C.O.P. The Recruit Updated Hands-On

We sign up for another look at this DS action adventure game from Ubisoft.

In Ubisoft's upcoming DS action adventure game, C.O.P. The Recruit, you play as ex-criminal Dan Miles. Dan has joined the New York law enforcement group known as the CCD, City Control Division, which acts as a supplemental force to the police in the game's crime-ravaged vision of New York City where street muggings are commonplace and kidnappers are at every corner. Well, not every corner, but they are out there, and as Dan, it's your job to aid the police in bringing every one of those creepy jerks to justice. We've been playing a recent build of the game that Ubisoft sent us to see how it's come along since our last look back in June.

After a brief introductory cutscene giving a glimpse of how Dan came to amend his criminal ways and eventually join the CCD, you'll be taken through a tutorial that will introduce you to some of the characters. You'll also become familiar with the settings in the game, the gadgets at your disposal, and, of course, the game's controls. Your first order of business will be in "borrowing" your landlady's car so you can make your way to CCD headquarters. C.O.P. is an open-world game, and as in the Grand Theft Auto series, you can steal…err commandeer…any car in the game simply by walking up to it and hitting the X button.

Driving controls are straightforward--you steer with the D pad, accelerate with the B button, brake with A, and engage the e-brake with the Y button. Different cars in the game feature different handling, and some of them--including one you drive early on while trying to track down a thug who scratches your car--can be a bit tough to handle.

Eventually, you'll make your way to HQ and meet your lieutenant who will show you around HQ. From there, you'll be required to learn about your 3C device, which functionally is a combination navigational aid, phone book, and magical key device. By accessing the directory, you can find a bunch of different locales throughout the expansive version of NYC that makes up the game. Double-clicking on a locale in your directory will put a pointer on your minimap, which is handy to use when you're travelling crosstown to a new location.

Some entries in your directory have three-digit codes next to them--if you open the key section of your 3C device, you can enter these codes by writing them on the touch screen, which will then give you access to new areas. Not every location has a code, and the codes of some locations aren't listed. In one mission, we were tasked with getting into the back door of an illegal casino, which required us to guess each digit of the three-digit code in succession. A little trial and error was all it took to get it the code right and slip in the back door. Your 3C device looks like it will become a crucial part of your crime-fighting career, and it's always being updated with new locations as you earn new missions.

The next step in our tutorial was to get our CCD-issued firearm. After making our way across town to the CCD School, we got our gun and were given a brief tutorial of how to use weapons in the game. Not all of the controls in C.O.P. are easy to learn, but shooting actually works well. To enter aim mode, you simply tap the pistol icon in the upper-right hand corner of the touch screen. Dan will draw his current weapon, and you can aim at targets by simply moving your stylus across the touch screen. Moving the D pad will strafe Dan in any direction, and to fire, you press the left-shoulder button (or right, if you've configured lefty flip controls). It's easy to mow down targets once you've become acclimated to the controls, which you'll do in a quick firing-range tutorial that has Dan making his way through room after room and shooting what--somewhat incongruously--look to be uniformed policemen.

With the tutorial out of the way, you'll be given more or less free reign of the city. If you drive around, you might get calls on your radio asking you to be at a certain locale in order to move the story along, or you might get side missions you can choose to complete or ignore altogether. In one mission we played, we were tasked with investigating a mysterious blue van parked near the Holland Tunnel, which might have been holding a kidnap victim. Once we got close, the van took off so we had to bring the van to a halt by chasing it down and ramming it several times. After finishing a mission like this, Dan was required to call the actual police--a somewhat clumsy mechanic that requires you to bust out your 3C device, locate the nearest police station, memorize its three-digit code, and enter it into the key code section. It would make more sense for the cops to come automatically, thus eliminating this tedious step, but alas, such is the way of the City Control Division.

Another mission we played from the early goings of the game was a modified version of a scenario we had tried in an earlier build: helping out a potential police informant by locating his car inside an illegal casino. The new twist here was a bit of stealth gameplay as--once we had entered the back door after guessing the code of entry--we were confronted with a warehouse crawling with security. Using our 3C device to locate the guards and their line of sight, we snuck our way into a control room where we then located the informant's car sitting in the casino itself. Locating the car was only part of the problem--from there the goal was to get into the casino by distracting security, liberating the car, and returning it to its rightful owner.

While firefights seems to be the highlight of gameplay early on, it looks like there's a good amount of variety in C.O.P., including driving and stealth. There are also some occasional surprises, such as collectible camera pickups you find scattered around the city. If you find a camera, you can then take a photo of the many landmarks around NYC. That said, C.O.P. isn't perfect--in addition to the 3C device frustrations, the game's sometimes unfriendly camera can be a pain, which makes it hard to find the exit door to certain rooms, for example.

We have no idea what C.O.P. stands for, but it's probably something badass.

There looks to be some fairly vivid backstory in C.O.P. Early on, you are introduced to the CCD captain, who acts like he might have a skeleton or two in the closet, and a brief mention is made of a group known as Bomb Zombie that might either be performance artists or terrorists bent on destroying the city. There's also the relationship between Dan Miles and his CCD mentor who has been wrongly thrown into prison. How will all of these narrative threads play out? Find out when C.O.P. The Recruit is released on November 3.

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Discussion

42 comments
marktex96
marktex96

this game dissapointed me combat wise

yay8899
yay8899

i have it and its the best ds game ive got

tevic
tevic

From what I've seen of this game, it it makes me think of "Driver Parallel Lines". A pretty underrated game it was actually. Since Driver P.L. Ubi has bought the studio so they seem to be responsible for this game. I hope a HD Driver game is still in the making !!!

bugside
bugside

There are already gameplay videos on youtube, seems awesome, reminds me of Driver, not killing pedestrians and all, seems to be to avoid an M rating

rodolfolope
rodolfolope

i have this game and really is a good game, but you can't kill people you can't explote cars ( i think) but whatever is an aswesome game nintendo ds is really powerful!! Trust me

cheesywe
cheesywe

I'll get the game once I watch a review video. I want to know the good stuff about this game and the bad stuff before I buy it.

tremor33
tremor33

looks neat. I'll be giving this a shot

Reiken37
Reiken37

It's like a cross of GTA and Spiderman and for the DS! If it works on DS lite i'll get it.

Fozzlebunny7
Fozzlebunny7

well Ubisoft comes again. Awsome looking game getting this after i get my ds this winter

shadowblade34
shadowblade34

when i buy a ds in christmas this game is on my list

ChidoriBoyU
ChidoriBoyU

so many car chases? anyway if it really plays as it looks then i'll be getting it

DS_fan5452
DS_fan5452

Well Kingdom Hearts worked on the ds. Why shouldn't this game. It looks pretty awesome to me. Definitely on my want list :D:D:D

Mike0193
Mike0193

Hellz yeah "cheesywe"... i hate timers sooo damn much aswell. Game seems awesome so far lol ^_^

SpiralStairsS
SpiralStairsS

I actually think the graphics will be a minus. I prefer the graphic style of Chinatown wars, and I just don't think that the a 3rd person shooter will work on the DS, but we'll see.

trugs26
trugs26

Wow, awesome graphics. Gameplay looks good too. Hopefully the controls aren't uncomfortable.

cheesywe
cheesywe

I hate Timers it ruins the fun. I like to take my time, usally when there is time limit it preasures me a lot. I hope there is a option for difficulty mode.

RTS____EX
RTS____EX

maybe it will be or short or repetitve if they dont know how to make a decent game, but here we have a promising game for ds (Hope that it wont be full of glitches)

nate1222
nate1222

It looks pretty damn cool. I'm considering C.O.P. and "Fighting Fantasy".

Nelhew
Nelhew

Why do peoeple keep complaining about lame graphics? IT'S A DS for GOD's SAKE. The Ds's graphic card is only 656 KB.... Btw This game looks alot like Miami Vice with cooler gadgets. Planning to get it~

Evil_Robo
Evil_Robo

@FlamingFury attempts to troll = a nerdy epic fail comment.

wushumaster45
wushumaster45

same here, fighting games are better for ds, If it had better graphics it would be okay though.

Enkeixpress-
Enkeixpress-

I'll check it out.. can't see what harm it can do

Jhraxlin
Jhraxlin

Meh, I don't really like shooters for the DS, I'm more a Zelda type.

Jackyll87
Jackyll87

"Bomb Zombie that might either be performance artists or terrorists bent on destroying the city" The best way to find out.....shoot them in the face.

huntervaneg
huntervaneg

Waiting for the proper judgement on the different reviews and scores.

FlamingFury
FlamingFury

lol fail. That trailer was lame. Graphics look blehhhhh

-Fromage-
-Fromage-

Well the trailer made it look pretty good, but then again that's the point of trailers.

Snipes_2
Snipes_2

I personally don't like anything where I have a Timer hounding me throughout a level. Otherwise this game looks decent.

EyeShatteredSky
EyeShatteredSky

Has some potential. I'll keep my eyes and ears on this one and sees how it fairs before making a final decision. Personally though, I think it looks great!

SpiKeX-Crom
SpiKeX-Crom

it's like Grand Theft Auto (which sucks)...except you're a good guy. Sign me up.

Cruse34
Cruse34

Looks decent but I'm not sold on the touch screen controls

Hungry_Homer111
Hungry_Homer111

I am worried about the different problems that they mentioned in this preview. With only about a month before its released, they probably won't be able to address all of the problems before then. Other than that, it does sound like it could be a fun game. An addition to the GTA-style sandbox games on the DS. Hopefully it will have enough variety and replay value to overcome these problems.

ScionofEntropy
ScionofEntropy

Cautiously optimistic about it, but it's very impressive from a technical perspective. Can't wait to see more.

Balaji1212
Balaji1212

This is a DS game,it looks incredible even better than GTA:china town wars.

Jshaw71
Jshaw71

this could be an awesome game for the wii i hop there will be a wii version, this will do til then, thanks for the preview...

Mike0193
Mike0193

Damnnn This is a DS game, lol it looks awesome!

lastcamie
lastcamie

i think the best game on ds ----- IT HAVE ALL!!!!

WAIW
WAIW

Looking pretty good.