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Video Game / miniLAW: Ministry of Law

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miniLAW: Ministry of Law is a Retreaux-style action game developed by Lasso Games for Windows PC. Taking inspiration from dystopian cyberpunk police stories such as RoboCop (1987) and Judge Dredd, miniLAW places you in the role of the Constable, a cybernetically enhanced law enforcement agent in the city of New Babel. As the last bastion of humanity after a devastating world war, you are to protect New Babel using any means necessary. When terrorists threaten to destroy New Babel with a powerful bomb, you must use your advanced weaponry, detective skills, and cybernetic power suit to suss out the terrorists and stop their plot while maintaining order in the city.

The game was first released on Steam Early Access in early 2016, and had its full release on January 2020.

This game contains examples of the following

  • Apathetic Citizens: The various bystanders don't really pay attention to men with guns running around, tied-up hostages, or corpses. They do run away if combat breaks out, but then they quickly return to normal.
    • Exaggerated with VR users, who are treated as background characters, and show zero reaction to anything around them.
  • Anti-Escapism Aesop: Delivered in-universe in the news segment covering VR addiciton, as the anchors argue that it makes one a less productive member of society.
  • Artificial Meat: As a Crapsack World, meat substitutes known as Synthmeat are mentioned now and then, and is part of the in-universe lexicon.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Crimes that you can report to include, but are not limited to: robbery, assault, homicide, and loitering.
  • Cool Car: The Constable's hover patrol car is this.
  • Crapsack World: 95% of the Earth is an uninhabitable wasteland, and the last 5% consists of a single Mega City ruled by a totalitarian government.
  • Crapsack World, Escapist Sanctuary: New Babel being a totalitarian city filled with crime and poverty, VR addicts are a common find in most levels, to the point that the news point it out as a growing problem.
  • Cybernetics Eat Your Soul: Can be averted for the Constable depending on the choice of answers during communication sequences.
  • Cyborg: That would be you, as the Constable. Enemy perps and people you communicate with may also have body augments ranging from cybernetic implants to outright full mechanical body conversions.
  • Dystopia
  • Endless Game: Unlocked after beating the game while surviving through to the end.
  • Friendly Fireproof: Your bullets will pass through innocent citizens and fellow MiniLAW officers, preventing them from accidentally blocking your shots.
  • Future Food Is Artificial: With the majority of the world uninhabitable and any animals treated as endangered species, this is inevitable.
  • Golden Ending: In addition to stopping the bomb threat and surviving the assault on Pandemonium, getting all the crucial information tracing the day's events back to miniFACT will give you the option for one final mission to lock down miniFACT HQ and deal justice to the very one who started all of this.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: The majority of the game involves confronting gangs and criminal organizations during your search for clues regarding the bomb threat. As you make progress, you eventually learn that this was orchestrated by a terrorist leader which only made use of said gangs, who itself is a creation of the very organization the Constable works for.
  • Hand Cannon: Some of the primary weapons you can get are chambered in calibers such as .454 Casull or 13mm. Yet another gun, meanwhile, fires explosive rounds.
  • Interface Screw: As you take damage, the screen and HUD become increasingly distorted. And that's before going into hackers that screw with your systems and controls.
  • Lawful Stupid: The codec sequences often give you the chance to engage in this, such as reminding people of the illegality of past offenses while they're in the middle of relaying important clues. In fact, the Constable will often default to this in some dialogues, with your sole response being legalistic.
  • Lawman Baton: The MiniLAW Red Shirts use these, and you can also buy a truncheon as an offhand weapon.
  • Life Meter: Perps have three gauges: Health, Stamina, and Resolve. Depleting Health kills the perp, depleting Stamina knocks them out, and depleting Resolve forces them to surrender. Surrendered perps could still be knocked out and knocked out perps could still be killed, though the game would penalize you by readjusting the earned requisition points with each perp's latest condition.
  • Multiple-Choice Past: You are given a choice of three randomly selected backstories to determine your starting capabilities. A few examples include:
    • Grease Monkey: Your car starts off upgraded, but your accuracy is middling.
    • Soft Spoken: The range of your shouts is reduced, but enemies will surrender more easily
    • Master Detective: Perps will drop clues more often, but your reputation with all criminal factions is less favorable.
    • Daredevil: Increased movement speed at the expense of armor integrity.
    • Karate Master: Low accuracy, but melee strikes are more powerful.
    • Wimpy Voice: All of your stats suck, as well as your shouting range.
  • The Man Behind the Man: It is ultimately revealed that the creation of terrorist leader Incognito, the bomb threat, and the floating building fortress "Pandemonium" was all a conspiracy started by the head of miniFACT as an attempt to expose all the criminal organizations in New Babel. If you discover these through conversations during your playthrough, the Constable declares the miniFACT Arbiter a threat and proceeds to lock down miniFACT HQ to storm it.
  • Morale Mechanic: Perps have a resolve meter, which is depleted by injury, being shouted at, and having bullets fly over them, with the impact of these events being affected by their personality type. Once depleted, the perp will immediately surrender.
  • Nintendo Hard
  • Not the Fall That Kills You…: The Powered Armor of the constables completely negates fall damage, allowing you to survive any drop unharmed.
  • Ominous Floating Castle: The day's events lead up to a final confrontation with the terrorist leader Incognito aboard "Pandemonium", a floating building tower designed for mass destruction using its many cannons on its sides.
  • Out of Continues: You can defibrilate and bring yourself back to life as long as you have remaining suit integrity to do so (your suit integrity gradually decreases each time you take damage, but reviving yourself will take a big chunk off it). If your suit integrity is fully depleted when you lose all your health, however, you will die and have to start the game from the beginning.
  • Parrying Bullets: The bracers of your Powered Armor are capable of generating a bulletproof field, which makes it look like you're catching bullets on your forearms.
  • Police Brutality: As your rules of engagement are non-existent (the only perps you have to arrest are those that you're specifically told to), you're allowed to shoot first, and your only punishment for killing surrendering perps is losing the bonus points you would've received.
  • Powered Armor: The constables all get powered armor, which grants them increased strength, high jumps, immunity to fall damage, increased running speed, and the ability to revive after dying.
  • Red Shirt: The basic miniLAW guards that occasionally accompany you on missions. With no armor and a weak melee attack, they’re only good for distractions and getting slaughtered.
  • Self-Destruct Mechanism: Disabling all the cores of the flying building fortress Pandemonium will trigger a self-destruct countdown sequence. Failure to reach your police cruiser to escape will result in the Constable being killed along with it.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Simultaneous Warning and Action: Because most enemies react to shouting only if they're badly hurt, you're highly encouraged to yell for compliance only after shooting at the perp.
  • Suicidal Overconfidence: Averted with most perps, as they will often try to surrender if badly hurt and/or shouted at. Some, however, have an unshakeable resolve, and will keep fighting until they're knocked out or killed.
  • Super Cop: The Constable; comes part and parcel being a character inspired by Robocop and Judge Dredd.
  • Stop, or I Will Shoot!: Shouting down perps can force them to surrender. However, more hardened perps will need to have their Health and/or Stamina depleted to a certain level before their resolve can be reduced this way (alternatively, firing your weapons loudly or near them may also reduce their resolve).
  • Take Cover!: You, and the perps, can take cover behind any appropriate barrier or hiding spot.
  • Tap on the Head: Downplayed, as while blunt force is a reliable way to knock out enemies, it does inflict minor health loss on them, possibly causing injured perps to die.
  • There Was a Door: The alternative to opening locked doors in buildings using the puzzle mechanic is to simply fire your weapons or use melee attacks to force them open.
  • Timed Mission: You have twenty four hours (in-game time) to resolve the bomb threat.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: Pandemonium, a flying building block fortress equipped with cannons on its side designed to lay siege to New Babel. However, digging up enough dirt on today's events prior to this will yield one more stage to end the game with its full ending.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: miniFACT will not hesitate to chew you out if you kill a perp you are supposed to take in alive.