As virtual reality continues to grow in gaming, there are two things I want: a P.T.-style horror game, and a Godzilla simulator. I've yet to fully experience either, but with Other Ocean Interactive's Giant Cop: Justice Above All, I'm closer to the latter than I've ever been.
Other Ocean Interactive's Giant Cop is, at face value, very much what it sounds like. You are a really big police officer, several stories tall, who parades around a city enacting justice. It's currently in development for VR platforms — PlayStation VR, Oculus and Vive — with an anticipated release before this year's holidays.
As a police officer, it's your job to enforce the law. In the case of my demo, that meant scooping up citizens instigating fights, displaying public nudity or polluting the environment with junker cars. According to studio head Ryan Hale, Giant Cop is a satire of '70s cop shows — think Shaft or Starsky and Hutch — as well as a humorus take on modern events. He points to news of the NSA digging through email or phone data.
"It's going to be a humorous take on all of that — not anything super deep and thought-provoking, but we want to have fun with it," he said.
Played on Vive, Giant Cop becomes a city you can virtually walk around in. I demoed the game at GDC where I, much to my glee, found myself interacting with dozens of tiny citizens. Using the Vive's controls, I could pinch tiny people between my forefinger and thumb, lift them to get a closer look, and drop them at my leisure. Lawbreakers are meant to be thrown into what looks like a futuristic trash can, but an errant toss can send them spinning into the ocean instead. According to Hale, how you interact with citizens will impact their view of you.
"If you're not a careful giant cop, you might actually hurt the city that you're trying to protect," Hale said.
This might discourage you from going on a city-destroying rampage, as I initially did. Plucking helicopters out of the air and hurling them into buildings is its own devious kind of fun. But it's easy to cause unintentional damage, too, if you're not careful. Cars I dropped exploded, and people I didn't set down gently ended up — well, let's just say it wasn't great for anybody. Citizens of Giant Cop, consider this my formal apology.