Rebel Cops is a turn-based tactical combat spinoff of This Is the Police

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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).

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.