From 2010 to 2014 Richard Cobbett wrote Crapshoot, a column about rolling the dice to bring random obscure games back into the light. This week, is it possible to follow the letter of the law when you don't even recognise the letters? Luckily, turns out everyone speaks 'gun'.
Sadly, this is not the Georgian I was hoping for. I really wanted this to be a Police Quest set in the Regency, full of cries of “Cease and desist, you bounder, lest you also become a cad!” But no. We're talking the country of Georgia, whose Ministry of the Interior—if the story is accurate—thought it would be a great idea to have a game promoting the fine work of the police in a “virtual hunt down of criminals and Russian spies.” It's free. And there are two parts—neither of which I understand a word of.
I'm almost positive this will not prove to be a problem.
Probably the best starting point here is to compare Georgian Police (technically, yes, its full name is just “Police”) with the American-made Police Quest. One is a ridiculous, surreal journey into a world of weird protocol where everyone speaks in their own convoluted language. The other is Georgian Police. We've looked at the original Police Quest before, and… wow. Get a cuckoo clock. On the plus side, at no point does the designer of Georgian Police try and make you admire his balls.
Georgian Police is a little more restrained… for about a minute or so, before turning into the most hilariously out of place Unreal shooting gallery ever. You're a cop, called to a hostage situation, I think, who accidentally ends up being the only one to infiltrate the building with a pistol. About five femtoseconds later you pick up an AK-47 rip-off, and damn near the entire rest of the game consists of clocking up the kind of bodycount that Rambo, Jack Bauer, and smallpox can only dream of.
There may be more to it than that, but if so, the intro very rudely not being in English makes it rather hard to tell for certain.
As a demonstration of Georgia's historically-not-so-finest, it's a little unimpressive. Their response to a threat is to start shooting wildly in a public area, and of an entire group of them, exactly one ends up saving the day. No, the lady cop doesn't follow him in. He goes through that grate, emerges in a toilet, and from that point goes full Terminator until all the crime is gone. All the crime.
Given that this is an official thing, this is a seriously scrappy UDK game—not bad models and textures—but with no niceties whatsoever. There isn't even a death sequence. Die, and the game just ends on a menu. As for how it plays? Well…
This probably isn't too surprising though, as it's officially a pre-alpha game. One that, looking around the web, never actually got finished in this form. It still counts as released however, having apparently (since I couldn't find it) been put on the Ministry's website for download in a bid to raise the profile of the Georgian police. Mission complete, I guess. You'd not have thought about them today without it.
This was only the first step though, and instead of, y'know, finishing the game and polishing it, it looks like everyone involved decided that alpha was the new gold, and moved onto “GeoPolice Part 2” instead. This is… quite a bit more advanced. It still involves lots of shooting. Now though, you don't just have terrorists and crooks to worry about. The villains are much more dangerous.
No, no, just teasing because of the blatant theft of the Mass Effect conversation wheel. The local bad guy (I assume) isn't a Reaper here to harvest the flesh of the Earth. That would be ridiculous.
He's Stephen Colbert.
There is a lot of talking before the action kicks off in this one, and no way to skip a single line of it. The basic plot, as I deduce it, is that… you know, I've got nothing. A cop who looks like he'd be more at home behind a desk, and his partner with an oddly bared midriff go to have a polite talk with Stephen Colbert in a hotel, before she slinks off to poke around and returns with another guy who's apparently a prisoner of Comedy Central, and a couple of guards wearing scary black suits.
About a minute later, you're not simply gunning down bodyguards, but Special Forces types.
The escape is bizarre. Main Guy Cop and Lady Cop escape, guns blazing, and Lady Cop pulls Presumably Prisoner Guy—stop me if I'm going too fast for you—into an elevator. Hilariously, Main Guy Cop is about to get in when the doors close on him in a way that suggests Lady Cop blowing him a kiss just before they slam. That leaves him on his own to fight through a gauntlet of combat so floaty that the Ministry of the Interior seems to really really want the world to think that Georgia is on the Moon. I suppose that's one way to distract and deal with Russian spies.
The hotel is deserted, aside from terrorist/Special Forces guys, which explains Rule 374 in the official Police Handbook: “Don't Do A Bust During Convention Season”. In retrospect, should be higher on the list. Main Guy Cop moves like the Bionic Man but dies like a mayfly, making for a really weird sense of pace. Maybe Georgian Police's ambition is to offer some tactical play. If so, that's adorable.
Having killed a not inconsiderable number of the world's criminals, Main Guy Cop reunites with Lady Cop and escort the prisoner to an interrogation cell at the police. They talk for quite a while.
About what? No idea. Crime, probably.
Whatever information is yielded from the discussion does bear some fruit though, sending both cops to a small—and in fairness, not badly done—bit of town that looks a bit like City 17 before the Combine. Here, Lady Cop takes over for an adventure section, wandering around and asking people about the Reapers as before, but somewhat oddly, repeatedly pulling a photo out of her bra for people to look at and comment on. Nobody seems impressed, though one guy does hold it for quite a while. I suspect if you need to know the Georgian for “Oooh, still warm…” this is the game to teach you.
Should you want to find out what happens though, here's a YouTube playlist of the whole thing. Sorry, no translation on this one either—you'll just have to wing it. There's no more shooting, but there are lots of tears, so I suspect whatever this was about wasn't much of a comedy laugh riot. There was talk of a third part coming, along with an English translation, but that seems to have fizzled out. Still, never mind.
You know what? I think we need to go back to Police Quest, don't we? Yes. Yes, we do. Its time shall come soon, because the weirdness absolutely doesn't end with the first game. Not even close.