21st century, Los Angeles: L.A. has been taken over by gangs and crime lords with assorted high-tech weapons such as thermo nukes, bio agents and plasma rays. Mutants are roaming the town, and it's your job to flush them out and restore the City of Angels.

Despatcher: "X1-Alpha, you have a crowd control situation." 

Welcome to Future Cop LAPD, developed and published by Electronic Arts. You're the cop in charge of L.A., only things aren't so simple anymore. You roam the streets in a two legged walker / hovercraft, state-of-the-art police vehicle. The bad guys have alien UFOs, plasma bombs and other assorted paraphanelia, all designed to crush you and put L.A. under siege.

You have, at all times, three weapons at your disposal. The standard are a Mini Gun, a Hellfire missile, and a mortar. Once you've cleared certain areas, newer weapons can be gained. Though it may seem to be just another shoot-them-up game, you have to be careful to conserve your ammo against the final bosses.

This game comprises of two game modes, Crime War and Precinct Assault.

Crime War: There are 8 missions of reclaiming L.A. bit by bit. Play alone or in two player mode. Along to help you is a pretty, hot shot, wise-cracking despatcher giving you hints and tips. Break into the heart of the crime lords' territory, kill their flunkies/ mutants, and free prisoners. There's a bit of thinking required, such as finding a key to open a door or look for a teleporter, but they are easy to do.

It takes some time to get use to the controls, but I assure you, once you understand the manuevers, this game is a lot of fun. There is a briefing movie before each mission, and an ending movie once you've completed that area.

The gameplay is smooth with no interruption, and the sound is of good quality. Watch X1 Alpha switch from a walker to a hovercraft. The graphics are smooth, with some pretty impressive explosion / laser scenes and the lighting is well done. The explosions things are brilliantly coloured without blinding you. The controls are a bit tricky, I'd give the average gamer an hour or two for the learning curve.

Precinct Assault: Also known as the deathmatch of LAPD. (This is my friend's favourite part of LAPD) Play against a friend or against  the computer's AI, the Sky Captain. The more you win against the Sky Captain, the better he gets. (but that doesn't means he's so tough...) Your aim is to get one of your hovercrafts into the enemy's territory, but it isn't as easy as it sounds. Hovercrafts are very fragile things, and enemy often blast them into oblivion before it gets anywhere.

You also have the option of building up your base by capturing neutral posts as well as building choppers for defense. This mode is great fun to play against a friend, but if you're sharing a computer, then the view is rather narrow as the screen is split into two. The same goes for Crime War in two player mode.

Minimum Requirements:

Windows 95 / 98
Pentium 166 (Recommended Pentium 200 MMX)
60 MB Hard Disk space
4x CDRom

Verdict! B++!

Gameplay : A (Great!)
Graphics: B+ (could be slower/granier for those with a lower speed processor)
Sound: B
+ The movies are actually very entertaining!

- Learning curve is a bit too long
- Narrow view in two player mode
- Checkpoints would have been nice...

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DJ Lesser (jndoris@tm.net.my)
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