There was one game in the Rezzed indie game section at EGX that repeatedly caught my eye. I walked past the booth several times became ever more interested each time I saw it being played. Unfortunately, for a long while, the game was really busy with people spending a considerable amount of time playing it. I finally got a chance to play it, and from the moment the introductory video played, I knew I was playing a potential Game of the Show. That game? Giant Cop of course.
The premise is simple, as explained in the above video, you are a Giant Cop who is being tasked with keeping the peace in Micro City. This kicked off some deep philosophical questions in my mind:
Are you a giant cop in a city where everything else is comparatively normally sized?
Are you a normal human cop living in an alternative world where entire cities are built on a micro scale?
These questions hovered around my mind for about 10 seconds, and then I started playing the game, and those questions disappeared from conscious thought. If you look at the header image, and watch the trailer, you get an instant sense of time and place – you are taking part in your own 70s cop show. Everything ranging from the clothes the citizens of Micro City wear, to the cars they drive, just shouts 70s to you. That’s a great thing as not enough games take the chance to explore one of the more iconic decades of popular culture. Of course, having a 70s setting and the idea of a Giant Cop is one thing, but what really brought it all together for me was the art style.
I’ll let the pictures and the video do the talking on the art style. It’s safe to say, the first thing that caught my eye about the game (even before seeing the name of the game) was the art style. That’s what got me to keep returning to the booth to watch people playing it before taking my turn.
After the awesome introductory video, I was quickly guided through the ways of looking after Micro City in my Giant Cop persona. An objective list in the top left corner keeps your goals in clear sight and mind, with one of the first objectives being to identify those experiencing a severe case of public intoxicity, picking that person up in your giant hands, and depositing them into the police station. To help you identify the perps, a little pop-out video box appeared, as it would with each new crime you would unlock for policing.
Once you deposit a crim in your police station, you earn some money which can be used to unlock new crimes to fight, or to purchase patrol cars which can ultimately automate the processing of low-level criminals. You also get to purchase a helicopter, this allows you to identify and stop major crimes. Is there a bank robbery taking place? Scroll around the map to find your helicopter which will be flying in the vicinity of the thieves. The thieves will try to escape your almighty Giant Cop gaze by sneaking around buildings, or even jumping into a getaway car.
If you’re having trouble stopping the thieves, you can pick up the car of an innocent bystander and put it in the escape route of the robbers. They’ll be slowed down, allowing you to drag them away to their new home at the station.
Being a Giant Cop, you have this perfect birds-eye view of your citizens. But what happens if you can’t spot anyone committing a crime? The answer is simple, make them commit a crime yourself. If you are being tasked with arresting five people for jaywalking but can’t spot anyone committing this evil and heinous crime, what do you do? Pick them up off the sidewalk, and leave them in the middle of the road with nothing to do but jaywalk.
I won’t spoil any other ways you can make your citizens commit a crime, but there are some great options open to you. The one thing I will say at this early stage of development though, is that there weren’t enough hints towards your powers to make people become a criminal. That’s a minor complaint though, as I had more than enough fun watching people mill around Micro City and flinging nudists into jail, or busting down on street racers by throwing their cars into buildings, or doing the right thing and taking their car to the impound.
It’s a really fun game, and one that I am really happy to have seen and had the chance to check out at EGX. If you want more details on the game, subscribe to the mailing list on the Giant Cop website.