque atmosphere. The more than 30 missions come in a wide variety, too, and the cinemas and radio chatter complete this slick package. I only wish it controlled better.

8.0

G Police is a slick, Blade Runner-ish 3-D shooter. I'm not one easily impressed by full-motion video, but G Police has some of the best cut scenes I've seen in a while. It takes a while to get used to the game control, but when you do, you're good to go. The detail is impressive, the music has a cool techno beat and the polygonal graphics are excellent as well. These elements combine to make an immersive gaming experience.

8.0

With G Police, Psygnosis reminds everyone why they are such a hip publisher. This stylish game builds a realistic and immersive world, via cinemas and story line, sights and sounds (the FMV is breathtaking!). The control left a little to be desired. Analog is too sensitive; digital is too clunky. Poor control+speedy gameplay+lots of buildings-a disaster (and one slightly frustrated reviewer). But it's no big deal; I still recommend it highly.

X More on GameFabrique Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

Download Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas