Announced in January, crooked cop sim This Is the Police 2 is due later this year. When it lands, it'll build on its forerunner's narrative meets strategy roots and will "require the player's direct participation," so says developer Weappy. In doing so, it'll introduce an XCOM-style turn-based tactical mode.
Here, players will command squads of officers, each leveraging a variety of tools—such as tasers, gas cartridges, traps and battering rams. In turn-based bouts, players will orchestrate raids with the aim of neutralising opponents, and, if you are forced to open fire, battles unfold with realistic damage. In other words, don't expect hit points.
"We came with this idea for an XCOM-style, turn-based combat mode, but of course we didn't want to just make 'XCOM with cops'," game director Ilya Yanovich tells me. "The biggest difference here is that the police force's job is, usually, about arresting people, not killing them. So, we decided to have no hit points in this tactical mode at all.
"One bullet can kill your cop. If you're injured, for example, in your arm—you can't use your gun. Or, if you're injured in your leg, you can't run. If you fail to heal your injured officers, they'll die after a few turns. This makes a huge difference on how you plan your actions."
Yanovich tells me he and his team had originally planned to pursue a game away from This Is the Police. When they decided on a sequel, however, they had wanted to grow their ideas bigger than before.
"We had no interest in just making the same game only bigger with more of the same," says Yanovich. "We wanted to make it deeper—all of the mechanics, not just the XCOM-style mode. We set the game in a much smaller town than the first game, which means you're really short on resources, short on people, short on equipment.
"This means that every cop you have counts, every piece of gear counts. This Is the Police was, in some ways, about the scale—the big city, big department, a lot of bureaucracy, the mafia—you were running the force in a big space. Since This Is the Police 2 is about a much smaller police department, we thought that it made sense to let you have direct control over the most important communications and exchanges."
"When we were looking for a way to do that, it was pretty obvious for us that it was tactical—like a game within a game. This is This Is the Police 2—it's still about looking after a department, it's still about managing the whole thing. You still have investigations, a lot of calls, a lot of mechanics. There are a lot of improvements over the first game, but this tactical mode is the biggest new thing for the sequel."
Yanovich explains that This Is the Police 2's tactical mode is closely tied to the rest of the game, and that success is determined by how well you run your department. The game boasts 13 missions in total, however only four are mandatory. You'll get punished for not responding to calls, says Yanovich, and it's in your best interest to complete as many missions as possible, should you wish to topple the biggest crime organisations from the top down.
Yanovich adds: "If it's a tactical mission, you'll choose which guys go there. If your department is in trouble, you don't have the people with the correct equipment, some people are drunk, others are unloyal to you and their job—if you're running it well, you can handle these tactical missions. In short, your setup affects your playing style. If you're in the luxurious position to have good cops and good equipment, you'll find tactical missions less challenging. If all you have are drunken bums the puzzles become more challenging."
This Is the Police 2 is without a hard release date as yet, but is expected later this year.