There’s a general consensus that linear storylines in games are bad; that players should be making decisions at every turn. But that’s not an imperative expected in a shoot-'em-up, or a sports game, so there’s actually no real reason that an adventure, action or RPG game couldn’t also put a linear storyline to good use.
But regardless of depth of decision making or linearity, that story has to be a good one. Even the cleverest, multiple-branching immersive sandbox script ever seen – if the story’s rubbish, so is the game. We already saw how a quality plot can really help bring a game to life in Gameloft's awesome Zombie Infection, which Cops is clearly built upon.
This time it’s society that’s the antagonist, rather than a rampaging horde of flesh eaters, but when you’re a rookie cop what’s the difference? You get started on your high profile law enforcement career under the experienced tutelage of a senior street cop, and follow his lead as you attend all manner of public disturbances.
To be honest, the nature of the assignments you’re sent on isn’t all that important - be it a domestic disturbance or a supermarket robbery. Almost immediately the spectacular storyline twists your expectations, turning the domestic fight into a bondage session gone wrong, and the supermarket robbery into a rescue mission.
Side quests present themselves as you work through the game, which build up extra points if you manage to rescue a lost cat while chasing down brutal murders, for instance. New characters cross the path of our heroic rookie throughout, which all combines to add genuine depth to your adventure through the criminal underbelly of a living, breathing metropolis.
If you enjoy a good story - whether at the cinema, on TV, in a book or in a game - then Cops is a surefire winner. But it still maintains the highest level of immediately engaging, action-packed gameplay, and it provides a genuine console-quality experience on the mobile.