When it comes to a game title such as Police Chase, there’s an image of what kind of experience you can expect conjured up just from the title alone. If you’ve got illusions of flying down the highway in a police cruiser, chasing after hardened criminals in high end stolen vehicles then this is the point in the review where we warn you that this game is not for you. “Okay,” you might say, “what about arresting people? Surely we’re going to capture some big bads and haul them away to the slammer, right?” No, no. Sorry. Still not the game you’re looking for.
Police Chase actually breaks down into three available play modes: Campaign, Races, and Freeplay. In the campaign, players take on the role of Tom. Tom is fresh out of the police academy, and he fancies himself as a part time race car driver. He’s unjustifiably cocky, extraordinarily cringe inducing, and he’s essentially a breathing HR violation toward every woman he encounters. It’s his first day on the job with new partner, Patrick, and our entire introduction to him consists of his insulting the police cruiser as a ‘rust bucket’, and referring to Claudia as “Miss Hotness from Reception”.
The campaign’s story is told throughout these digitally illustrated stills with cringey, poorly acted voice work. However, the game play for Police Chase takes place on a 3D high way in a somewhat fleshed out city that would’ve been impressive if this game was on the 360. Unfortunately, it looks dated on the Xbox One, and even suffers from occasional screen tearing and frame rate jankiness.
There’s plenty of traffic to navigate around, but despite playing as a team of policemen there’s penalties or dangers to committing traffic violations. Driving on the wrong side of the road, into oncoming traffic, or smashing up pedestrian vehicles are all par the course, especially because of the stiff and unresponsive vehicle controls. Missions typically consist of mundane delivery tasks, such as saving a blubbering fool from the side of the road after he calls police for assistance when his car runs low on gas, to taking your boss’s car to a repair shop after it gets hit in a parking lot, to literally helping the postman deliver a package.
The direction to your objective is displayed by a green arrow rotating around at the top of the screen which will often leave you going in circles as it provides no real assistance. This is an unusual design decision in an era when most driving games make use of a GPS line on the actual road to help you reach your destination. The GPS line is present in Police Chase’s ‘race’ modes, so there doesn’t seem to me any good reasoning behind leaving it out of the campaign mode.
Likewise, in Freeplay mode there is no way to set a way point on the map, nor is there any way to navigate to the potential interactive events that occur around the city. These events could have had the potential to add more to the ‘police’ side of Police Chase, but they, too, fall horribly flat. Once you reach an event area, marked by a red ring on the map and in the world, you’ll be given a task such as ‘track down the stolen vehicle’ or ‘report the traffic accident’. These events have you drive to a specific destination, then once you’ve found the cars relating to the event then you can leave your police vehicle to walk over to yellow circle. Standing in the yellow circle completes the event, and you’re back to your vehicle to mindlessly continue the cycle until you just can’t anymore. Which, sadly, won’t take long.