C.O.P. The Recruit review

  • Cars and guns!
  • Cops and robbers!
  • Hilariously bad rap song in the gun training area
  • Horrible pop-up in a fairly small city
  • Slippery-slidey cars on Teflon-coated roads
  • Shoot at criminals you can barely see

If we were to judge this based entirely on the opening city fly-by, we might say it was one of the most impressive DS games we’ve ever seen. Streets, cars, skyscrapers and pedestrians in a bustling 3D rendering of New York, powered at a super-smooth frame rate by a humble handheld console. Amazing, we might say. We’re going to have some serious fun here!

Unfortunately we’re obliged to dig a little deeper, and we swiftly discover that beyond the slick attract mode lies a stunningly inept GTA clone.

Almost everything about it stinks – even the graphics, after you’ve looked closer and realised those aren’t cars on the busy road but weird little pyramid things that only become recognisable vehicles when they’re a few metres away. The lead character runs like he’s crapped his pants. The godawful animation system can’t even cope with showing him getting into a vehicle, and instead just warps him directly inside.

Pedestrians warp inside your car as well. If you drive along the sidewalk they just pass straight through. You can’t shoot them and you can’t interact with them in any way other than to make them yell at you. There’s one voice sample for men and one for women.

The cars drive like they’re on ice, and at such high speed that you probably won’t see the unbreakable barriers in the road until you get stuck on them. Your bloke can’t even step over a knee-high fence, a problem we could attribute to his aforementioned trouser disaster.

Go into the over-the-shoulder aiming mode and things take a turn for the worse. Locating targets among the murky backdrops and behind the large targeting cursor is tricky. You can’t tell if you were hitting an enemy until he vanishes.

If you think things can’t get any shoddier, try calling up the PDA thing that stores maps, mission objectives and so on. It’s an utterly diabolical creation that requires loads of counter-intuitive back and forth between screens.

For example, after you catch a criminal by bumping into his car three times you have to call the local cops to arrest him. Check the map screen for the nearest police station. Find the station’s name on another screen. Memorise its phone number. Dial it on yet another screen… Wow. Impressively awful.

Nov 20, 2009

More Info

Release date: Nov 03 2009 - DS (US)
Oct 30 2009 - DS (UK)
Available Platforms: DS
Genre: Adventure
Published by: Ubisoft
Developed by: VD Dev
ESRB Rating:
Teen: Violence, Mild Language
PEGI Rating:


  • QWERTYCommander - November 20, 2009 10:29 p.m.

    Too bad. I was anticipating this game. Oh well, I guess I'm still getting Chinatown Wars.
  • CreeplyTuna - November 21, 2009 2:55 a.m.

  • key0blade - November 22, 2009 5:01 p.m.

    I knew it was gonna PHAIL, it just doesn't compare to GTA Chinatown Wars
  • GameManiac - November 23, 2009 4:46 a.m.

    Damn... I thought it would be great... Oh well! Good thing I have a DS Lite and GTA: Chinatown Wars! Yeah!
  • jobosno - January 17, 2010 5:16 p.m.

    I thought, for the most part, it was pretty good, but one of the biggest things was in mid-game, there were terrible save points, and in one mission, the guys runs around like a lunatic and bad guys pop up out of nowhere. Overall, here's what I, myself got: Good: Can ditch the missions at almost any time Some cars are fun to drive (but rarely) Interesting in-game real places Do anything you want after you beat it, but I expected this Bad: Missions are odd, and near impossible sometimes The plot makes me want to laugh at the dramatic scenes instead of cry Gunfights are set in mini-stages, like the transformers ds games. There is where the game gets really irritating (mostly because I've abused my DS to the point that it's just a pile of ciruits.) But at least the gunfights are short.

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