It is pretty difficult to get justice these days, particularly on the roads. If involved in an accident people will more often than not deny any fault of theirs, even if the entire incident was due to their carelessness or lack of due care and attention. People get away with driving offences far too often, even drink-drivers, who often get handed flimsy bans, a few points on their license, or a penalty that is simply too lax to even be a deterrent.
If you were a crime-committing vehicle driver in the world of Police Pursuit however, you would think long and hard before drawing attention to yourself and forcing the law to get involved because the justice dealt here is of the hard and fast kind. Police Pursuit is of course a driving game where you are the law and the offenders aren’t going to get away with their crimes. Driving recklessly through the streets of the city, your job is to bring criminals to justice in a manner that equates to an extreme version of legal road rage, where the instigator is the police and the justice is dealt out at high speed.
The premise of Police Pursuit isn’t dissimilar to other driving games. In this instance you control a police car who has been notified of suspects that are within city limits who must be dealt with before the timer runs out at the top of the screen. You use the directional controls to move your car through the streets at high speed, catching up with the perpetrators of unknown speed and instead of dealing with them calmly, smashing their car off the road and ramming them until their health bar is empty. One you’ve battered the suspect’s car, they are effectively caught, after which you must move on to the next suspect. You’ll notice similarities between this and Lose the Heat, though in this one you are the law rather than those trying to escape from it.
The interface is pretty simple, and arguably overly so since all you have to do is perform the task mentioned above repeatedly, using the directional controls to move the car and the mini-map at the lower right-hand side of the screen to give you some context as to where you are in relation to the suspects. You can also see the suspect’s health bar on the screen even if he is a few blocks away from you, which gives you an idea of his location so you can seek him out without having to look at the mini map constantly. The whole interface is relatively bare and restrictive however when you consider the variety of stunts you can pull in fellow driving game Overtorque Racing.
The main challenge of this police car game isn’t in smashing up the offending cars since this is actually quite easy: it is catching up with the criminals whilst trying to avoid the oncoming track that is the problem. The streets of course aren’t empty, and are littered with traffic coming from both directions, making the task of catching up with the suspects quite a difficult one. If you manage to get near them, ensure that you tail them closely as one collision with another vehicle and you’ll be spun out of control whilst the suspect gets away.
The whole thing reminded me of the original Driver a little, only without all of the other cool bits involved in this classic Playstation game. The game is missing a fair few features which make its rivals like Traffic Slam so fun to play, such as upgrades that can be purchased, and destructible surroundings. Police Pursuit is simply missing features such as these and therefore doesn’t have much replay value as a result. It can become a little tiresome trying to repeatedly catch suspects and not really be rewarded for your efforts. The graphics are better than many flash games since this is based on the Shockwave player, coming to you in 3D and affording you the chance to explore a 3D environment in the car, but the scenery isn’t perishable, the surroundings aren’t very diverse, and there simply isn’t enough variation to make this game memorable. Some may truly enjoy playing this Police Pursuit driving game, since it has a bit of entertainment value, but this soon fades once you’ve caught a few criminals and brought them to justice.