Trendcity is on the brink of disaster. Fashion crimes such as ill-fitting suits, flashy outfits and eerie socks with sandals fill the streets. What begins as a normal patrol for Fashion Police Squad officers Des and Haley quickly turns into a conspiracy involving fashion designers and mysterious men in coats. Using his arsenal of fashionable weaponry, Des must solve this mystery before even the most fashionable citizens become infected.
Fashion Police Squad is a first-person shooter, or rather a Doom clone as they were called when the genre was in its infancy. The FPS makes no attempt to hide its inspiration, even going so far as to throw in a 3D parody of Wolfenstein for good measure. The game is level-based, taking place in 3D environments with characters and enemies rendered in 2D sprites. Each enemy is guilty of a specific fashion crime, like flimsy clothing or sagging pants, and you have to fix them using the right weapon. Pale colors need your paint gun, loose or tight clothes need to be shrunk with a water cannon or altered with some starch and stitching, and sandal socks need to be removed with gnome grenades. New weapons are introduced slowly over the course of the game with a total of five from the final boss. You also have a melee option in the form of a belt whip, which can stun enemies, fix sagging pants, and even allow you to swing from poles and chandeliers.
I didn’t go into FPS expecting a lot of platforming, but there’s a lot and it actually feels pretty good. Your already fast movement just has a nice flow to it, and it gets even faster once you get the Wet Ones water gun, which, in addition to extinguishing flaming clothing, lets you water the ground to move faster and jump further away. As you can probably tell, the game doesn’t take itself seriously at all. All your weapons have joke names like Tailormade, 2DYE-4 Elite and WARdrobe Launcher. I worry that some of the humor is too of its time, which can date the game if you’re not familiar with the current and past meme cycle. However, the premise is funny enough to be entertained despite the passing internet humor. There’s even a Jojo reference in the first five minutes, so that makes me particularly happy.
While the level design, visuals, and platforming are consistently excellent, the combat can quickly become frustrating. Since your arsenal revolves around stopping mod-specific crimes, each weapon can ONLY work on one or two enemy types. Try to hit an eager job seeker with a gnome and he won’t take damage or be stunned. With so many enemy types, encounters in the later levels had me methodically taking down enemies with my weapons in order while wiping out all the damage I couldn’t deal with yet. The FPS is actually pretty tough, but this particular aspect feels a little artificial. It also prevents a lot of player agency and freedom, so I think it might have worked better if the enemies at least took chip damage from all weapons, with one in particular being their weakness as MegaMan.
As you fight, your FAB gauge at the bottom of the screen will fill up. At 100%, you can press Q to break your glove and start slapping fools for a few seconds. The glove will solve all fashion crimes and teleport you to a target with the click of a button, making for a much more fun screen. For a large part of the game, it feels like the levels are designed to make you use it in specific sections, but later on you get a little more freedom.
Each level can last from 15 to 30 minutes, and at the end you are told how many fashion crimes you have solved, how much swag you have collected (which serves as armor) and your secrets found from the total along with your clarity. the time. There is no rating system, but it encourages you to come back to find everything and have a better time. These stages are huge and take a lot to find, I especially enjoyed finding the secrets as they are just posters of Des in horrible pop culture outfits.
On a final note, the game looks great and has plenty of inspiration for its inspirations. The pixel art is detailed and the 3D environments look crisp. The FPS also sounds fantastic, with some bops that sound straight out of a Sound Blaster and super-compressed voice acting. It’s very cute and fits right in with the mini homages to Boomer Shooters and other titles like Tony Hawk in short sections. The one that doesn’t go so well is the sniper section, where you have to use specific bullets to solve fashion crimes before they enter a live fashion show. It’s neat on the surface, but you have to be very careful where you shoot someone as a hair bullet won’t work if it hits the chest. The hitboxes are a bit too stingy, which resulted in some unfairly low scores in the minigame.
Fashion Police Squad is an incredibly goofy shooter that hearkens back to the original DOOM in its design, while also taking into account some more modern sensibilities. While the combat suffers from a lack of choice, the tight platforming and hilarious premise somewhat make up for it.
David is the kind of person who wears his heart on his sleeve. He can find the positive in anything, like this is a person who loved Star Fox Zero to death. You will see him playing all kinds of games: AAA, Indies, block games, games of all genres and writing about them! Here. On this website. When he’s not writing or playing games, you can find David making music, playing games, or enjoying a good book. David’s favorite games include NieR: Automata, Mother 3 and Gravity Rush.
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