The Shield

Vic Mackey is a bad dude - the kind of TV cop who even makes guys like 24's Jack Bauer look kinda (dare we say) wimpy. To say he works on both side of the law is the understatement of the year; it's more like he abuses the hell out of his position to better his own life and (occasionally) society at large.

Why do you care, you ask? Because he's coming to your house. After a few starts and stops, Aspyr is ready to finally unleash Mackey and company in the form of The Shield onto your PS2 and PC this holiday season. We recently got to get our hands (and morals) dirty with a Playstation 2 preview copy; here's the lowdown.

As you'd expect, The Shield puts you squarely in the shoes of Mackey; what's a bit of a curveball is that it takes place in the days between the second and third seasons of the show. Considering that it's now heading into its sixth year of broadcast, fans will experience a veritable time warp by going so far back in the Shield canon. If you've never spent a moment watching this LA story, though, no worries - a slick intro brings you up (down?) to speed.

Mackey's beloved Strike Team is coming apart at the seams. In the wake of a disastrous money train robbery attempt - that's right, the cops are also robbers - defections and disinterest threaten to spell the end of the elite squad. Conveniently, Vic is presented with one last shot to keep his cowboys together by busting up a huge gun ring. That's where you come in - as our favorite antihero, it's your job to use almost any means necessary to follow the trail and prevent your livelihood from being eliminated (not to mention facing justice for past atrocities).