With the release of L.A. Noire, people have cops on the brain. Not the FOX show where so many people see their cousin Linus every week, but actual officers of the law. With the ridiculous level of immersion afforded to players with Team Bondi’s groundbreaking MotionScan technology, everyone and their mother is feeling like an ace detective.
Yet for every Detective Cole Phelps that swiftly hammers down justice with every case presented to him, there are a dozen officers that, for a variety of reasons, aren’t very good at their jobs. Perhaps they’re no smarter than people that got rid of all their belongings before the Rapture that never came, or maybe they treat their jobs with the subtlety seen in the billboards advertising the very same event. So before you get too enamored with virtual cops, allow us to bring you back down to Earth.
Any Police Department — Grand Theft Auto series
The police forces in Grand Theft Auto are enough to make Brucie and Roman look like the founding members of Mensa. You can spend 30 minutes maiming pedestrians and blowing up tanks, but if you manage to give your pursuers the slip for juuuuust long enough to sneak into a Pay N Spray, your atrocities will be forgotten:
“My, that Banshee looks awful familiar, and there’s a guy that looks just like the mass murderer we’ve been trying to stop for the past hour driving it! Surely, it can’t be … nah. Probably nothin’.”
That’s not even the worst of it. In San Andreas’ case, simply getting to your safehouse and changing just one piece of clothing, no matter how insignificant, will make you unrecognizable to the authorities. You can change your shirt, put on sunglasses, or even just flip your hat from forwards to backwards to fool the chumps into leaving you alone.
Finally, the LCPD in GTA IV are simply content with searching within a set radius to find their perp, with the size of the search radius increasing depending on your wanted level. If you manage to stay just outside of this radius for long enough they’ll call off their search, and they won’t bat an eye as they pass you up immediately afterwards.
John McClane — Die Hard Arcade
There’s no way around it: John McClane is a badass that doesn’t take shit from anyone. If you need a terrorist plot foiled in the most fantastically violent way possible, you call McClane. However, stabbing terrorists with icicles while yelling crazed obscenities isn’t quite orthodox police work, is it?
As much as I’d love to pick apart how wonderfully ridiculous McClain’s tactics are in the Die Hard movies, that’s obviously not what this website is about. Instead, let’s pick apart how wonderfully ridiculous McClain’s tactics are in Die Hard Arcade for the Sega Saturn.
He blasts thugs with a rocket launcher in an office building lobby, dodges oncoming fire trucks in underground parking garages, and runs rampant through various hallways punching the ever-living crap out of people, women included. You can check out the conduct unbecoming of an officer in this video, or just enjoy this lovely screenshot:
Chun-Li — Street Fighter series
The great thing about mocking a fake person that would easily kick your ass is that they’re fake and can’t kick your ass for mocking them, something to keep in mind as I talk about the otherwise lovely Chun-Li.
As far as I’m concerned, story in a fighting game is completely unnecessary and only serves to get in the way of the fisticuffs you paid to engage in. In this case Chun-Li is an undercover officer for Interpol, where her idea of undercover is to dress in a bright blue qipao with black tights and white boots.
So of course the next course of action is to enter an international fighting tournament, which I guess makes sense when the guy you’re after has moves with names like Psycho Crusher that propel him across a stage like it’s no big deal. Surely there are more practical ways of apprehending a perp than a series of one-on-one fights across the world?
Carmelita Fox — Sly Cooper series
I finally got around to playing this series when The Sly Collection released for the PS3 late last year and I ended up enjoying them a whole hell of a lot. I loved the gameplay, the story was enjoyable, and I loved the characters, including the disturbingly sexy Carmelita Fox. It’s a shame that she’s so crap at her profession.
Throughout the series Carmelita always misses Sly by the slimmest of margins, always having to settle for arresting whatever bad guy Sly caught for her. She can’t even do her own job!
Unfortunately, it only gets worse for Ms. Fox, as she’s absolutely embarrassed in Sly 2. During a heist in the middle of an elegant ball thrown by one of the criminals in the game, Sly is tasked with distracting Carmelita while Bentley and Murray lift the items in plain sight. How does he do it? By wearing a tuxedo, because Carmelita has apparently suffered some sort of blunt force trauma since the last time she saw Sly.
What a buffoon.
Anytown, USA Police Department — Heavy Rain
I saved this entry for last just in case you haven’t played this year-old game just yet, but just in case you haven’t:
As for the awful police work in Heavy Rain … oh man. Let’s start with the fact that the police arrest Ethan because, dammit, he’s the killer! Yet their evidence amounts to nothing but shaky testimony from a frantic ex-wife and a battered psychiatrist. Apparently that’s all it takes to pin a high-profile murder on someone in whatever whacked-out city this game takes place in.
Or what about when Norman helps Ethan break out of jail? Not only was the escape way too easy, but there was nary a consequence for Norman as a result. Or what about when Norman goes to Mad Jack’s garage and sees an acid bath with the remains of other law officers (which he had killed during work hours, no less)? You’d think that the police department would think about looking into their last whereabouts.
I can go on … so I shall. Shelby goes around collecting evidence from various parents of Origami Killer victims, yet that evidence should still be in police custody since the case is still open. Did they just hand them back to parents as mementos? What gives? Oh, and how about the murder rampage that Shelby goes on in the Kramer mansion, which somehow attracts zero police attention despite the pile of bodies?
Whatever city Heavy Rain takes place in, they’d be better served and protected by an army of Helen Kellers.