Police Stories is a very different type of top-down shooter, with you playing a law enforcement officer who can’t just go in guns blazing – you need to exercise caution, use tactical equipment and make snap decisions on when to fire warning shots, make arrests or shoot to kill.
In Police Stories you and your AI partner (who you can issue commands to) are sent out on missions that involve infiltrating gang hideouts, rescuing hostages and making arrests. Your aim is to complete the missions without creating any unnecessary casualties, so shooting as soon as you see a perp is not an option – you have to watch to see how they react first.
You have tactical equipment that among other things, allows you to peak into rooms, blow up doors and blind enemies. You have to use this equipment wisely and try to stay as quiet as possible at all times – you can’t see the enemies until they’re within your field of view and the randomised placement and advanced enemy AI means you never know where they are and how they’ll react.
When confronted your enemies will react in different ways. There will be an initial state of uncertainty, during which time you can yell, fire a warning shot, aim your gun at them (which works better if your partner does too) and even push them with the end of your weapon. All of these techniques, along with the element of surprise, are used to try and get the perp to surrender their gun and submit to your arrest, but as in real life they can pull a gun at any second and if they do, you’d better be ready to take them down. If you manage to make a successful arrest you can even beat information out of the perps, but try not to overdo it – you need them alive!
It’s a remarkable game that looks set to add a whole lot of tension, tactics and realism to the top-down shooter genre. A unique experience where every encounter asks you to make split second decisions that really can mean the difference between life and death.