Various aspects of PQ's game rules are screwed up. The game fails to take into account real life concepts such as Probable Cause and Justifiable Self Defense. A guy runs at you with a KNIFE and you get put in jail for killing him?
Not to mention that your squad car will be fine if you remember to manually inspect the tires before driving off, but if you neglect to do so, you WILL suffer a flat tire. Anyway, shouldn't the maintenance workers take care of that? It's not like you are required to check the fuel and oil level yourself.
If I remember right, you didn't get put in jail, you just got forced to turn in your badge for misuse of your gun. Either way, the car thing was going a bit far with the whole "rigid adherence to procedure" aspect of the game.
Police are required to use justifiable force in the pursuit of their duties. This means if someone is coming at you with a knife, they don't have murderous intent until they either declare it or actually strike the officer, at which point a shooting is allowed. Prior to that, the officer is supposed to talk the assailant down. So, yes, shooting someone coming at you with a knife is not cool, even if you're sure he's going to kill you. At the very least, the officer is going to be put on two weeks of administrative leave following the shooting, pending review, during which time the case will go very cold.
Say what? I understand that a guy just standing there holding a knife and waving it around but not actually at anyone can (and should) try to be talked down first, but when it devolves to the stage of the guy running straight at you with his weapon out, that right there — the running straight towards you — is a display of murderous intent. At which point you'd think the reasonable man test would entirely allow for shooting him. As for 'put on administrative leave pending review', they do that for all shootings, however justified, so that by itself proves nothing.
The guy with the knife (you guys are talking about PQ 3, correct?) has the knife on his person, but it's not actually drawn when he charges you. He's attacking with his fists. The game over screen even says "shooting a perpetrator who's only a danger to you with his mouth and fists is no way to uphold the law".
What the hell was the point of the airplane sequence in PQ 2?
Boy, the air marshals sure let Sonny go without much questioning, didn't they? Managed to keep the press from recognizing our heroism, too!
Why'd Bonds call in a trained SWAT team to... do nothing but knock down the door of a raided house so he could do the REST ALL BY HIMSELF!?
If you're talking about PQ 2, calling in the SWAT team is optional. If you do send them in, when they launch a tear gas grenade through the window, it becomes fairly clear that whatever's inside the apartment will be compromised. Had Bonds simply gone into the apartment alone, he would have taken the risk that Bains was in there and would've blown him away. Invoking 20/20 hindsight, this obviously did not occur, but still...
It's actually the sequence in PQ 3, the end-game. It very much does not make sense: he convinces several very highly trained people that the occupants of the house are dangerous, the SWAT tank brings in an honest-to-god TANK and busts the door down, and then...Bonds rushes in ahead of the armed and armored SWAT officers. It really is a violation of common police procedure, not to mention sense.
The setting the sights on your gun in the shooting range in PQ 2 is overly long and complicated and has no relation to the rest of the game (you only use that first-person-perspective to aim and fire in the shooting range, when you actually fire your weapon in the field you hit or miss depending on whether you fixed your sights in the shooting range). This is to say nothing to how on earth the gun sight was SO FAR OFF the next morning, when you supposedly hadn't touched it.
It's been a long time since I played it, but I remember a justification for the sight being off later in the game. When you go to the motel and almost get shot, you spin out of the way and the game makes a point of telling you that you hit your gun hand on the wall or something like that. The sight got knocked out of alignment, which is why you need to fix it afterwards.
Except that the sight is actually off before that event (if you go to the shooting range before the motel), so it still doesn't make much sense. It could just be typical jostling and damage from everyday use, though. Additionally, Sonny is behind on his shooting scores: maybe he's also not properly maintaining his handgun as well?
One of the recurring themes of this series (exactly why I found it so exasperating) is that you have to CONSTANTLY think on your feet. The hint you should have picked up on is that while you are out of Lytton, you won't have access to anything in the police station, including the firing range. Therefore, it behooves you to make absolutely sure that your gun is shooting straight before you leave (and also clean it if you have to). What, too subtle? Doesn't make any sense? Yeah, that's what I thought too.
Police Quest: Open Season has quite a bit of these. For instance, why does the narrator repeat sentences like "You loosen the slug from the wall," up to 16 times?
Bad gameplay design.
Open Season has one point in which John Carey gets in a shootout. At that point, the game requires him to put on the Kevlar Vest he received from Hickman's wife. So...why didn't John put on the vest immediately after receiving it and before the shootout? Putting on the vest in the middle of a shootout leaves you wide open to getting shot.
Also, John was not necessarily safe hiding behind the car. Some guns are capable of shooting through cars. He has to get a shotgun from the trunk, but wouldn't that once again leave him wide open to getting shot?
This is strictly in Rule of Cool to allow the shoot-out to take place. Also, putting on the vest isn't strictly necessary: if you're fast enough with your handgun, you can take everyone out without getting shot. If you go for the shotgun, though, you'll inevitably be hit, requiring the vest.
When John confronts Dennis Walker the Neo-Nazi, you can get a dialogue that goes like this: "Don't touch my [Nazi] flag, man! It ain't illegal!" "Yeah, it is." Except...the game is taking place in Los Angeles, California, USA. Possessing a Nazi flag is not illegal there, but it is in bad taste.
Also, when John turns off the radio so he can have a discussion with Walker, Walker just runs off. Why would he do that? John said that he just wanted to ask some questions, not arrest him. If Walker didn't want John talking to him, why did he let him in?
Why did Walker's Nazi girlfriend try to stab John? It's a very bad idea to kill a cop.
Later, when John is at City Hall where a press conference is taking place, Walker actually pops out of the crowd to attack John. Why would Walker do that? Attacking a cop in the middle of a press conference is firmly in the category of Stupid Evil.
I'm pretty sure the implication there is that Walker and his girlfriend areStupid Evil: they're mentally unbalanced, or at least not the most forward-thinking people. Maybe they didn't do anything wrong, but they weren't terribly smart about their actions.