Future Cop LAPD was published by Electronic Arts (before they turned into the glorified crap factory they are today) in 1998 for the Sony Playstation. The game 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 the city of 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 are actually criminals on foot. 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 mini-guns at a guy in a leather jacket with a 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 world is viewed from overhead. You have the ability to switch between a handful of preset camera angles, and despite having no direct control over the camera, it works surprisingly well. Unlike so many games that have screwed up camera angles, Future Cop almost always has you looking where you would need to be. 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, and there are all manner of gates, switches, buttons levers, mazes and general bullshit to get through before you can finish a level. And then 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 wleapion 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 honest, I enjoyed the hell out of this game. According to my extensive research (wikipedia) the game barely sold 200,000 copies and the production team went bust. I really can’t understand why. A game where you play as a 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.