Third, and arguably best in Jim Walls
' popular cop adventures. Published in 1993
by Sierra On-line
, this was the third of their titles to take advantage of their new icon-driven VGA graphics engine (the other two being Space Quest 4: Roger Wilco and the Time Rippers
and King's Quest 5
: Oh God No Roberta Make it Stop!!!!!). Jim Walls himself makes an appearance, looking considerably slimmer (did they have Photoshop
back then?) than in his photos in the Sierra catalogues or his later cameo in Westwood Studios
' Blade Runner
Lytton, scene of the past two games, has hit the big time. Massive expansion has lead to it finally becoming a full-fledged city (which is a nice change from the slight confusion you might feeling making such a big deal about crime in a pretty small town in the previous games) and with that has come lots of crime. Sonny Bonds has married Marie, and everything is peachy. Sonny is now a sergeant, and is currently assigned to Traffic Division.
The game opens with Sonny giving the morning briefing and having to discipline rogue officer Pat Morales (who isn't actually Hispanic, but Asian... weird). He then is called out to a disturbance in Clearwater Park (the city has grown several blocks east since PQ2). A 'deranged man' is terrorising the picnickers. Tempting as it is to shoot him (and fun, given it's only a game), you have to arrest him and throw him in jail.
As Sonny finishes up at the jail, Morales calls for a supervisor to help deal with a traffic ticket. Sonny arrives on the interstate to discover the suspect is refusing to sign the ticket. However, as she is a pregnant woman, she can't be arrested. Morales is furious.
Sonny then heads out on highway patrol, and pulls over, among others, an Eddie Murphy speeding, a lowrider driving too slowly, and a drunk driver (who pukes on Sonny's shoes).
While transporting the drunk to jail, Marie is finishing work over at the Oak Tree Mall. Two toughs attack her and stab her. Sonny hears about this as he leaves the jail, and races over to find Marie being loaded in an ambulance.
Surgeons fight through the night to stabilize her condition, and she is now in a coma. The captain reassigns Sonny back to homicide and gives him Marie's case and a new partner... Pat Morales!
Over the next several days Sonny and Pat interview witness, investigate strange cult-like murders and eventually track down one of the men involved in Marie's attempted murder, one Steve Rocklin.
Placing a tracking device on Rocklin's car, Sonny and Pat follow him to a bar called the Old Nugget. Rocklin opens fire and attempts to escape in his car with Sonny and Pat in hot pursuit. Unfortunately for Rocklin, he rolls his car on the interstate and dies at the scene.
Meanwhile, Sonny's regular visits to Marie have led her to coming out of her coma. Sonny begins to suspect Pat is not on the level and secretly investigates her. The captain has Pat under internal affairs investigation. Eventually Sonny discovers that Rocklin and Michael Bains (none other than the brother of Jesse Bains) are members of a cult operating a crack house in the suburbs.
With a large force of officers, a K9 unit and a motorised armoured battering ram, Sonny storms the crack house and arrests Michael Bains. While investigating the drug lab in the basement, Pat suddenly turns up and attempts to kill Sonny, only to be shot by an IA officer.
Back at the hospital, Marie is ready to go home, but she's got a little surprise for Sonny... they're going to have a baby!
Although not as gritty as the first Police Quest game (the whole cult thing was pretty superfluous), this is still a very enjoyable and realistic game. You have to be quite a good detective to get all the evidence. The digitized graphics (including real actors) are very nice, and the game is, on the whole, convincing.
Amusing ways to die include: Approach a pulled over car on the highway without walking around the passenger door... ouch! (also, if you mistakenly pull over the undercover cop, the game still wants you to walk around a car that isn't there, and so it triggers the getting run over animation, except the oncoming car seems to deliberately drive onto the shoulder just to hit you!)
Shoot the deranged man. (if you wait until he jumps in the water, you get a headshot!)
Drive too fast and try and turn a corner.
If you want to know how a modern police force operates (in this game you use plotting charts and even a face composition software) then this is highly recommended... as ever you don't seem to spend enough time doing the things you see on COPS, but then a game where shirtless trailer trash stagger around swinging Jack Daniels bottles and declaring how they didn't do nuthin' wouldn't be that compelling. And after this, the Police Quest series went shit. Jim Walls did make another game called Blue Force for Tsunami, but it had hideous production values and wasn't much fun at all.