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Policenauts (PS1)

Policenauts PSX
Before swap CD, save state to file, next CD, upload save state file.
Genre: Adventure
Perspective: 1st-person
Art: Anime / Manga
Gameplay: Shooter
Setting: Sci-Fi / Futuristic
Published by: Konami Co
Developed by: Konami Co
Released: 1996
Platforms: PlayStation (PSX, PS1), 3DO Interactive Multiplayer

The game Policenauts first saw the light in 1994 on PC-9821. Apparently, she fell in love with gamers, because in the next two years she "amicably" also went to 3DO, PlayStation and Saturn. And, as often happens, all these releases were designed only for Japanese buyers. Given the great popularity of the game, there were plans to publish it in Europe and America, but for a number of reasons it never happened ... It's a pity that to say.
Versions for different consoles differed not only in the year of release or various innovations in terms of graphics or gameplay, but also the number of disks. The version for PC-9821 occupied 1 CD, versions for 3DO and PSX - 2 CDs, and for SATURN - already 3 CDs.
From the versions of the game available to me, the most suitable for "acquaintance" was the version for PSX. Both in terms of graphics, and in terms of its compatibility with emulators (all the same, 3DO and Saturn games are much harder to launch on a PC). But this is, so to speak, the look of a gamer-emulator, but if you look at the game through the eyes of a gamer of that era, then the picture that we will see will be different. The game was not just a new "fairy tale for the old way," but rather a significant step forward. Policenauts is more advanced than its "ideological" predecessor Snatcher. Action-component is also at an altitude - the scenes with shooting became larger, and they are more diverse now. Voice acting at a high level. The plot is also beyond praise. Therefore, it is not surprising that the game became quite popular in Japan and that it was released in a short time on all 32-bit consoles (sorry that only in Japan).
I would also like to note that the PSX game Policenauts was released three times: the first time in 1996, the second time in 1997, and the third time relatively recently in 2003.
Probably, for those who played the game in 1996, it seemed almost a masterpiece. Of course, years later there were other games claiming this title, but if you evaluate not only graphics, but also internal content in games, then it's not surprising that "archaic" Policenauts is still interesting to players. Only if the player of the year 1996 attracted and surprised with its novelty and technical delights, then the current player - for the most part the plot.
Well, on this topic you can think for a long time and to no avail, so it's time to go directly to the review of the game itself, the analysis of all its "pros" and "minuses."

I'll start, perhaps, with an explanation of the name of the game. Policenauts - this word is based on two English words - Police and Astronauts. Hence, policenauts can be translated as "cosmo-cops".

Genre

The genre of the game is easy to determine, on the one hand, and difficult enough on the other. The fact is that if you focus on the gameplay itself, then everything is quite simple - an adventure game with action elements, but if you focus on the plot of the game (especially if the game is specifically created as a kind of movie), then it will be an acutely plot science- a fantastic police thriller! The second option, although it is "cinematic", gives a more complete picture. And there is nothing to be surprised at - after all the game was created by none other than Hideo Kojima, who always aspired to give his creations the features of the cinema. And, I must say, he did it very successfully.

Graphics

I will not talk much about the schedule. This is not a story, everything is simple. Resolution in the game, and in the commercials - 320x240. In doing so, everything is done in the anime style. And the anime clips were created not by Konami himself, but by the famous studio AIC. The color scale, animation of the characters is also at a high level and pleases the eye. Especially a lot of attention is paid to female characters and EMPS (this is a spacesuit for policemen to carry out tasks both inside the colony and beyond, in space). Also very pleasing to the eye is the scene at the beginning of the game, when Jonathan's office "floods" with different colors, and the Space Museum. If you compare the graphics of Snatcher (even the PSX version) with the graphics of Policenauts, then the "poly-patents" are higher. Also, judging by the information I got on the Internet, the graphics of "poly-scenes" in the PSX version are better than in the versions for PC-9821 and 3DO (personally, I could not be sure yet). The only serious drawback of the game in this regard can be called only a low resolution. Of course, at the time of the release of the game it was the norm for games on the PSX, but still some small details and "heaped" hieroglyphs are quite difficult to consider.

Music / sound effects

I must say that I was quite surprised when I heard a tune on the title screen, which I associated with another game of Kozima - Metal Gear Solid, which also sounds on the title screen. So, where did the music come from!
If we talk about music in general, it is very much nothing. She was obviously chosen with regard to the idea of ​​an ordinary person about this or that place or event. For example, at the beginning of the game (when it is told about the creation of the Beyond Coast colony), a melody sounds, which otherwise can not be called "cosmic". And the touching melody, which sounds when Jonathan meets Lorraine, will not leave anyone indifferent. A rabid chase and a tough shootout! Melodies that sound like this, even very well convey the rhythm and the whole complexity of the situation.
It's also a sin to complain about sound effects. Shots, explosions, signals of cars on the road, work of EMPS engines, footsteps, closing and opening of doors - and this is far from a complete list of effects. Attention to detail is the main rule of the creators of the game. Therefore, in the game, as far as possible, everything that is possible is voiced.
Voice acting in the game - this is a separate topic. For me personally, professional voice acting was important not so much from aesthetic considerations, but rather from practical ones. Since I do not know Japanese, the normal voice acting provided an opportunity to feel the game more deeply. The change in intonation in the voice of the heroes of the game told me a lot. Anger, surprise, fear - listening to voices, you can fully understand the meaning of what is happening. True, if the monologue was dragging out, then there was nothing to do but wait for its end ...
Of course, not all dialogues are voiced, but only the main and necessary for the further passage of the game. They seem to signal: something has changed. Usually this means the appearance of a new item in the menu. Personally, I played like that - listened to the dialogue, "rummaged" in the menu, moved on.
For those who would like to listen to the melodies from the game, a small gift is made - in the house of Karen Hodge, you need to explore the shelves with music CDs. Each CD is one or another melody from the game. There is also music from Snatcher.

Gameplay

Although this game is an ideological follower of Snatcher, but at the same time the gameplay has undergone significant changes in comparison with its predecessor. The game, as before, consists of two main elements - a quest and a virtual shooting gallery, but they differ markedly from what you could see in Snatcher. As an analog of Sid's rescue from an uncontrollable machine in Snatcher, in the game Policenauts - the scene with the bomb neutralization. But first things first.
So, the first half of the game - this is quite an ordinary quest-detective. We visit different locations, we talk with different people, we find different subjects. Only if all this in the Snatcher was done through the menu, in Polycenauts this is implemented by a more modern method - point-and-click (as in the current quests). We just move the cursor around the screen and, if possible, explore different objects or talk to this or that character. When talking to someone, pointing the cursor at him and pressing the joystick button, we will see the menu. Usually there are only a few items - conversation, application of the subject and output. In the nested menu of "talking" points there are much more, and in the menu "items" - just a few points. Subjects with a Jonathan has never worn much, not that "Plushkin" Gillian.
This innovation, for all its progressive nature, sometimes hinders. After all, to advance the game, you often need to find some trifle, and not only is it not always clear where to look, so it's also unclear what exactly is needed!
Now let's talk about "firing". This component part of the game since the time of Snatcher evolved into a kind of FPS. The screen is no longer divided into sectors. Now we can shoot anywhere, and the enemy, accordingly, can also appear anywhere. In addition, the enemy can hide behind various objects of the interior, and getting to him is not so simple. And in the scene of the pursuit of the "motorcyclist" along the highway, both us and the traffic cars and trucks that are traveling in different directions will interfere. He will go round them, we will shoot at them, so that they give way to us and at the same time prevent the "motorcyclist". And remember, it's only in words it seems so simple. In fact, this and other scenes with shooting "to pass" oh as it is tricky.
I must say that I tried to "pass" the first scene with shooting in this game on the SONY PlayStation 2 and failed almost immediately. It is very inconvenient to aim with the joystick. Even on the keyboard, I did a lot better. By the way, both the version for 3DO, and the version for PSX supported the "mouse". I think it was much easier to play with her.
The scenes with shooting are distributed unevenly during the game. At the end of the game, they are much larger than in the middle, not to mention the beginning. And the head of Duel and does consist of only a few skirmishes. By the end of the game, the player must follow only one commandment: "Kill or be killed!"
With the "shooting" is directly related to another sick topic of the game - the preservation of data. If in the course of the game we can usually be saved anywhere and anytime, during the "shooting" of the player this opportunity is denied. But this is exactly the most complex scenes in the game. Particularly difficult is during the storming of the office of the company Tokugawa (head Duel). Clearly, the emulator has a fast save and load, but still it's somehow unfair to "bastards".
Regarding the same puzzles and puzzles I can only say that only once in the whole game I met such a "complication" - I needed a password for the computer. And nothing like that. In Snatcher, everything was much more complicated.

Funny moments

Those who played this game, for sure, know that Jonathan, like Gillian, is a great lover of women. After all, he slept for 25 years! Therefore, he is drawn to them. Especially to Chris Goldwyn. Well, you can understand it. Past this lady to pass by is not easy. But, unlike Snatcher, in this game we can personally observe this process. It's not that there was anything like that, but still ... Watching this and responding to the reactions to Jonathan's actions is very amusing.
I could not pass by another point - the portable game console Mark "Picno 8". More precisely, by its characteristics. Judge for yourself: 64-bit processor, resolution 1536х1152, color depth - 48 bits, 3D rendering and various visual effects in real time. I do not know what will be there in 30 years, but at the time of the game, such characteristics were more fantastic than the whole plot. I think a few players then in the late 90's realized that the small prefix of Mark is many times steeper than the prefix on which they played in Policenauts. Yeah, in the presence of a sense of humor creators do not refuse.

Two words about the plot and the heroes. At the first in the history of mankind, the cosmic colony of Beyond Coast pompously send a detachment of five poly-patents, specially selected and trained cops, who should control order among the citizens of the cosmos. In the process of testing equipment, one of them is thrown out into open space, and 25 years furrows its expanses in the cryogenic dream of an emergency capsule. The fresh-frozen hero is called Jonathan Ingram, and we will play for him. After being rescued and rehabilitated after a long hibernation, it digs out on Earth (Earth is now affectionately called Home), in Old Los Angeles, where it spends the days for smoking rationed cigarettes and small detective investigations. But soon he has to make another voyage to Beyond Coast, get there in a big binding, shake out a few skeletons from the cabinets and experience a couple of dozens of unforgettable encounters and adventures. Help and cover it will be Ed Brown, an old friend and partner.