Police Quest 2 revolves around being a police officer at work: detective Sonny Bonds, on the homicide squad in the fictional American town of Lytton. No choosing skills for a personalised character - Bonds likes his job and he isn't going to change.
Arriving at the police station one morning, you receive a bote about a retrial for Jessie Bains. Bains is the "Death Angel", a murderer with whom Bonds has crossed swords before - what do you think Police Quest was about? A few minutes later, urgent news is flashed to you. Bains has escaped and he has a hostage - what now?
What you don't do is leap into a patrol car and drive to the crime scene. Such positive action lands you in trouble This is a "true to life tale of high police adventure", as the box proudly proclaims, written by an American ex-policeman called Jim Walls!
First of all you have to get the paperwork sorted out. Don't worry about that hostage - he's been dead for hours. Believe it or not, the entire police station has the same attitude towards the public good as the very responsible guy who designed Chernobyl!
Asking your captain for help doesn't do a lot of good either. He's exactly the stereotype you see on every American cop show: angry, busy and short on friendly words. Well, not exactly all that busy. He gets through an awful lot of ice lollies and telephone calls and the he turns round and tells you to get on with the job.
This is how a real police officer behaves? The USA does have a very high crime rate, especially murder, but Lytton's law enforcement community just doesn't care. If this is a "true to life tale of high police adventure" I'll take something like South American Death Squad Simulator any time - I bet they'd show more concern and compassion for their fellow man.
I'd love to know what to do next on the administrative side but I haven't a clue. You just don't find that sort of thing out from Dirty Harry films. How do you get further? Well, you can spend hours just trying to get ten minutes into the game. Playing Police Squad 2 can be as predictable as the forms you get to fill before you have the chance to get the cuffs out.
GRAPHICS AND SOUND
It's a pretty game and no mistake - better looking than Hero's Quest. When you adjust the sights on your gun you couldn't ask for a clearer picture of what's going on. Driving around Lytton is a bit tedious as it all looks the same. The speed at which the graphics move puts me in mind of a Citroen 2CV - it gets there but it takes time. Audiowise there isn't a lot. I was promised a 30 minute original stereo theme tune... somewhere.
This game will have you running around the ceiling in frustration. It's a three-disk game and there's whole a lot of accessing going on. This sort of one-
Police Quest 2 can make you livid. After spending a good few hours getting totally fed up it's all too possible to want to blow away your captain in frustration. This costs your badge and leaves you still far from solving the Jessie Bain's Case.
If you think you could be a real American police officer, then go for it. The game is good EXCEPT that it requires an immense effort to play. When I play a computer game I expect progress not blood, sweat and tears. Some will find emulating the job of a modern American 'tec enthralling, but most will find it far too realistic - with its heavy procedural bias - reminding them of a hard day at the office. Not the ideal way to relax after a hard day at the office.