G-Police takes place in a post apocalyptic-style world in which all life is confined to domed cities where major corporations stoop to all kinds of seedy tactics to one-up each other, and the bureaucracy can be easily persuaded to look the other way. You are a member of the G-Police; a government-run police department responsible for keeping the peace in the bio-domes.

snap1006The game opens with a long cinematic that tells the game’s dire tale with drum-heavy ominous music. The intro sets up the somewhat intriguing plot line that is loosely intertwined throughout the linear campaign missions. You’ll find yourself dropped into your DASA-Kamov Havoc jet gunship. Since the Havoc can hover and fly forward and reverse, it’s a good idea to go through the training missions before you leap into the action. You’re better off using a joystick than a gamepad or the keyboard, as proportional control gives you better command of the craft. The physics model however is strictly arcade.

Each mission takes place in enclosed domes of various sizes, and the battle area is limited for both you and your enemies. These domes are filled with towering skyscrapers, flickering billboards, and bustling civilian vehicles that seem oblivious to the events around them. Graphically, these enclosed cityscapes are very impressive, meshing the dark futuristic mood of Blade Runner with the stylized look of WipeOut. Though the graphics are very nice, there are a few rough spots. The biggest is the scenery pop-up – even with the view distance set to “very far,” you really can’t see very much of the dome at once. Due to the heavy draw-in of the graphics, buildings and vehicles only a few blocks away dissolve into blackness.

Once you get your reflexes used to controlling the Havoc, it’s time to start the campaign. Although the game is an arcade flying combat game, don’t expect it to be a pushover – the difficulty can get annoyingly high. While your goals are varied, from rescuing out-of-control craft to clearing areas of bad guys to protecting building and civilians, the actual implementation is beyond challenging; it’s downright frustrating. Since the campaign is linear, you don’t get to the next mission until you’ve beaten the one before it, and that leads to replaying some of the more annoying missions over and over.

snap1019It’s not as if there’s some trick to getting through the missions; the missions aren’t designed like the tightly-woven puzzles of the original X-Wing where you had to perform specific acts at precisely the right moment. These missions are hard simply because there is so much going on. The skies are filled with enemy craft, the ground is often crawling with bad guys, and, more damning, your wingmen are downright stupid. While the Havoc craft are fitted with various weapons, the wingmen tend to use only the machine gun cannon, the weakest of the lot.

There’s also no co-op for a friend to help you out, or any multipalyer at all for that matter – a stunning oversight. With only the campaign on offer, G-Police might prove too much hassle for most gamers to follow through from beginning to end.

System Requirements: Pentium 166 MHz, 32 MB RAM, Windows 95

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