Welcome to Sharpwood, a northern town remote from other cities, smugglers run rampant and gangs are everywhere and corruption is the norm. Jack Boyd, the main protagonist of This Is The Police, now has to help the new Sheriff, Lilly Reed and her dodgy bunch of officers in the Sheriff's department.
This Is The Police 2 is a police game like no other. Well, apart from the original This is the Police. Players have to manage their own cops, investigate criminals, and take down gangs while trying to keep out of prison themselves. Every outcome will depend on the decision you make, whether good or bad.
A strategy and adventure game at heart, This is the Police 2 is not a police simulator but more of a police management game with a lot of personnel management. Players must be financially mindful as well and not overspend on things that they don't need. For some missions, you may have to send out a police officer to question witnesses, finding out the information to piece it together with the statements on what happened and then you can crack the case and arrest the suspect.
The original This is the Police was a really enjoyable experience, but it needed some changes to elevate it. It looked excellent and the audio was great, yet it got very repetitive after a few hours of gameplay when it boiled down to do lots of police car dispatching and pop-up busting. In the sequel, it's far more in-depth because you can now take control of your officers individually.
In This Is The Police 2 when you take control of your officers, you can get into situations where you can be stealthy and use non-lethal weapons or you can get into firefights (sometimes unavoidable). You can now equip your officers with tasers, batons, flash bangs, tear gas and armor, so you can take down the suspects in a range of different ways. When your officers make an arrest, you get points to assign them in, for example, strength, accuracy, and negotiation, just to list a few. When you do this, your officers will acquire skills like lockpicking, or trap disarming, or door breaching. But you need to be cautious because in This Is the Police 2 you do not have hit points so every shot counts and you officers can die quickly if you aren't careful. The gameplay is solid and runs well, the cutscenes break up the daily activities and work well to unfold the story.
The audio is every bit as great as it was in the first This Is The Police. From the radio music to the doors creaking it is incredibly immersive. Unfortunately, you cannot pick your own music as you could in the first one. However, this made up for by the voice acting, which is top drawer. The voice actor who plays Jack Boyd, Jon St. John. is famously known for voice acting Duke Nukem in the Duke Nukem series and Dota 2. He brings his excellently macho voice acting to the second game in this series.
In terms of negatives, This is the Police 2 could take a little long to get going for some tastes thanks to extensive cutscenes. All the while I found myself eager to actually get hands-on with the game. Also, you can not pick your music in the sequel, unlike in the first game where you could pick the music you like from albums, building your own soundtrack to a hardboiled police thriller.
For fans of the original, This the Police 2 is undoubtedly a stronger game. For new players, if you want to understand some of the characters in this game you might want to pick up This Is The Police for the story, but in terms of gameplay, this is a far more polished, in-depth and immersive experience than This Is The Police. This Is The Police 2 comes recommended to anyone who wants a cop-themed game that has an engrossing narrative and fun gameplay hooks that is easy to get to grips with.