Who wants to be a racist cop in the 80s? | Beat Cop Review
I had a chance to be a white cop in the 80s and I have mixed feelings! Beat Cop takes place during the 80s in Brooklyn, NY. This isn’t a new game it’s been ported over to the Nintendo Switch and for why tho?
The main character is Officer Jack Kelly. His job is to solve the overall arching case with details he picks up during his shift in the neighborhood. The devs expressed how much they love 80s’ cop films and wanted to embody that in the video game. This game is truly a mash-up of the 80s. It has the racism, the music, the racism, the clothes, the racism, the stereotype with the jargon to fit and oh did I mention racism?
Something I did enjoy very much, the music! The beats that are booming from the boomboxes on the street always have a funky fresh 80’s beat. I cannot skip out on the rock music blasting from the window! All of it is so fitting for the era. I’ve never been to Brooklyn in the 80s (90’s baby) but I feel like this is exactly what it sounds like. Most of the ambiance in the game are street sounds, cars, horns, firetrucks wailing and angry mumbling from patrons receiving parking tickets. There aren’t many voiceover actors, which doesn’t bother me, I like the 8-bit mumbling through the racially charged dialogue. That way I don’t have to hear people say these horrible things. There is one voice over actress; she can be heard loud and clear upon entering the sex shop. The good news: the style of the game is an 8-bit platform simulator. Therefore the sex shop is just as 8-bit as all the racist people which happens to be 90% of the non-Black patrons in the game.
All of this takes place on one block which Officer Kelly patrols from 8 am to 6 pm every day. I’m still debating on whether or not Officer Kelly is racist or he’s just tied up in a bad situation. From his dialogue, he seems neutral and he’s just experiencing all of this happen, but not actually shutting down or indulging in the antics.
Visually, I enjoy the game. I love things that are nostalgic and 8 bit with funky music. Beat Cop has all of this. The colors are very reminiscent of the colorful 80s, lots of pinks, yellows, and blues blending together beautifully through each pixel. I didn’t enjoy the Black men eating watermelon on the stoop nor the cop who looked like a mammie.
Navigating through the game seems a bit intimidating at first, there are handcuffs, a note pad, a walkie talkie, and a gun. The buttons aren’t hard to master, it’s knowing which to use at the right time. The most difficult thing to see is knowing which option is being selected. For example, while standing in front of a car the options are, check the meter to see if it’s expired, check the plates, tires, lights and write a ticket. While scrolling through the options the selected activity turns slightly blue; so plenty of times I’ve selected the wrong option. There are also times where after writing a ticket or towing a car Officer Kelly would start walking to the left of the screen; totally voluntarily. Other than those things Beat Cops moves like any other platformer.
The story makes the game have amazing replay value because finishing all the side missions could lead you to complete the main mission. And because the officer only works 8 am-6 pm there isn’t enough time in every shift to do everything. Officer Kelly used to be a Detective but then a robbery gone bad by an anonymous assailant happens and they pinned the dead body and stolen jewels on him. So just like real life, he gets demoted with a chance to clear his name and that’s how he becomes a beat cop. Talking to the various people, doing favours the Mafia, Crew and his job with the Police is how he is going to get to the bottom of this.
Within the game, when things are done or not done for the Mafia, Crew & Police your likability within that category goes up and down. The highest it can go is 100 and the lowest is -100. The first playthrough, which turned into my only playthrough. I decided to get in good with the Mafia; but because there isn’t enough time within each shift I learned pretty quickly if I wasn’t a decent cop I’d get fired and lose the game. I could not be the Mafia errand boy and an upstanding cop. There has to be a balance. My first and only playthrough I failed to find the diamonds and figure out who really did it. So I became a beat cop for the rest of my days.
The more I played this game the more disdain I have for it. As a streamer who likes to keep her page for all ages, it is difficult to walk into the various places on the street like the porn shop. I’d like to say they put the most effort into this ambiance. And then into the auto repair while shooting a porno. It is a bit overwhelming for me. Another huge disturbance which brings up the question, if any, how many Black people were working on this game? The dialogue is reminiscent of how people spoke in the 80s. However, I do think more research could’ve been on racial slurs. I don’t want to call anyone racist or anything but if we’re going with the good ole argument of, ‘this is the period piece and this is the jargon.’ Then let’s do proper research and give every one of a piece of the racist pie. The worst things Italians are called in Beat Cop is ‘meatball suckers.’
Black people are getting the worst of it being called darkies, coloreds and racially profiled left and right. On the stoop of most of the apartments, a Black person is eating watermelon. I started arresting people who were stealing or tagging walls. I’d like to say 4 out 5 times I arrested someone they were Black. And I had to shoot a Black male and that took me out. I was emotionally wrecked after that stream. I NEVER once pulled my gun on a Mafia member. Every time I arrested a random suspect and my likability with the Crew would lower. But if I didn’t arrest the suspect then my likability as an officer would decrease. Any time it came to arresting a Mafia member I had a choice and it was clear they were Mafia. For the Crew, it seemed random.
This is frustrating because on the second playthrough I was planning to get in good with the Crew. But it seems like being a good officer is harassing and arresting Black people that live in the neighborhood. I always have an option if I want to arrest someone in the Mafia. I rarely have that same choice when it comes to the Crew. Not going to lie, this game is triggering af. I didn’t like the dialogue which put me in a bad mood to play then, once I tried to look past that I didn’t like how many Black people I was arresting and finally pulling a gun on a Black male was the nail in the coffin. This game is disgusting.