Releasing today, on all platforms from the developers over at The Wild Gentlemen, a point-and-click film noir detective adventure game set in the fictional world of the wilderness. With narrative-based gameplay, gritty themes and an absurd, unique sense of humor.
And just to let you know there won’t be any spoilers but I will go in to a small amount of detail about the beginning of the game and a day 1 patch planned to improve some aspects of the game.
You play as Sonny Featherland, an investigator for the Clawville police department for over 20 years, Clawville is a city where predators and pray have been living alongside each other in peace for almost a millennium, or that’s what they want you to believe.
Sonny has 121 days before his retirement, most spent at the bottom of a bottle, till he finds a mysterious yet elegant antelope in is apartment. Miss Deborha Ibanez who has been sent to you from her employer, who is in fear for their life. You are soon told that this employer is Miss.
Natash Catzenko the girlfriend of the notorious Ibn Wessler, crime kingpin that runs the city’s underground. With your friend and partner, Marty McChicken, you unravel the strings of this yarn ball to solve the mystery of a life time.
Chicken Police is first and foremost narrative driven with hours of voiced dialoged between 30 unique and very colorful characters, each having a seedier background then the one prior. That’s one of great things that makes this game fantastic, is its world building.
Every character has a flushed-out backstory, the town, the stores, and the politics of this town have a story to tell from the eyes of Sonny and Marty. Giving the world you will be spending about 4 to 6 hours in, weight and meaning.
During your time wondering the 25 different locations you will talk and interact with the heathens that inhabit this city. Question them about others or of important evidence and interrogate the ones in question. Which is a very big part of this game, once initiated in the interrogation, Sonny will give a small hint on how to question the suspect and you have 2 to 4 questions you can ask.
You must select the one you see fit, and depending on your accuracy, you will receive negative or positive points toward the investigating bar. Which will give you a grade after each encounter. Sadly, it seems like this is the only reason the interrogation is here, is for the grade. Most of the valuable info is given when you can only select one question to ask.
You can mess up the grade but it seems that you will never fail in the investigation because the game won’t let you make that mistake or miss the big clues that would lead to dead ends. It’s a very linear game in this regard of the mechanics.
You can go to time sensitive locations between the main locations to pick up addition information, but it seems like small things that fill out a person or places background and not an integral part of the story.
Another part of the game is connecting the pieces of the investigation at the end of each chapter. Choosing the person and the evidence to make the connection, and understand the state of the case. Sadly, this is very liner itself. You can’t come up with your own conclusions you have to pick the photo, evidence, and the conclusion they want you to pick.
Instead of letting you make your mistakes, it holds your hand all the way to the end and there is really no way to deviate off the intended course. I was hoping for more of a free investigation like L.A Noir to where I could mess it up and have all the incorrect evidence.
Though I understand this is more story focused and wants to tell the story the whole way through. I came to that realization early on, but my investigation bone was itching and felt like I had connected the pieces before the game would let me.
Graphics and sound design are another fantastic part of this game. Graphically this game is a mix of 2D and 3D design and contemporary visuals of old cinema. 1940s feel is all over the place, from the buildings to even the characters outfits and speech. The design of the characters are also not incredibly jarring.
With the animal heads and the slight fur transition to the human body, it becomes more or less believable to the mind and not put into the uncanny valley. Only if the new Cats movie would have taken this route, we wouldn’t be so scared.
Sound design will stand out great to anyone who is a big fan of film noir or of big band songs, so many great scores in this game that I hope the soundtrack will release as well. Background and voice over work is great as well, crisp and well balanced. Nothing seemed to overpower another and worked in harmony.
So, should you play Chicken Police? If you are a very story driven person that loves a good detective mystery, YES Absolutely. You will enjoy the well written story and the few twist they will give along the way. For the detectives out there, it can leave you wanting more but it’s still something you can sink your teeth in.