When I first saw Giant Cop I thought it looked like a truckload of fun. Being able to stomp around a city as a 200 foot tall police man, help citizens or maybe wreak havoc that only a giant could, and toss crooks and ruffians into a massive collection bin atop the police station all sounded like something you couldn’t mess up. I was pumped. Unfortunately I found the overall experience to be pretty disappointing. It has moments of fun surrounded by periods of confusion, tedium, frame rate issues, and political jokes that were obvious and honestly, not what I wanted out of the game.
Most of the missions revolve around tracking people down and tossing them into the arrest-o-tron (I just made up that name, it’s totally unofficial.) A lot of the people you have to arrest like to hang out on the tops of buildings, which is handy because then they are right at your level. You might also think that would make them easier to spot but I spent more time than I care to admit teleporting around the districts trying to find the people I’m supposed to be arresting. There were times where if I weren’t reviewing the game I would have shut it off or simply ignored the missions and had my fun destroying things and playing with the giant toys on top of the buildings until I got tired of that.
There are times though where you aren’t looking to arrest someone, you are just looking for information. This too went on longer than it needed to because I didn’t realize I had to shake the person to get more information out of them so I kept picking people up and they would tell me some of what I wanted to hear, then the commissioner would tell me that we needed more information. It was actually by accident that I realized I had to shake the people to get more out of them. There are other missions the require you to shake people and objects looking for criminals or controlled substances and depending on your luck you could be shaking an awful lot before you fulfill the mission parameters.
The main missions are given to you by the commissioner and the side missions that I chose to do were all given to me by an old lady who was a running joke about how old people don’t like new things. Some of her lines elicited a mental chuckle from me but I really felt that if they had just made her as silly as the premise of the game and less of a social commentary she could have been funnier. And that sort of holds true about the rest of the game as well. It’s such a ridiculous premise that it could have been genuinely funny but for some reason they decided to go with humour that makes a political statement. The trouble with this is when you fail at a joke that is just a joke, people might groan, but they carry on. When you fail at a joke that is a political statement it can come across as immature and whiney. Of course, everyone has a different sense of humour and I’m sure there are people who will think Giant Cop is a very funny game, but my take away was that by and large the jokes subtracted from the experience in most cases (though there were a handful that were genuinely funny to me).
In four of the five districts, the ones without the police station in it, the arrest-o-tron is located on a giant blimp that follows you around. That’s pretty handy for arresting perps, but it wasn’t programmed to know where my head was and often flew right through my face while translating to its new location. In VR that’s pretty uncomfortable at best and annoying at worst. But that’s only a one of the problems. Frame rate was an issue for the entire time that I played. It wasn’t a game destroying problem, but it was immersion breaking. And my computer is no slouch. It’s not top of the line, but it’s close. And this seems to be a common problem even for people who do have top of the line computers. Hopefully a future update will optimize the game and smooth out this problem. Beyond that I had my computer freeze once, my height changed like it used to before the sensor update that fixed all of that and when I made it to the final boss the sound cut out.
The Giant Cop description page says that the people react to your every move but it seemed as though they mostly ignored me unless I threw a car at them or picked them up. That’s fine though because if they reacted realistically the city would have been empty of people and I would probably be attacked by the military. Some of the most fun I had in Giant Cop was finding various ways to send people flying. Thankfully there is no punishment for doing so. My only complaint was how they just got up and walked away after. Maybe I’m a sick bastard but I wish that were not the case. I’m not saying I need blood spraying everywhere, that wouldn’t fit in the style of the game, but maybe an ambulance that comes rushing down the street, loads them up and the zips off would have been good.
I’ve been trying to work this part in naturally now but I keep going off on tangents so I will just say it here directly and that will be that. There is one point in the game when you have to use binoculars and it made me feel quite ill. I don’t believe there is a way to do the game without it, though if you needed to you could probably remove your headset and watch on your monitor for what you’re supposed to be looking at. It’s the only point in the game when I felt any nausea at all that I can remember though, and it only lasts about a minute, if that. I’m usually pretty good with VR sickness, but some people would have their day ruined by this part so be warned.
The last possibly negative thing I will say about this game, as I think I’ve made my stance on it pretty clear already, is that it is short. That’s not uncommon for VR games, but I think I spent about 3 hours and certainly no more than 4 on this game. There is a lot that I could go back in and do, including pick up the remainder of the 140 or some odd police badges hidden around the districts and however many side missions remain, but I would just be going back in for the sake of doing more. To my knowledge there is no good reason for me to do so. I suppose something probably happens if I collect all of the police badges so I may try my hand at that since getting them often requires throwing cars or people at them from a distance, which is the most fun aspect of the game, but geez there are a lot of them and I know that tracking down the last couple across the five districts would become unbearably tedious. As for the side missions I have no desire to go back and do those just for the sake of doing them. But if you’re a completionist you will find that the game probably lasts a good deal longer than it did for me.
It’s worth noting that if you are new to VR you may view this game very differently than I do. I suspect that had I played this game two years ago I would have been excited by the sheer joy of the tiny world and the relative freedom afforded to the player in what you can do there. Back then it was enough to just be in another world and anything you could actually do there was icing on the cake. If that describes you and you think you might like this game then you will probably be able to look past the things that I couldn’t. However, if the passage of time has cracked your rose coloured glasses and robbed you of what now seems like a naive gleam in your eye then it’s probably best to pass this one by. At least until there is a drop in price.
Daryle Henry | Dads And Dragons
Oculus ID: theregoes2
- Comfort Level 90%
- Graphics 65%
- Sound 75%
- Difficulty 55%
- Fun Factor 60%
- Overall 65%