While it would, arguably, be a lot of fun to wear a uniform and boss people around, I’m still very much fine with sticking to being a writer and avoiding all the danger and harassment that can come along with being a cop. Nevertheless, it would have been cool to experience what it’s like to be an aviator wearing, donut-eating person in blue. Which is why it’s a great thing that VR is around to give us a glimpse of exactly what it would be like, through Traffic Cop VR from developer Waden Kane Game Studios. At least, the game offers to show you what life would be like in the 1950’s in a world ravaged by aliens and angry drivers throwing their food at you. So in other words, a very realistic depiction of a police officer’s everyday life.
Traffic Cop VR is now available for HTC Vive on Steam at a $19.99 US price tag. The developers are also working to bring support for Oculus Rift, but for now, the game only officially supports HTC Vive so I decided to sign up for training and see what my first day on the job as a traffic cop will hold in store for me.
While the idea behind Traffic Cop VR is novel, the execution leaves some room for improvement, with a lot of repetitive gameplay (as can be expected from a wave-based game, I guess) and a few short bonus modes that break up the monotony somewhat. Which would have been great if they didn’t feel like simple filler content with no time or effort properly invested into them.
Check out my gameplay video:
Traffic Cop VR follows your basic VR wave-based game approach where you stick to one spot and try to perform a basic repetitive task as efficiently as possible – with the difficulty steadily increasing in each round. So what makes this game fun is that you can, essentially, really get into it with the hand gestures because VR allows for that. So while vehicle owners were steadily getting angrier, I was simply having a ball trying to make the hand gestures feel realistic. All I needed was a whistle and I would’ve been well on my way. However, what makes this game quite ironic is that it’s most fun when you’re actually not doing your job properly.
Crashes that Michael Bay would be proud of, food getting thrown in your face, and an array of angry drivers to mockingly stick your tongue out to becomes much more entertaining after a few waves of waving car after car down a busy intersection. How this is done, is Traffic Cop VR essentially makes you select a car and then it’s destination, with a line of blue arrows indicating the direction the car will go when you’re done. Each car has a little orange arrow before it to show which way the driver would like to go. You can’t force them to go in the wrong direction, unfortunately, but you can make two cars go at the same time and cause an explosive crash. After which the cars get shrinked to little versions of themselves and disappear. As is normal, of course.
Overall, Traffic Cop VR didn’t feel like a polished title – with both the visuals and small details like an extra hand appearing on the gun in the alien bonus mode dragging it down. Plus, what’s the point of playing a game when the core gameplay (as it was intended to be played) isn’t much fun? After about three waves I just found myself trying to do anything I can to break up the monotony – hence the Michael Bay-esque explosions.
Still, if you’ve always dreamt of becoming a traffic cop and for some reason never decided to go into that line of work, then this is the perfect title for you.