The This Is the Police series has followed kind of an unusual trajectory. The original, a strategy-sim about corrupt cops in a small town, had some interesting ideas but didn't really drill down into them; the sequel changed things up with the addition of an XCOM-styled tactical combat simulator. And now developer Weappy is going all-in on the combat side of that equation with a spinoff game called Rebel Cops.
Rebel Cops is still about corrupt cops in a small town, but this time around the game begins with the process complete: The mob has taken over everything, including the police, who now basically serve as a private goon squad. But a few "good cops" have gone underground with you as their leader, and now serve as the true arm of the law, dispensing Robin Hood-flavored justice while working to loosen the grip of the ruthless crime lord who's slowly crushing the town into dust.
There's a story here, but the gameplay is structured as a series of missions built around turn-based tactics and stealth, with optional side quests and areas to explore that provide the opportunities for extra risks and rewards. And Weappy warned that combat is very risky: Characters don't have hit points, and once they're shot they'll bleed out very quickly unless they're tended to. And if someone happens to catch one in the head, they're just dead, game over, that's it. Serious caution will be required.
It doesn't sound like a whole lot has changed from the tactical combat element of This Is the Police 2, which we said in our review "sits awkwardly alongside the main game," which overall was a less-than-stellar experience. Hopefully it will work better as a standalone experience, where other, unrelated systems are less likely to pull players into an inescapable "fail spiral." Rebel Cops is set to come out on September 17 on Steam and GOG (opens in new tab).