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Blast From the Past: G-Police

This is an exciting new feature for The Gamers Hub. Every Monday TGH will have one of its writers take a look back at a game from their past that they loved, and usually one that people really overlooked, or have just downright forgotten about. Unlike other retrospective articles, we want you guys to still be able to go out and pick up these excellent titles, so for most of the titles on show you’ll be able to find it easily on the net, on PSN or XBL, maybe even in your local games shop’s retro section! Anyway we hope you enjoy Justagamer’s article on PSX title G-Police

 

What’s on the Menu

G-Police, short for Government Police, is a vehicular shooter game from 1997 that was released on the Playstation, PC. Developed by Psygnosis, the famed Liverpool based studio now known as SCE Studio Liverpool, whom were founded in 1984 and are Sony’s oldest first party developer. I’m sure you’ll have heard of these dev geniuses when the name ‘Wipeout’ is mentioned, as the Wipeout series is arguable their most infamous franchise.

G-Police is set in a futuristic sci-fi universe with the protagonist ‘Slater’, who works as a top VTOL pilot carrying out a string of missions, whilst investigating the death of his sister ‘Elaine’ who also worked for G-Police. G-Police not only consisted of a decent plot but also provided my favourite piece of any video game cine-script, plenty of backstory.

 

Tell me a story, Sam

Ok, darken the room, cue some smokey music and let me narrate to you:

In 2057, the depletion of Earth’s resources coincided with widening space exploration. After a catastrophic war over ever-declining resources, ending 10 years prior to the events of G-Police’s 2097 fiction, Earth’s governments were stripped of military power. As a result, powerful corporations had exerted control over Earth and the burgeoning space colonies. The Government Police (G-Police) was formed by Earth’s remaining coalition government to maintain order in these colonies.

The game’s protagonist, Slater, introduces himself as a war veteran who had joined the G-Police to conduct his own investigation of his sister’s apparent suicide, suspecting that she was murdered.  He provides his view of the G-Police, stating they lack authority and “turn a blind eye” to “shady corporate deals” while attempting to maintain order. He describes the pilots as a mixture of desperate war veterans and naïve idealists, and the Havoc Gunships as dated.

 

How does it play?

As I played this an awful long time ago, G-Police was a great experience. Mostly due to the VTOL handling. Ducking, diving, strafing and shooting was an extremely smooth experience, making piloting your vehicle both fun and responsive. The game allows you to switch perspectives at anytime from 1st person, to 3rd person, cockpit view, birds eye view from below to drop bombs and a number of chase angles from extra outlook.

All of this comes in handy during high speed, high altitude dogfights, or air to ground combat with mech’s and other ground based targets. I usually preferred to fly low turning between buildings and using cover when in situations where I was outnumbered. Weapons were upgradeable and consisted of missles, front end guns and bombs for starters.

The game offered a training section and 35 main missions, all vehicle based, which were received on the fly from G-Police HQ and included seeking out and destroying enemies, escorting friendly ground units, preventing smuggling, bomb disposal, and more.

You can see a how the Playstation gameplay looked: G-Police Gameplay

 

Didn’t they do well

G-Police was largely received well by critics. It was noted for it’s solid gameplay and superb handling, but slightly knocked for short draw distances, rare difficulty spikes (which I remember, aaagghh) and the odd visual hiccup, but nothing to withdraw from the overall experience. Taking on a Blade Runner vision of the future and utilising wide sectioned arena’s (contained by domes), G-Police was a technical marvel during it’s release and was noted particularly for the use of force–feedback, thumbsticks, 3D sound, and Direct3D Hardware Acceleration.

In 1999, G-Police: Weapons of Justice was released as a direct sequel to G-Police. This also starred Slater as the main protagonist. Weapons of Justice ended with a hook for the sequel, but a third installment was never created, and the game’s production team has now been disbanded. The games generally received good reviews, but did not prove popular enough to be continued.

Ah, Memory lane…..

Now I’ve written this article, I’m tempted to hit PSN and download this gem one more time. If you’re tempted to check it out, then let us know in the comments section.  If you also have fond memories, like me, then share them here! It’s always good to hear from fellow fans on something rare.

 

Till all are One, and as always, JustaGamer

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