Reviews - Updated on April 9, 2022

Gaming journalists are good at making video games. The most striking example is Bastion and Transistor, which Greg Kasavin, former GameSpot editor-in-chief, worked on as part of Supergiant Games. In the Belarusian Weappy Studio, everything is run by two of my former colleagues with whom we once worked together in a gaming magazine – Ilya Yanovich and Yan Kuzovlev. Their police chief simulator This Is the Police turned out to be a great game too. The sequel, which introduced new mechanics, garnered more mixed responses. But, according to Ilya Yanovich, the game was commercially successful. Therefore, now Weappy Studio is working on a new major project. In the meantime, she released a spin-off, which was called Rebel Cops.

In pursuit of fame

Rebel Cops is entirely focused on tactical combat. No more drawn-out cut-scenes, sheets of dialogue, emotional experiences and moral dilemmas. The plot of Rebel Cops is extremely simple – in the city of Ripton, the power and even the police department was seized by the crime boss Viktor Zuev, and the cops who disagreed with him went underground. Local residents collect money for them, and partisan policemen fulfill their requests and try to destroy the Zuev empire.

Agree, it sounds somewhat strained, but for us Russians, it’s completely ridiculous. But such a plot made it possible to implement an almost “Ixcom” gameplay scheme in Rebel Cops. On the map, we choose the main and side tasks, trade, equip and pump fighters, and then we go to fight directly on rough terrain.

If, at the same time, we also fulfill the orders of ordinary people (to free someone’s daughter, take an arcade machine from criminals, and so on), then we will not only receive additional money and useful equipment, but also increase the level of popular fame. And the latter affects the prices at the merchant and how actively new cops will join us. If you take such a task and do not complete it, then the level of fame will drop.

Let’s do it quietly

Since we have an underground and guerrilla here, the missions are mostly direct or not very pushing towards a quiet passage. Therefore, in the arsenal of fighters there are non-lethal weapons – batons and shockers, knocking out enemies for a certain number of moves, during which they can be handcuffed. In addition, it is for arrests, and not for murders, that they give more experience. If we make noise and shoot, then the enemies can notice us, raise the alarm and call for reinforcements. Therefore, it is better not to kick the doors, but to open them with a master key.Rebel Cops game review

In each task, people ask us to fulfill some of their requests.

You can also order the criminal to surrender. The chance of success depends on the distance to the enemy and some other conditions. For example, if you shoot him in the leg (cannot walk) or in the arm (cannot shoot), then the likelihood that he will surrender will increase significantly.

Yes, point damage is implemented in Rebel Cops. At the same time, a headshot kills outright, and the rest of the wounds lead to the fact that the character begins to bleed – and will expire if his partner does not heal him with a first-aid kit in time.

Cops for pumping

For arrests, so-called rebel points are also issued, for which you can activate local analogues of spells – turn on observation mode for everyone who has action points left, make the fighters more accurate or invisible for this turn, highlight all opponents on the map, or even send everyone to jail criminals in our field of vision.

Naturally, all fighters are pumped. In addition to general parameters (strength, shooting, speed), they have different “perks” – some increase the chances of convincing the criminal to surrender, others allow you to see further, dodge bullets more successfully, and so on. As we gain new levels, we choose new skills. At the same time, if a fighter often acted quietly, the game will offer him precisely the abilities associated with stealth mechanics. And vice versa.

Pumped characters are worth their weight in gold here, but using them alone will not work. Cops tend to get tired – in this state they become less effective. Therefore, it is better to let them rest and take other police officers on the next mission. And when someone dies, there will immediately be a desire to replay the mission – you have time to get used to your wards, even if they do not communicate with each other, do not share personal quests and do not poison jokes.

Rebel Cops game review

The shocker is expensive, but extremely useful.

A little criticism

In general, the tactical system in Rebel Cops is simple – in one turn, each fighter can perform two actions. But at the same time, you can’t use heights, run on rooftops, you can’t “target” some part of the terrain and change the position of the fighters. Opponents have a poorly implemented visibility zone – the enemy here does not see our cop, standing on the side of him at a distance of one cell.

Moreover, opponents barely use spectator mode and cannot raise an alarm or react in any way to the player’s actions during his turn. Therefore, you can safely run up to the enemy and, for example, hit him with a club – no response will follow, even if several opponents with weapons at the ready noticed these maneuvers.

There is also an element of randomness here, as in the latest XCOM. I had cases when even a wounded boss, around whom my cops stood with weapons at the ready, with an almost 100 percent chance of handcuffing him, refused to give up. And so three times in a row. I had to replay a large part of the mission, until the “random” finally had mercy on me.

Conditional conventions

There are shelters, but they sometimes work strangely. You can hide behind a bush and the game will think it’s full cover – enemies are almost guaranteed to smear. But the shelter behind a low concrete fence will be considered incomplete, and opponents may well injure the law enforcement officer hiding behind it.Rebel Cops game review

Pay attention to how stylish it all looks.

Even more strange convention is the inability to pick up weapons or at least cartridges from corpses. That is, if your character runs out of ammunition, then he will not be able to shoot until the end of the mission. Ilya Yanovich explained this to me in terms of the in-game economy: they say, if you allow enemies to “loot”, then the need to go to the store on the map will disappear. Nevertheless, you must admit that the situation in which a cop, left without cartridges, in the midst of a battle cannot take someone else’s weapon, looks at least unrealistic.

And in any case, for guerrilla policemen, who seem to be beggars and constantly need equipment, it would be much more logical to pick up and take away weapons and bulletproof vests of enemies with them, and not carry TVs, bottles of wine and arcade machines on behalf of some local Vasya Pupkin.

And it’s still cool

However, all this is by and large only grumbling. In general, Rebel Cops is an excellent tactic that constantly challenges and forces you to act carefully, competently, calculating every step. Moreover, at difficulty levels other than easy, the number of saves is limited. And some gaps in AI behavior are more than compensated by the number of enemies, to which reinforcements often come. In addition, it is easy to die from one hit here or bleed out in several moves.Rebel Cops game review

Rebel points should be used to the maximum advantage.

This makes it necessary to use all tactical possibilities. For example, fighters must cover each other so they can warn a colleague of danger. Or, at some point, a sniper will appear in our ranks – once every three moves, he can “enlighten” a certain area of ​​\u200b\u200bthe location or shoot an enemy that is interfering with us with an accurate shot.

And in Rebel Cops there are really interesting missions with their own conditions. On the one hand, there are often quite large locations that need to be combed in order to complete the tasks of citizens and collect various valuable items – this increases the income from a successfully completed task. On the other hand, there are often time limits: you need to get to the depot to stop the train, or try to complete the task before dawn, until additional security arrives in two jeeps.

One can, of course, have different attitudes towards the fact that the authors have mixed timers, and free research, and the search for values ​​in one bottle. But in such a situation it will definitely not be boring.

This is how our sniper works.

***

I don’t know what the next Weappy Studio project will be, but with the This Is the Police series, the developers have proven that they can make great, stylish games. Yes, Rebel Cops is not an ideal tactic, but it has both a challenge, and its own “chips”, and atmosphere, and, again, style – rebel cops fight criminals to jazz and surrounded by leaves flying across the screen. It can be seen that people who, on duty, have played a huge number of tactical strategies, know what the players really lack, which could interest them. All in all, a real work of art. I hope this approach will continue in the future creations of the studio.

Pros: interesting and challenging missions; fairly rich tactical mechanics; large locations that can be freely explored during tasks; the ability to complete stealth missions; stylish picture; atmospheric jazz soundtrack.

Cons: There are annoying game conventions; sometimes weak AI; “Random” sometimes gets in the way.

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