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1 Player

Memory Card 1 Block

Game Type

Shoot-em-up/Flight Sim

Analog Compatible


Review Date

October 1997

Setting the Scene

Way back in September '95 we heard of a high-tech helicopter shoot-em-up that was being developed by the Wheelhaus team. Word got around that this game would stretch the Playstation's graphical capabilities to a boundary far beyond the imagination of gameplayer's expectations. These were bold claims indeed during the early day of the PSX. Then we heard...... nothing. The expected release date of April '96 passed by and still we heard nothing.

Some months ago we discovered that G-Police was in the capable hands of Psygnosis, a company who have already played a major role in stretching the boundaries of the 32-bit console with top titles such as Wipeout 2097, Destruction Derby 2 and Formula 1'97. This was indeed good news and our expectations were high. However, the million dollar question remained, could they provide the Playstation consumer with their first realistic flight sim?

Well there's no need to skip to the foot of this review as I will reveal all now. G-Police is not without it's niggles and frustrations but our general concensus of opinion is a resounding... YES!

Sit back, buckle up and prepare for the ride of your life as you take control of a heavily armed Havoc Assault Gunship for 35 formidable missions through the corrupt cities of Calliasto, one of Jupiter's many moons. G-Police is set in the year 2097 when technology has advanced to the point where humans are able to colonize our solar system. Callisto has been colonized with an aim to extract its great mineral wealth that lies deep below the surface. War is raging in space as each nation battles for control of the planets that contain the essential minerals. Corporations now rule the roost. People lost confidence in their governments after war over the squandering of Earths mineral resources. They tore established society apart so the major corporations decided to restore it in a form that was good for business.

Vast domed cities now litter the nearest planets and moons protecting their occupants from the harsh conditions outside while the corporations reluctantly agree to fund an independent force to police their territories, G-Police have been formed to control the colonies within.


G-Police is a fast, exciting flight simulator based in a highly populated true three dimensional city-scape, although it is heavily biased towards shoot-em-up air/ground combat. G-Police provides the player with a unique opportunity to become a G-Cop and patrol the streets of a virtual city in a heavily armed, close air support gunship. Unfortunately the domes are also inhabited by renegades, out-casts of society and murderous villains and it is your task to clean up this city.

The story line of G-Police was originally written by a professional script writer but was adapted to suit the game structure. This meant that the script and missions were developed to compliment one another - you won't find out how it ends until you reach the outro.


Wow! What an intro. The story is revealed by a FMV sequence that was provided through the use of a Silicon Graphics Workstation and advanced motion-capture technology to provide an opening intro of movie quality. Not only does G-Police begin with the longest computer generated full motion video but it is by far the most stunning ever witnessed on the Playstation console. If this does not raise your expectations through the roof then I'm afraid that you suffer from impaired vision or you are stone cold dead. If you do not intend purchasing this game then at least visit your local games supplier and gawp at Psygnosis' efforts. As you progresses through the missions, you are rewarded with further high quality story segments and campaign briefs.

The in-game graphics are a work of art and reach a standard that I expected Syndicate Wars to achieve (but sadly failed). These are living, breathing, high rise cities where the citizens go about their everyday business (travelling back and forth in their vehicles) oblivious to the daily chores you perform above their heads (frantic dogfights against enemy craft). Aw shucks, it's all in a days work for the G-Police. Street lights brighten up the heavily congested roads which are lined with individually designed buildings and structures. Subways and bridges bypass industrial sites, in fact, you would think that Psygnosis had employed an architect to work within their development team.

Although each level is divided into groups of domed cities that are connected by warp tunnels, you never really feel hemmed in. The fact that each city is surrounded by a mesh dome actually helps, not hinders the gameplay and allows you to corner the enemy fighters rather than chase them through endless space. Once they are tracked down and eliminated the resulting explosions are stunning. Rather than a quick flash and a puff of smoke, the enemy craft catches fire, spirals out of control, spectacularly collides with the sides of buildings, before crashing to the ground in a ball of flame. Movie quality.

After saying that the in-game graphics are remarkable they do suffer from one major problem, the redraw distance is very short. You are flying along with your mind on the mission... then, wham, a multi-storey office block appears right before your very eyes causing you to quickly take evasive action. This is obviously the penalty for stretching the PSX to it's limits, but fear not as a short visit to the options screen allows you to determine how you want the game to look. Maximizing the viewing distance is beneficial when you first begin to play but this will slightly reduce the frame rate and slow the game down. Once you become accustomed to the handling of your craft the frame rate can be increased to improve the speed of the game but the view angle and distance will be reduced. Tinker around with this option before you begin the first mission to avoid disappointment.

Sounds and Effects

The sound of your jet engines accompanies your every move and can only be described as a silent roar. This is soon lost amidst the whizzing of lasers, whooshing of rockets and resounding thump as your bomblets hit the tarmac. Mission updates are transmitted directly to your cockpit as are the frequent screams of your comrades as they bite the dust. "I'm out of control. I'm going down. I'm going down. Aaagggghhh..." KABOOM! Get the idea.

The background music is a selection of futuristic electro-synthesize sounds which reminded me very much of the movie Blade Runner.


First of all I must mention that G-Police is Analog compatible. At last we have a game on the market that is enhanced by using those two twiddly sticks. The left 'thumb rest' is ace for maneuvering your craft, the right allows you to glance all around the cockpit for incoming enemies and the directional buttons are transformed into weapon select buttons. Don't worry if you do not own one as holding down the circle button switches the up/down direction buttons into weapon select but you lose the all round vision. Why not use G-Police as an excuse to treat yourself this Christmas. I personally couldn't imagine playing this game without the new pad.

G-Police comes on two CD's and is the game divided into 35 mission. Your tasks include reconnaissance, protection, high action battles and city patrols. Rather than individual levels, G-Police follows a script that is guaranteed to hold your attention right up to the thrilling climax while the intricate plot will always keep you guessing.

As a recruit of the G-Police organization you must pilot the Havoc, a highly maneuverable vector thrust gunship much like the helicopter gunships of today. The Havocs agility makes it the only choice for the airborne policing of urban areas, full of high-rise blocks and skyscrapers. The Havoc is nearing the end of its service life but is still the best ship for the job. To help you get to grips with the controls, G-Police includes a five level training mode where your instructors take you step by step through a selection of maneuverers. This includes:- flying through a series of hoops around an obstacle course in a race against the clock, following your leader as he attempts to shake you off, using weapons on static targets and finally a spot of dogfighting against drone pilots. The training exercise is of vital importance as I charged straight into the first mission and didn't have a clue what was going on. I then retired and completed the training course. Suddenly the whole thing began to make sense.

Your Havoc helicopter is packed with high tech weaponry that will aid you on your mission based orders from the Vulcan cannon to a devastating Plasma launcher. Then there's the 1000kg laser guided bomb for getting rid of a whole bunch of things that move and those things that don't - such as buildings. An interesting little weapon is the EPP which is used to paralyse and disable a vehicles avionic and computer system. These are particularly useful when chasing a fast moving road vehicles. Dog fights will take place as you hover over the busy streets where the civilian traffic is vulnerable to your missiles and guns. A misplaced rocket could easily destroy an innocent passerby or an unsuspecting bus full of harmless passengers, but don't worry as your bosses believe that civilian casualties are inevitable in this tough old world. Don't get too cocky, though - your enemies have military hardware far more powerful than your Havoc. If the action becomes a little to hot for your liking you can always turn tail and shake off those chasing enemies by weaving between buildings, ducking under bridges and cutting through subways.

The opening mission is fairly straightforward and involves a spot of reconnaissance work. Cargo boxes must be scanned for illegal weapons and if anything is untoward then you must call in the ground cops. Each objective is constantly displayed on your intelligently designed compass/radar panel. This not only keeps you pointing in the right direction but also registers incoming enemies. Scanning is a simple process and involves locking on to a target and waiting for five seconds while your computer scrutinizes the information. The same process is used to lock on to an enemy craft. Once you have pinpointed an enemy he will remain on your radar until he is destroyed. Ah, the wonders of science. Missions are usually divided into two or three tasks and a password is offered on completion along with a total of enemy kills. Unfortunately the records also show the number of innocent civilians killed during your mission so hold back on wild firing.

The following missions range from providing air support for a police riot van to bringing down out of control droids who are destroying the city. As you progress the missions become extremely difficult but to counteract this your weapons are upgraded to stunning proportions. Your most important asset is your wingman who accompanies you on each mission. That's right, for once you are not on your own. Take care not to shoot him out of the sky, so check that each target has a red border and not a blue one. Your computer controlled assistant will independently take out targets but you have the facility to select a target for him on your weapons hud. Correct use of your wingman is essential during later missions.

There are several ways to view the action. The in-cockpit camera is probably the most suitable but a top down view will need to be used when you take part in a bombing mission as this is the only way you can accurately position your laser.

Value for Money

G-Police has so much depth and gameplay that it is a must buy for budding Top Guns. The visuals are stunning that it's hard to believe it was only a few months ago we were content with flight shooters such as Descent 2. It may become a little difficult for some players after the first two groups of campaigns but all this will prove is that you are not hard enough to be a full time member of G-Police. Yet another classic for the Playstation.





The training missions will be essential to your progress. I must have spent a good hour practicing maneuverers and getting to grips with the controls. Once I had stopped ramming my craft into the skyscrapers I felt confident to begin the first mission. The first six levels were fairly easy but then the difficulty steps up a notch. By level ten I could turn my craft on a pin and the game became more enjoyable. Some of the missions were a little short, perhaps a few breaks between tasks would have allowed me to patrol the streets and take in some of the splendid scenery. The short redraw distance is soon forgotten when eight enemy craft are buzzing on your tail.








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