"This is essentially not cool." So said my character, Dan Miles, on a case gone wrong. Man. Etc. It has become my refrain for the entire game. But oh, oh but oh, it's a game that's trying so very, very hard to fit in.
COP, as its title so excitedly shouts, desperately wants to hang around with GTA. It sees GTA in the playground, watching it scuff its boots against the wall with the other cool kids, staring enviously at the apparent ease with which the rock star game emits its nonchalant air. If COP could just cultivate such an image, surely GTA would accept it, consider it a peer? COP bought clothes that looked like GTA's, kinda, different logos but the same from a distance. It wrote Tippex swear words all over its pencil case just like it had seen GTA do. It tried putting some gel in its hair to get rid of that damned side parting. But GTA still never looks up when COP walks past in the corridor.
If you ignore the technical problems that make COP missable, it's this misfired attempt to be cool that makes the whole experience more unappealing. They've created a large, detailed three-island rendition of New York. They've filled it with different models of cars, ambulances, fire engines, speed boats, dirt buggies and monster trucks. There's piles of missions and optional side-missions. There's guns to shoot and people to shoot at with them. But COP really is the nerdy kid who doesn't quite get it.