LA COPS is a frantic action top-down score based shooter with a 1970’s theme and 1970’s style graphics to match. The goal of the game is to clear every stage by arresting or killing every bad guy you see while rescuing all the civilians.
The game will start you on a training mission called LA COPS Training Academy where players learn the basic gameplay mechanics, It is a pretty simplistic tutorial which will take around three minutes to complete, Players will learn how to pick up weapons, fire a weapon, lock on to an a criminal, rotate view, summon partner and swap partners, and follow objectives.
Each mission begins with a cutscene. After that players are given a set number of objectives to clear the area, These can vary from mission to mission, but every mission requires you to arrest or kill all criminals, and clearing objectives awards you with points. Players can choose three difficulty settings for each mission (normal, hardcore and Nightmare). Before you jump into the Nightmare setting, I recommend that you upgrade all your stats or else you’ll regret it.
As you progress, the level for each mission keeps getting bigger, with more floors to clear of criminal activity. And once you start mission two, they will begin to find white first-aid boxes that can bring your partner back from the dead, so always make sure you pick them up. You will also find little pink heart shaped items that will increase your life meter, so be sure you pick one up as soon as you have taken a hit. You can find around three on each level, so check everywhere!
On the “mission complete” screen, your performance will be graded, and you will receive your overall score. You earn points for killing criminals, making arrests, and for your weapon accuracy rate. You lose points if you cause damage or restart a level, for the cop deaths, and for civilians killed.
Players have five cops to fully upgrade. There is no in-game money, and all weapons are paid for in XP, with the most expensive weapon costing 5 XP. Upgrading your five cops is very time-consuming and will require many mission replays, since each Cop costs about 400 XP. That might not sound like much but trust me, it is not an easy task as you gain a max of 5 XP per mission!
On higher difficulties, players will earn more points, so be sure to kill everything in sight and try not to die too much or restart levels too often as it lower’s your overall score considerably. The Nightmare difficulty has the no aim lock option, so you are basically firing blind. There is a crosshair icon, but it is no good as you need to shoot fast. Also, the criminals can one shot you. Nightmare difficulty is INCREDIBLY HARD. I am trying to get my Cops fully upgraded so I can tackle Nightmare difficulty, and I find that as I retry a mission on Nightmare it does get easier as you slowly upgrade, so I will get there eventually and so will you. Perseverance is the key to success!
If both Cops die, fear not as there are checkpoints in place so you can simply start from the where you died… that is, if you managed to clear a floor. If you die before hitting a checkpoint, then it is game over, and you have to restart the level.
LA COPS has some extra bonus stages to unlock when you finish the main campaign, and they will definitely help towards leveling up all your Cops. Oh I almost forgot: there is a leaderboards feature where you can compare scores with your friends or see where you are on the global leaderboards. I’m currently in the 500th place!
Overall, I have had an absolute blast playing LA COPS. The game is so addictive, the graphics being done in this 1970’s cartoony style is awesome, and it makes the game stand out thanks to a great use of coloring. The gameplay is frantic and fast-paced, so if you have trigger happy fingers then this is right up your street! The game has 14 trophies to earn, and it is a really nice set too with 2 Bronze, 2, Silver 10 Gold and 1 Platinum!