Future Cop LAPD was published by Electronic Arts (before they turned into the glorified crap factory they are today) and was released in 1998 for the Sony Playstation. Future Cop puts the player in the giant metallic shoes of an X1 Alpha; a sophisticated anti-crime vehicle murder factory on legs. The X1 Alpha is a run-of-the-mill combat mecha which also has the ability to transform into a fast, deadly and damn near uncontrollable hover-craft. The game and its plot revolves around a crime wave taking place in Los Angeles.
It seems that in the year 2098, conventional crime fighting techniques have been replaced with a more efficient, “kill anything that moves” approach. The kinds of riots that used to take entire precincts of police officers to subdue are now manageable with a single, armored, moving gun rack. The most common enemy in the game would have to be criminals on foot. Now, unlike other games where the goal might be to arrest the criminals and rescue their hostages, the only goal in Future Cop is to murder the living fuck out of everything. It doesn’t really seem fair when your 20 foot morgue-filler is firing off twin machine guns at a guy in a leather jacket holding shot gun, but hey, they are criminals. As you progress through the game, more and more weapons become available, further increasing your efficiency at making everything around you die.
The game has an overhead perspective. You have the ability to to switch between a handful of preset camera angles, however you have no direct control over the camera. Surprisingly it actually works quite well. Unlike so many games that have screwed it up, the camera angles in Future Cop are almost always where you would want them. I mean, there are a few points in the game where it would have helped a lot to have some kind of control over what the camera was doing, but overall it’s really well implemented.
The gameplay itself is also pretty solid. Each level is presented as a single area in which the player must navigate to a certain point or boss fight. The levels are never straight forward, however. There are all manner of gates, switches, buttons, levers, mazes and general bullshit to get through before you reach the finish point. And of course there is the combat. And by combat I mean the genocide of everything in the level. In order to exterminate absolutely everything, you and your X1 Alpha are equipped with a main weapon, a secondary weapon and a special weapon. The main acts as your go-to murdering device while the secondary weapon is better used on larger vehicles and gun turrets. The special is pretty powerful and can get you out of most sticky situations.
To be perfectly honest, I enjoyed the hell out of this game. According to my extensive research (wikipedia) the game only barely sold 200,000 copies and the production team went bust. I really can’t understand why. A game where you play as an armored-mecha slaughtering criminals with a rocking sound track? In 1996? That game should have sold millions. The world is full of mysteries I guess. Anyway, pick it up if you get the chance, it’s fucking awesome.