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Review by: Jordan Thomas
Published: December 1, 1997
2097. The world’s resources have been depleted. Decades of persistent drilling, mining, and processing have wiped the planet clean. It is a time of panic. Corporations of inestimable power and influence lobby for control over the minerals available in space. The ensuing wars are nigh apocalyptic. Thousands of troops battle in hyper-accelerated starcraft, giving up their lives for the almighty dollar. Finally, the brutal conflict comes to a close, and the corporate government achieves supremacy through unfeeling force.
The cities are enclaves of darkness. The future is now. Sky-high buildings loom over the residents below, monuments to the ever-growing schism between those who have it all, and those who have nothing. The recently demilitarized inner-city areas are chaotic at best. Naturally, the citizens are turning more criminal by the minute. Gangs of aircar rogues relentlessly wreak havoc on the terrorized populace. To maintain order, the consortium must employ a means of ruthless law enforcement. The new force is funded by all of the corporate interests, and hence is controlled by the republic. Summoned from all corners of the solar system, the officers are far from shining examples of humankind. Various veterans, merc pilots, and cops are drawn together to form a single, brutal extension of the governmental will.
The G-Police are born.
Psygnosis has a long-standing reputation for aesthetic design talent. G-Police is no exception. In fact, this title is the most graphically beautiful 3D title on the market. With support for nearly every hardware 3D accelerator on the market, G-Police boasts fantastic particle-vapor and transparency effects, along with beautiful textures and sophisticated polygon modeling. In fact, visually, the game is perfect. With a crisp, futuristic interface reminiscent of Syndicate Wars, even the menus and selection screens are treats for the eye.
On a 3Dfx card, frame rates are nearly flawless, and the ambient special effects are everywhere. You are Slater, the pilot of a HAVOC law-enforcement airship. Due to all the graphic embellishment, the player is made to feel as if they are actually flying around in the city of cyberpunk novels. The helicopter-based flight model is a touch jumpy, but extremely smooth. There is, however, one tragic exception. The urban districts are in separate bubbles, a plot device which allowed the designers to separate them with horribly ugly textured walls. These enclosing boxes do not appear at all rounded like domes, and detract heavily from the feel of realism. Nevertheless, the raw splendor of G-Police cannot be lowered too greatly by any minor annoyance such as this. There is even an AGP-only version of the game with full-motion video billboards, and rendering effects with absolutely no resolution bargaining. This enhanced build takes advantage of the new Pentium II 440LX AGP-enabled chipset to utilize some of your system memory for video memory. While I have not seen this super-deluxe mode, even the full 3Dfx version was dazzling enough for this reviewer.
The game is a hybrid mutation between an action shooter and a flight simulator. A joystick is an imperative, and support for force-feedback controllers has been implemented. Gameplay is entirely mission-based, though the plot is unfolded through well-rendered cutscenes. Slater, your character, is a veteran of the resource wars, and has enlisted in the G-Police to find out what happened to his sister, also an officer of the GP. On a supposedly routine patrol, she slammed full-force into a building. The authorities called it suicide. Slater calls that explanation something we can’t print.
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