Police Tactics: Imperio came as a bit of a surprise to me. When I was trying to figure out what I wanted to review, my research into the game suggested that the main issue would be the UI. A lot of Steam reviews mentioned that the interface in this (and previous similar games from CyberphobX) might be a bit of a nightmare. And while it’s fair to say that there are better UI’s out there, the rest of the game is quite fun. It does seem slightly under polished, but not dramatically so and never to the point of being a deal breaker.
I’d certainly not describe it as Game Of The Year material, but it’s an enjoyable enough game, with just enough depth. There’s a wide variety of different types of officer, each of which has different uses. For instance, the Investigator isn’t someone you’d send out to work Patrol, while a Special Operator wouldn’t make a good crime scene investigator. Having said that, the game does leave you to learn from your mistakes and the tutorial teaches you enough to know the basics, before largely leaving you to it.
The best asset of the game is that by and large, you’ll rarely have quite as many officers as you might need to deal with all the different kinds of incidents that crop up. It makes a really good challenge out of figuring out what your main priorities are and what you can afford to let slide (for now at least). There’s a story of sorts, but it’s pretty much throw-away stuff and doesn’t especially influence the actual game all that much. But this works in it’s favour, I’d say. The strength of this game is in saying “Right, here’s what you’ve got. What are you going to do with it?”. The weakness is the lack of involvement that the game creates due to a somewhat lacklustre crime resolution system.
There are several different types of crimes going on, each of which has it’s own difficulty level, which you need to at least match with the right quality and type of police officer if you want to bring the wrong doer’s to justice. Having said that, the crime resolution’s are quite dull. If it’s happening there and then, it’ll usually end up in either an immediate arrest or a long protracted shoot out which you have absolutely no control over. This game is the ultimate in “click and forget”, with all your involvement in solving the crimes being selecting the officer(s) to send and then clicking on the crime location. Once that’s done, sit back and wait, occasionally sending other officers to sort out other crimes that are popping up. That’s either a blessing or a curse depending on where you stand, but for me, the pacing was, while a little bit slow at times, fairly true to life. There’s no specific time for higher crimes, although if you let your area’s safety rating drop too low, naturally the crime levels will become much higher.
Police Tactics: Imperio is going to be a game that your either going to really enjoy or really, really not like at all. If you want something that’s gritty and pulls you in, then there are probably other games you might prefer. Personally, I found it to be a pretty decent simulator, if a bit lightweight. It’s a nice enough way to spend a couple of hours here and there, although it’s unlikely to really hook you. It’s currently £14.99 on Steam, and while that’s not a bad price for a game that can last pretty much as long as you let it, and has endless replayability, I’d probably wait till there’s a sale going before picking it up.
By no means am I saying that it’s a bad game or unworthy of any attention, however as the game is right now, there’s still a lot of room for improvement. If the developer decides to make some reasonable upgrades to the game and continues adding polish to it, then there’s a lot of potential to make a very good, very enjoyable police simulator.
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