If you've got no idea what the headline is on about, thank you very much for the click but I promise you this isn't bait. In a recent interview, Cyberpunk 2077's quest director Paweł Sasko explained why the game does not have police chases, comparing it to open world games like Elden Ring and Sonic, neither of which will feature police chases. Only the likes of Watch Dogs and GTA have police chases, he explained – you know, the two single most similar games to Cyberpunk 2077 that exist.
At any rate, I don't want to dive into Cyberpunk 2077. It definitely should have had car chases. It's indescribably weird that a game that touts itself as punkifying the future gives you several quests that involve helping the police and being a jolly good snitch. It does let you fuck the police, but unfortunately it's in the "yes, god, yes!" sense, and not in the "fuck off, pigs" sense. It's weird that it doesn't have police chases, but the driving was terrible, so who even cares at this point. It's too late for Cyberpunk 2077 to be saved and even with the bugs gone, the biggest issues haven't been patched out.
Related: Cyberpunk 2077's Best Missions Don't Require A Single BulletI'm not getting into Sonic, either. Though his edge has been sanded off in recent years, Sonic the Hedgehog has had a long and illustrious career raging against the machine. That's why I just want to talk about Elden Ring. It's not out yet, sure, but I think we can safely say Sasko is right – it won't have police chases. But damn, shouldn't it?
Cyberpunk 2077 aside, games might finally be catching up with the general distrust many young people regard the police with following decades of corruption and authoritarian rule. Crime has been successively falling, year on year, in practically every Western country, yet copaganda police shows still paint policing as a violent, necessary job where protocol doesn't matter as long as you get results and keep our streets safe. After a summer of uprising and increasingly draconian governments winning power, people are finally catching on.
The difference between Spider-Man and Spider-Man: Miles Morales highlights this. The first Spidey game, where you play as a white character, has you constantly helping the police, even going so far as fixing their surveillance towers to listen in on citizens – despite the fact the very first mission is all about the police being corrupt. These missions are gone in Miles Morales, where you play as a Black Latino Spidey. In fact, police presence in that game, aside from Miles' own father killed in the line of duty, is almost entirely negative.
Games often ask you to play as cops, of sorts. You are an authoritarian figure given a sense of power and most importantly, propelled by the belief that you are in the right. Therefore, anything you do, whether that's gunning down henchmen as Nathan Drake, crushing skulls as Kratos, or using your billions to fund your array of violent gadgetry instead of investing in the city as Batman, is right. You are a cop. You have the biggest gun, and therefore are right. Don't let anyone question your authority. Mass Effect makes you a literal space cop, and allows you to recklessly beat up reporters who dare question your leadership style.
Finally, games might be catching on. The cops are the bad guys. There is a need for a law enforcement group in a civil society, but the idea that the people called to an armed robbery should be the same ones called to a domestic disturbance, and the same ones called when a drug addict is in need of help, and the same ones called when some kid is spray painting on a blank wall is ludicrous – especially in countries that give their police officers guns, a licence to kill, minimal training, a robust 'union' to cover up any wrong-doing, and a bunch of easy excuses whenever their reckless actions cause death.
Put police chases in Elden Ring. Let me chop up coppers with a massive sword. Let me lead them into a boss lair and watch their little squad car be ripped apart by a tentacle beast with six arms and three mouths. Don't make me the cop. Make me the good guy.
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