Police Quest is a series of adventure games developed and published by Sierra. Similar to an interactive CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, the first three games had players take the role of Sonny Bonds, a police officer in the city of Lytton, California.Reporting for his shift at the beginning of the first game, Bonds soon becomes aware of drug ring operating out of Lytton — masterminded by one man, Jessie Bains. Known as the Death Angel, Bains is aggressively moving in on the territory of Lytton's local dealers, and things are getting messy.Enlisting the help of a local Hooker with a Heart of Gold named Marie, he is assigned to an elaborate sting operation that ends with Bains behind bars and Sonny and Marie returning to day-in, day-out normality.This doesn't last, however, because in the second game, Bains escapes from prison, murdering a prison guard in the process. After tracking down a couple of minor thugs, Bonds returns home to find that Bains has kidnapped Marie (now a retired Hooker with a Heart of Gold, and Sonny's girlfriend). Proceeding into the latter stages of the game, Bonds tracks Bains to his hideout, saves Marie, and (eventually) marries her on the plane ride home.Several years later, Sonny and Marie are happily married, but there's more trouble to come from the Bains family. The Death Angel's brother has sworn revenge, and it's up to Sonny, now a Sergeant, to protect his beloved Lytton, which has grown into a city. This one pulls out all the stops, with situations ranging from dirty cops to sexual assault. (Strangely enough, the revenge plot ends up being an afterthought.)Police Quest 1-3 were produced by Jim Walls, a retired California state trooper, and the situations Bonds encountered were true-to-reality, following police procedures to the letter. If you stepped out of line during a bust, the judge would toss your case out of court. If you went crazy with your gun, or didn't properly maintain your vehicle, that was it — game over.Starting with Police Quest : Open Season (4), the series came under the helm of LAPD Chief Darryl F. Gates (Walls having moved on by that point). Open Season was the last to focus on a specific, named detective — this time, an LAPD Homicide Detective, John Carey. Working from Parker Center, the player now had to cope with much more violent, graphic crimes. The player is introduced to Carey on the first screen, with a body in a dumpster — which, when moved aside so the Criminal Investigative Division can photograph it, reveals the body of a six-year-old boy.The later games in the Police Quest series were Police Quest In Name Only — and only for the first two installments, after which it is most often known as the SWAT series. This series frees itself from the limits of a set character by placing the player directly in the role of a 'SWAT Pup' — a trainee, on his first real assignment. Like the first games, the SWAT series adhered strictly to police procedure. You were trained in the basics of SWAT teamwork ('basics', because SWAT teams don't generally make their full tactical procedures known to the public), and expected to obey the rules. Even attempting to fast-forward through the first game's opening cutscene (where the Element Leader gives his welcome speech) has the Element Leader take you to task for interrupting him, and warns you very firmly that you should not do it again. Ever.Sonny Bonds does return to the Police Quest series, though, in SWAT 3: Close Quarters Combat, where he is now SWAT leader, which seems a natural progression for him by then. In SWAT 4 Sonny has a cameo as a veteran member of SWAT and trainer of new SWAT recruits. The SWAT subseries is peculiar in that the first entry was primarily an Interactive Movie, the second an overhead Realtime Tactics game, and the latter two tactical FPSs, notorious since any downed civilian, suspect or bystander, costs points from your total score. SWAT teams really are the babysitters of the populace.You can play the first game free and legally in HTML 5 here.
This series contains examples of: