(Pocket-lint) - Giant Cop: Justice Above All is a refreshing experience that stands out from the wave shooters that typically dominate virtual reality gaming. In the game, you play a giant police officer who towers above the streets of Micro City, laying down the law with an enormous hand in a VR sandbox experience like no other.
Set in the 1970s, it's a quirky and colourful game with a satirical style. There's plenty of tongue-in-cheek humour, interactive objects to mess about with and a wealth of missions and sidequests to keep you interested, too. So let's all give a big hand to Giant Cop for being bold and different.
The virtual sandbox experience
In Giant Cop: Justice Above All, you're dropped into the wonderful world of Micro City, a large city made up of multiple zones and rendered in bold, cartoon-like graphics.
One controller gives you access to the map, which shows where the missions and sidequests are and allows you to move between townships. The map is Grand Theft Auto in scale, which might suggest it would take ages to navigate - but as you're a giant, you can whizz across it in a flash.
Getting about within each section is as simple as teleporting from one place to another, by pointing and clicking to beam quickly down the street. Teleporting is achieved from point-to-point, so you're partly limited as to where you can go. But it is a Room-Scale game, so you can move about in the that way, if you have the playspace available.
The sandbox experience is where Giant Cop really shines. The environment is packed with interactable objects - basketballs you can throw, binoculars that actually work, a dart gun that fires real darts over a short distance, dominoes you can knock down, spray cans and exploding paint pots, moving puppets, and much more.
What's the story?
The main campaign of Giant Cop: Justice Above All starts off simply enough, easing you nicely into the game. You are a giant police officer, after all, so it's no surprise that your main objective is to ensure justice is carried out. You're tasked with arresting various scallywags around the City and tossing them in prison. There's all the joy of police work, without the boring paperwork.
Basic missions include things like investigating an area by shaking down civilians to see if they're carrying drugs. Micro City has a "cabbage" problem and it's your job to help stomp it out. Hilariously cabbage is literally that - a green vegetable that people are chomping down around town.
Picking up people from the streets and giving them a quick shake will empty their pockets. If cabbage falls out, they're guilty, so you can toss them in jail. Or just literally toss them away without any repercussions - which feels a bit alien to get away with murder (but maybe it's a social commentary on the sheer power of law enforcement).
It's your job to clean up the streets and your orders come straight from the Commissioner. The only problem is, she's a bit of a dictator and the people of Micro City are not a fan of her antics.
As the campaign progresses, an undercurrent of rebels who are unhappy with the Police state emerge and begin wreaking havoc. They blow up the Police station, riot and protest around Micro City, and spray paint anti-establishment messages across town. You're ordered to investigate, arrest and clamp down on this bunch of people - and soon enough they're as unhappy with you as they are with the Commissioner.
This is where the campaign gets interesting. As the rebels run rampant, you have to ask are you just a mindless drone who follows orders, or a real man who stands up for the little person?
Side-missions and achievements
For distraction from the main campaign, there are some side missions scattered around the map for you to complete. These mostly involve talking to an old lady called Agnes who wants you to arrest people for things that only old ladies would deem a crime – reading comic books, drinking booze in public, flying around town in jetpacks, nude sunbathing, that sort of thing. These side missions are as fun as they are daft.
There are also 210 badges located in various places across the City. They're tucked away in nooks and crannies, hidden under bridges, between trees, on top of buildings, and you can either grab them or pick them up by hitting them with objects. Collecting all these unlocks an achievement, but you're unlikely to want to do this unless you have OCD tendencies that need quenching.
If you like fully completing games, there are also achievements for doing daft things like throwing paint barrels, arresting the wrong people, bashing a civilian out of the city with a baseball bat, and more. These are an entertaining distraction to add more gaming time to an otherwise short game.
Giant Cop: Justice Above All is an unusual and entertaining game that's got great style and humour. If you've been looking for a VR-based sandbox experience then this is a great example.
Unfortunately, the game is let down by a short main campaign that lasts a little under three hours. If you don't complete the side missions, ignore the achievements and don't collect all 210 badges then you might be disappointed.
The game is compatible with both standing and room-scale play spaces and more than comfortably handles both. We never had issues with tracking, nor did we get frustrated with our interaction within the virtual world. That says a lot about the design and build quality of this game.