Game Reviews / Police Quest: In Pursuit of the Death Angel, VGA edition
Publisher: Sierra Online Rated: Teen Released Year: 1992
- PC ~ Disk Operating System
Assume the role of Officer Sonny Bonds, a police officer in the Lytton City Police Dept. As a street cop, he has to deal with drunk drivers, maniacs with guns, accidents and more as he becomes involved in a much more sinister situation which threatens the city and all it's inhabitants.
"I am not sure about this one. Could have been better, but could have been worse. Definitely not Sierra's best attempt at a remake."
Plot / Concept: 6 / 10
So, you start off as a police officer on his way for a briefing. If you fumble around at the start and talk to others, eventually you get the hint you are going to miss a meeting if you do not hurry up (Which is a game killer). From there, your duties seem relatively mild, but become increasingly more difficult as you progress.
The game also hints that your character wants to transfer to the narcotics division as soon as possible, so you should fill out such an application while you are in uniform... hint hint... Once that is accomplished, things become far more complex for your character and you follow through a number of things which could be fatal if you mess up.
Overall, the flow of the story is logical and things do make sense. There is a lot of police procedure to go through, but it is less of an issue since you do not type out the specific commands that you must 'happen to know'. Also, it seems odd the number of times an officer happens to appear out of nowhere to inform you of your next objective. It becomes rather... too convenient.
One big thing I noticed is they skipped the trial at the end for the Death Angel (VGA version). This makes no sense to me. It is probably one of the most important scenes in the original game and sets up the scene for the next two games, PQ2 & 3.
Gameplay: 4 / 10
The gameplay ranges from solid to broken all over the place.
First off, driving. The EGA version; if you were aiming for the fastest suicide on record, this was the version to play without a doubt, but it was fast to get around the map, once you got the hang of the controls. Also, all the chase scenes actually "felt" like chases. You could even use the freeway if you wanted to. The VGA version, on the other hand, removed all the fun elements of the driving and turned into a long-winded, non-intense, boring as hell procedure that took it's sweet time, coupled with unresponsive controls and automatically turning (usually in the wrong direction) if you do not specify a turn when approaching a T-intersection.
I do not know why, but anytime Sierra remade one of the their older games into VGA, there was always something done to it to reduce the difficulty, procedure or break the balance in some way to try and make it look better. For PQ1, they reduced the knowledge necessary for police procedure. Most of the time, just talking to a character resulted in your performing a procedure, like giving the DUI test, reading rights, etc. In one way, the game was simplified. However, they skipped a number of little odds and ends, by having a number of actions performed automatically.
The VGA version is glitchy (went through half a dozen glitches, each one crashing the game, just in one play-through).
Controls: 5 / 10
The normal VGA interface worked fine, but a lot of times, it felt unresponsive, or would fail to do what it was supposed to do... This was especially noticeable during the driving sequences. The other times, it was nowhere as bad, leaving the game quite playable.
Music: 5 / 10
A lot of short tunes were made for the game. The "tangy" style was consistent, if not a bit repetitive.
Sound Effects: 6 / 10
They recorded and used a number of sound effects for many parts of the game. Other parts they simply borrowed instruments normally used for background music. It was hit and miss, but nothing felt out of place.
Graphics: 7 / 10
As usual, when Sierra remade a game for VGA, the graphics was the primary focus. Overall, the graphics were good, though it was easy to tell what were painted backgrounds, and was pixeled by hand.
Aside from replaying it years later to re-live the 'thrill', it does not offer much.