Among 1997's crop of Psygnosis games, two stood out from the pack, due to their unique futuristic design and intriguing gameplay: Colony Wars and G-Police. Since Psygnosis released a much-improved sequel to Colony Wars, the next logical step was a sequel to G-Police. While the newest incarnation of G-Police is a better game than the original, it still suffers from some all-too-familiar problems.
The storyline picks up where the first game left off. After an all-out war with the crime syndicate, the G-Police's forces are thin and unable to cope with the new gang presence on their planet. To help out, Earth sends a huge detachment of Marines to assist the Gs. From there, things quickly spin out of control as the maniacal leader of the Marine force tries to usurp control of the planet itself. It's your task to patrol the various domes of Callisto and deal with any gang activities or other threatening scenarios as they develop. To accomplish this, you'll take control of four different vehicles - your standard VTOL, a beefed-up VTOL with better firepower and space-faring capabilities, a bipedal mech that can jump 500 feet in the air, and an armored troop-transport.
This game's biggest problem is its graphics. While you're certainly in a huge environment, the PlayStation's hardware simply cannot handle the number of polygons required, and pop-up makes a gigantic presence. The game tries to overcome this problem with a fairly creative solution - buildings appear as wire-frames until you're close enough to see textures. Unfortunately, this means that you'll never quite know what you're approaching until you're right on top of it. I cannot stress how frustrating it is to approach a building and get pelted by plasma cannons before you can even see what's firing at you. Aside from the horrendous pop-up, the graphics are acceptable and still very much in the same style as Colony Wars.The sound is actually very well done. Every piece of text in the game is spoken to you, giving you the sense that your wingman is actually about to buy the farm when she buzzes over your com channel. Explosions and weapons all have their own distinct sounds, and the music is generally decent.
This game also suffers in the control department. If the VTOLs in this game determined current-day air superiority, we'd have some sad, sad statistics. Simply put, the craft are slow, unresponsive, and almost completely unmaneuverable. Like helicopters or any multidirectional thrust craft, your craft can move independently on five different axes. However, while you can increase your altitude by hovering, you cannot decrease it. So, in practice, you can easily move forward while climbing, but to land you must nose-dive and pull up at the last second. This only adds to the general feeling of frustration and takes all the strategy out of the dogfights in the game. You'll just hover in one spot and pivot around until you get the enemy craft in your sights.
G Police 2 makes few improvements over the original and never really overcomes the issues that plagued its predecessor. While the action is somewhat better, and the missions have a slightly increased sense of variety, the game is still rather boring. You'll find that the domes are unnecessarily restrictive and that the buildings on Callisto all look the same - leading you to look at your radar more than at the environment around you. I find it somewhat funny that the final mission takes you off Callisto itself and into a huge space battle with the Marine battle cruisers. This is far and away the best mission of the bunch, and it demonstrates that if you were looking for a futuristic air-combat game, you'd be better off with Colony Wars.