Virtua Cop is a successful 3D Light Gun Game series created by Yu Suzuki and Sega's AM2 department and initially released in arcades in 1994. The game series revolves around the VCPD Special Investigations Unit and their operatives, Michael Hardy/Rage, James Cools/Smarty and (from the second game onward) Janet Marshall. The core gameplay of all four games in the series is assuming the role of either Rage (first player) or Smarty (second player) and use a light gun (or controller for the console versions) to shoot criminals and advance through the game, with penalties for shooting civilians. There are three missions to choose from, Easy, Medium and Hard, that can be picked in any order. Items like better guns, health packs and even explosive oil drums can be found during the missions.The franchise consists of:
Virtua Cop (1994): The original. Was ported to the Sega Saturn as a launch title, but the light gun peripheral was sold separately. The game followed Rage and Smarty as the systematically took down an illegal gun-running operation by the EVL Inc. criminal empire, led by Joe Fang.
Virtua Cop 2 (1995): Ported to the Saturn in 1996, the game had similar gameplay, but with new stages, storylines and improved graphics. Janet is added to this game as she helps with the investigation after the death of her partner, Nick Anderson. This game marked the return of EVL Inc. and Joe Fang.
Virtua Cop: Elite Edition (2002): Released on the PlayStation 2, Elite Edition was a compilation remake of Virtua Cop and Virtua Cop 2 including bonus unlockable artwork. Known as Virtua Cop: Re-Birth in Japan, this game was released in Japan and Europe.
Virtua Cop 3 (2003): The last game in the series (so far), and released only in the Arcades. Both graphics and gameplay were greatly improved upon. The player can now switch between weapons instead of using a powerful weapon until it's out of ammo. A pedal was also added, that when pressed, put the player in "Exceeding Sense" mode. When activated, time slows down to the point where enemy bullets become visible and can be shot away. In this game, a group of terrorists known as ECM has taken over various industries in the city. As usual, Rage, Smarty, and Janet must stop them. The leader of the ECM is none other than Joe Fang, who was thought to have been killed twice.
Boom, Headshot - Virtua Cop is possibly the Ur Example of this in video games. In Virtua Cop 3, however, this is not a good thing. It doesn't give nearly as many points as a Justice Shot, and doesn't even allow for a 3-hit combo followup.
There's an instance of a subversion in the Hard mission of Virtua Cop 3. Two hostages pops up from the windows of a building...and one proceeds to pull a gun on you. Yes, he DOES shoot you if you don't take him down. Yes, it counts towards a Civilian shot in both the Interim (Mid-stage) and Mission Reports. However, you won't get a Miss Shot penalty for shooting him before he draws his pistol.
Improbable Aiming Skills - In Virtua Cop 3, one must wonder how is it possible that shooting away the metal beams that falling on you would end up falling down onto the criminals in front of you, while they're taking hostages.
I Surrender, Suckers - Kong, the boss of the Beginner stage in Virtua Cop, tries to pull this on you when he's one shot away from death.
Never Found the Body - The plot of Virtua Cop 2 says that after Joe Fang's helicopter was destroyed, his body was never found. Then, he returns as the final boss of the game but flies in a jetpack instead.
Score Multiplier - Introduced formally in Virtua Cop 3, where every single enemy shot will level up your score multiplier up to sixteen times.
And taken to ludicrous levels where you'll realize that shooting away bullets during E.S. mode rakes up its own set of multiplier, so you'll end up shooting so many bullets that a single bullet is worth three times more than a Justice Shot. Seriously.
And the sickest part? You are required to do that in order for you to completely max out your score. And by max out, we mean literally getting all 9s.
Spiritual Successor - Confidential Mission, another gun game, borrows many, many, elements from the Virtua Cop series. However, there is a proper sequel to the first two games, in the form of the third game.