Toplitz Productions should be applauded for entitling its newest game Police Chase. The name sounds exciting in its simplicity and the promotional poster makes Police Chase appear like a glitzy and exciting cops versus crims romp. However, when you get stuck in, you will find a warped mess of a game riddled with bugs, glitches, a woeful navigation system, wearisome race-against-the-clock missions and a generally appalling lack of chases – contradicting its namesake without any redeeming qualities to pick up the slack.
In Police Chase you play as Tom, a cocksure rookie start-up whose arrogance and attempts to woo and womanise the ladies immediately come across as cringe-inducing. Tom buddies up with a pro named Patrick as his partner in law-enforcement, and they work together to solve cases. Patrick’s soft criticism after you total your car or fail a mission ensures Police Chase maintains an arcade and easy-going sensibility, although the dialog is both cheesy and oozes with retrograde camp. About Patrick, he speaks like the computerised voice you hear when you want your PC to read your word-processed writing back to you. It really is bottom of the barrel stuff.
Talking of sense, there is very little of it going on in Police Chase when it comes to the design aspects of the game. When you partake in missions you’ll see a bright green guiding arrow that’s meant to navigate you towards your destination. Sure, the dwindling distance counter signals how close you are to where you need to be, but if you want a proper route and thus a total elimination of frustration, then you’ll sorely be without because there is no simple way to get from point A to B; the arrow doesn’t do its blinking job properly.
Numerous times you will find yourself driving aimlessly about, attempting to guess where the direction of a checkpoint is; it quickly becomes an unintuitive hassle. Road networks and dual-carriageways are often hindrances too, where you’ll have to find gaps in elongated barriers just to guide yourself to your destination. Trying to find slip roads is a chore also. You can’t break objects and obstacles either, making this “open-world” a lot more confining than it’ll have you believe. You end up driving to the same few locations throughout, such as a port, a police station and a diner – so yes, you certainly won’t have trouble getting to sleep after this one.
The problems for Police Chase only get more malignant with no in-game sound whatsoever. The only thing your ears will have to endure is gratingly cringey dialogue from the characters during cutscenes that depict still images to tell its story, and not even those are done to a satisfactory standard because many of these shots are repeated and come across as cheap and lazy. The voicework is similarly dreadful, as you can easily tell that the voice actors were placed in some kind of boxed-in phone booth whilst recording the dialogue, as they dryly blurt out lines as though they were speaking to themselves. There’s no essence of conversation between the characters, they merely just talk at each other.
Police Chase carries petty annoyances in the form of technical deficiencies too – making for a pretty broken mess. Sometimes you’ll fail a mission even though you have seconds left on the clock to attain your objective – this may seriously test your patience and possibly make you go loco. The protracted time-based missions and driving whilst following arrows from location-to-location will further drive you up the wall. Heck, there were a few instances where Patrick said I was driving too slow and I had only started to drive after a previous mission failure, one where the mission was completed on time but the game decided I’d failed anyway.
There is an ability to reset your vehicle if you find yourself jammed in the environment and unable to move, but sometimes the action will leave you remaining in the rut you were in in the first place. Further still, occasionally the game fails to register you reversing your vehicle, and don’t you dare crash into a rock during a race because the recovery time takes ages and you’ll be overtaken swiftly by your adversaries.
Visually and there’s plenty of draw-in, along with an unappealing look that makes you believe you were playing something low-rez on the OG Xbox circa 2002. There’s nothing but roads and occasional field patches you can drive across. Police Chase is very restrictive about what you can drive through, and on that it’s probably better served as a simulator for police work rather than a videogame.
If poorly conceived rush jobs are your bread and butter then Police Chase on Xbox One has you covered, but everyone else should steer well clear of this defective and shoddy trash fire. Police Chase sounds awesome and fun but it’s nothing but following arrow markers and timed missions – and dare I say there’s nothing exciting here, making the promotional material for the game deceptive. Police Chase shows a professional lack of effort because it’s extremely repetitive, boring and a chore to play. But if you can withstand it then there are 40 dead-easy achievements, some irksomely dire character dialogue to savour and races involving vans that control like a bull in a shopping trolley. But hey, these things are worth the pain, right?!