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Video Game / This Is The Police 2

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Interpret the law as you see fit.

In Sharpwood, a small snowy town in the middle of nowhere, no one gets away with anything. After an assault on Neckties, the local drug dealer gang, Sheriff Wells and two of his experienced officers end up killed. An officer named Lilly Reed replaces him as Sheriff, only to find out she can't handle controlling the department and none of the other policemen respect her.

Enter Jack Boyd. After events of the first game made him a scapegoat for Freeburg's organized criminals, Jack was forced to go in hiding under the alias of Warren Nash and escape to the most obscure shithole possible, that being Sharpwood. When a routine arrest brings Jack into the city jail and Reed figures out who he is, Jack pleads to give him a shot at fixing the problems of Sharpwood's police department. Out of desperation, Lilly agrees.

From there, things escalate.

This Is The Police 2 is the sequel to This Is the Police, with Jack running Sharpwood's police department. Police professionalism becomes a minimum requirement to respond to a case, with Sharpwood police officers being both the detectives and the patrolmen. This time around, officers have stats allowing them to resolve a criminal situation in a variety of methods. Being a criminal on the run, you are expected not only to pay off your cleaner delaying the investigation, but also do a competent job lest Sheriff Reed calls the feds to arrest you.

This game provides examples of:

  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: At first, the game was marketed for the unexperienced Lilly Reed, to be the protagonist of the game. As it shows only her on the cover of the game, you get to play as her for a small segment, until you take the call to bust down Jack Boyd's Shed, where he will be apprehended and will try convince Lilly to let him take the lead instead, since he is far more experienced than her, she oblides, and you will play as Jack Boyd until the end of the game.
  • Actionized Sequel: This game added turn-based strategy for breaching and shoot-out missions.
  • All for Nothing: A small case played for drama.The game starts with Jack composing a letter to his sons, trying to make amends with them, and you as a player have to pick what Jack puts in there, essentially writing the letter with him. When it gets delivered later his son rips the letter apart without reading or even opening the envelope, throwing away Jack's plea and the player's effort.
  • Anyone Can Die: As in the first game, even your most experienced officers can die if you make the wrong decision, but there's one for the main story too. Captain Carter, Lana, Lilly, Henderson, Fry and Emma are all killed off by Jack so that he can reign unopposed as Sharpwood's Sheriff.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: And he's the main character.
  • Beard of Sorrow: Jack has grown out a significant one since the events of the first game. Gets trimmed down to a stylish goatee Beard of Evil by the end.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Both the Neckties gang and Colonel Henderson have been put down, and Sharpwood Police finally managed to shape up thanks to Jack Boyd. However, Jack has officially gone corrupt, killing all known acquaintances — Captain Carter; Lana; Arthur, a smartass college student who just wanted to prove he could be a good investigator; Moreno, Henderson's peppy henchman; Lilly, who betrayed him out of panic; Fry, a shady private investigator/cleaner who received weekly payments in exchange for keeping the FBI off the track from him and Emma, his ever-loyal secretary.
    • Non-Standard Game Over: Also counts as this, you can get this one early, if you fail 3 days in a row, or not being able to pay Fray on time many times, he will then inform them clues on your location, while failing 3 days in a row makes Lily call the feds on Jack, which makes them appear outside of his shack along with Ethan Palmer, as Jack exits his shack in shock to see them outside, Ethan will greet Jack, before the group arrests him as the screen turns white. Makes the total plot of Jack becoming an Anti-Hero being averted, along with possibile murder of Lana and Lily, but at the cost of having Jack being sent to the slammer, but as Palmer said to Jack in a future phone call, he might help him if he had turned himself in earlier.
  • Book Ends: Jack Boyd's story begins with a grocery delivery and ends with a cigar delivery.
  • Boom, Headshot!: A succesful hit to the head during a tactical mission will instantly kill the character. It's not of much use to the player (as torso shots also incapacitate instantly), but suspects may randomly headshot the cops. Also Lana gets shot by Jack after succumbing to his Heroic BSoD.
  • Brand X: Firry-Cola.
  • Call-Back: Plenty call backs to the first game.
    • In the first game, your recruitable cops included a pair called Virgil Burch Sr. and Jr. This game gives you Virgil Burch III.
    • Speaking of recurring officers — Percy is back. Except it's his cousin, and this time nothing stops you from firing him at once if you feel like it.
    • And continuing even further — at one point you have some officers from the first game joining your roster as hallucinated by Jack.
    • Troy Starr and Martin Stett come up as fake witnesses that Jack invented to pin Carter's murder on the Neckties.
    • Early in the first game Jack muses in his inner monologue that he may have many vices, but predictability is not one of them. You can include the same line in a letter Jack writes in the beginning of the second game.
    • Late in the game you receive a vinyl player with some records from the first game that you can play.
    • A Dream Sequence late in the game features the map and interface from the first game.
  • The Chains of Commanding: Lilly suffers from stress related to her job as the head of the police department, which she wasn't prepared to do, due to sudden deaths of her predecessor and her right-hand man.
  • Circus of Fear: A mundane variation. The Sharpwood Circus has a sinister reputation — in the past a pair of performers were lynched by a local mob after they (allegedly) raped a girl causing the circus to shut down, and in the present the Neckties have the abandoned circus their base in Sharpwood. An officer who you will send to scout out the place before assaulting the Neckties will be so affected by it that they will start drinking once they return.
  • Creator Provincialism: Just like with the first game, there are some hints that the game developers are Belarusian. One mission has the local priest excavate an artillery shell in his cemetery. Unexploded ordnance (still) is a massive problem in much of Europe (particularly Belarus, infamously one of the bloodiest battlegrounds of the Eastern Front), but pretty much non-existent in the US.
  • Cutting Off the Branches:
    • Jack's letter to his children at the beginning of the game can claim that he was forced to work for the mafia when they threatened to stick their heads on a chandelier, implying he canonically refused to help Kendrick at the beginning of the first game.
    • Jack being penniless at the beginning of the game implies that he supported Chaffee instead of Rogers in the previous game, as Rogers allows Jack to keep the money he'd saved up, whereas Chaffee gives him a single dollar.
    • After Basant Percy enters the rooster, he will ask for a day off to go to Freeburg after someone desecrated his brother's grave, implying Salik died while in service during the events of the last game.
  • Drunk Driver: Jack Boyd is seen trying his odds under a wheel, while under the alcoholic influence. Is implied that he might want to accidently drive into an metalic wooden pole, to kill himself instantly at any moment.
  • Darker and Edgier: The game manages to be even darker than its predecessor, which is a no small feat.
  • Dark Reprise: The credits song is a dark remix of a song from the previous game's soundtrack.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Lilly gets no respect from her coworkers for being a rookie, to the point where she is forced to take Jack on as her Hypercompetent Sidekick.
  • Evolving Title Screen: The title screen will change depending on your story progress, reflecting changes some characters go through. Lily goes from staring at the previous sheriff's much-hated tapestry alone, to staring at it together with Jack. After Jack orchestrates Carter's death, Lily is alone again. In the end, after Lily is dead and Jack has cemented his power, it shows him and the other officers burning the tapestry in the parking lot.
  • Food Porn: Around the mid-point of the game, you have to begin manually setting up your cops' meal menus. Some of the food descriptions and the accompanying pictures are absolutely mouthwatering (or you can be cheapskate and feed everyone Colonel Henderson's revolting mushroom soup).
  • Gang of Hats: The Neckties are a drug-dealing gang that wear nice suits and ties. One guy defects to the police because he has to iron clothes six times a day instead of, you know, drug-dealing.
  • Good Colors, Evil Colors: After spending most of the game with white skin, after Jack's Then Let Me Be Evil moment in the final arc of the game, his figure is typically shown noticeably darker or partially concealed in shadow to showcase his slide to The Dark Side. The final cutscene before the fight with Henderson's men in particular shows Jack sitting at the head of a long table surrounded by the silhouettes of his most loyal men (whose hats are framed to looks suspiciously like fedoras), demonstrating how he's more The Don than Sheriff at this point.
  • How the Mighty Have Fallen: Jack, an former police chief of Freeburg, gets easily apprehended by two Sharpwood cops in his shack. He proceeds to become it's chief, and win over the whole station in under a month.
  • Heroic BSoD: Jack gets one, after he tries to talk to his best childhood friend Ethan Palmer to get him out of Sharpwood as he deems it unsafe anymore, but when Ethan tells Jack that he should turn himself in. Jack breaks down crying in denial, that even his childhood friend is on their side now, and hangs up on Ethan during his mid-sentence pleads. Then Jack walks back to his vehicle, and chugs down a bottle of alcohol to then pass out and experience dream sequence of the first This Is The Police, the player will take an active call on assault of Jack Boyd's Shed, where the whole squad of police officers with SWAT and PADDY WAGON is required to fill in, then as the destiniation almost reaches is target, the dream sequence is interupted by the knock on Jack's car window, where the Postman will ask him if he is okay, Jack then shooes him away, and chugs down from his bottle of alcohol before trying to start his vehicle to then drive back to his shed. He manages to drive back to his shed, before walking a few steps to it, and falling mid-way due to drunk induced knock-out. An unbeatable mini-game then will start, where the goal is to Save Jack's Soul. But is imposibile as the assault of ghosts never stops, and sooner the player will be overruned, and Jack Boyd will be succumbed to their darkness. As he succumbs, he wakes up to see two bums try to take his gun away, but when they notice him awaking, they instantly drop it and run away. Then Jack picks his gun in his hand, and makes it to his shed. When he enters, only the outside prospective of shack's door is seen to the viewer, as Lana starts to scold him for being away, Jack leans down on the table, and starts to get visibily frustrated, and mad as he can't even make out her words, then it comes to his boiling point, where he shoots her dead in the face.
  • He Knows Too Much: By the end of the game Jack has either already killed off or is planning to kill every single person that knows he's Jack Boyd, all so he can fully embrace a corrupt fresh start as Warren Nash, the Sheriff of Sharpwood. This includes both his scumbag cleaner Fry and his ever-loyal secretary Emma.
  • Hijacked by Ganon: The promotional material and opening levels of the game make it seem like the story will be about Lilly trying to clean up Sharpwood after the Sheriff dies. After the appearance of Jack, more and more of the plot deals with him and his dark past.
  • Honor Before Reason: Captain Carter at first plays fairly in his competition with Jack for the position of Sheriff, losing spectacularly. But even when he finally cheats, he goes to Jack in private to confess Lilly helped him win, and that he's figured out on his own who he really is. His reason? Even knowing Jack is wanted for ties to organized crime and has been implicated in murder plots before, Carter still gives him a chance to accept his loss and quietly leave town — right after telling Jack he cheated and leaving no guarantees he won't rat Jack out anyway. Needless to say, Carter doesn't even make it home before Jack has Henderson's men kill him and frame the Neckties.
  • Hyper-Competent Sidekick: Lilly Reed may be the sheriff, but Jack Boyd is the one who knows what he's doing and gets everything done.
  • Mocking Music: Jack may try to tune in his radio to somehow eleviate his troubles, and relax, but then the radio plays the dark themes, like Red and Green, The Ghost Archetype, and Exhale, which provide nothing but more Angst for him and the player.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Sharpwood's townsfolk believe in the existence of supernatural "forest spirits" that can possess people and cause all sorts of havoc. Jack himself can deal with random incidents of cops going crazy and killing other officers before killing themselves. Jack himself sees antlered forest spirits resembling Bovos, the local God of Evil, attacking him during his fall to the dark side. Whether the supernatural is really at work or if it's all in people's heads is left intentionally ambiguous.
  • One-Hit Kill: In tactical missions, a torso shot will instantly incapacitate the person hit and leave them to slowly bleed out, while a headshot will kill them on the spot.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Straight, Jack Boyd renames himself to Warren Nash, and has earned white hair along with the Beard of Sorrow, but those who have played the prequel, will easily see through his disguise. And even so, when he gets apprehended, he drops a quiet "Boyd" word during the interrogation, in his cell while he explains on who he is to Sherif Reed, she reveals that she already knows that he is not Yorren Nash due to his false documents literally breaking in her hands.
  • Playing Both Sides: You quickly learn that the Big Bad is doing this with the cops and the Neckties Gang. Once Jack snaps, he decides to play along with Henderson's plot to play along with Lilly's plot to backstab Jack and then backstab her, only for Jack to backstab Lilly before Henderson can get to her first, and then turn Henderson's mock battle to backstab Lilly into a real one that gets all his ex-military goons killed. It Makes Sense in Context.
  • Plot-Powered Stamina: Averted — the stamina meter returns with improvement from the previous game. Each officer has a stamina meter that gets reduced from responding to calls and other activities. If it gets too low they can get into an accident while driving, and giving them days off or sending them to recreational activities once you unlock those fully restores it.
  • Red/Green Contrast: One of the songs that Jack picks up on his radio during the shift is called Red Green, which means Blood Money. And the song's lyrics, symbolize him dreading on the line between "Red and Green".
  • Running Gag: Between Jack Boyd and his best childhood friend Ethan Palmer. There was this running gag of the super cop Bobby Flash. Jack uses this alias when trying to call him up on the payphone, in hopes that will he get him out of Sharpwood, as he deems it unsafe to him anymore, but Heroic BSoD occurs.
  • Rabid Cop: Charlie Fletcher is, quite frankly, nuts. His Establishing Character Moment has him break into Jack's shack, slam him on a table, and put a gun to his head, all while mocking how incompetent of a drug runner he (apparently) is.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: Calls to respond to rapes are one of the rare cases where the game gives the responding police the option to kill the attacker immediately on arrival. Most other incidents where the police can immediately use lethal force are when the suspect is actively trying to kill the victim or the police.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: After the final battle, Jack gives one to the Big Bad about how incredibly stupid he was to explain every single detail of his plan to an active leader of the local police force/former chief of police/current archrival.
  • Religion of Evil:
    • Church of Bovos, the forest spirit of Fertility, Lust, and Depravity. The crimes his followers get up to in public range from public indecency and molestation, to taking over a church and threatening to blow it sky high.
    • Similarly, the Woodsmen are a small cult that are trying to "cleanse Sharpwood's sins". However, their beliefs and motives are ambiguous enough that it's unclear whether they are their own group, or just a subsect of the Church of Bovos.
  • Revenge Before Reason: The overarching theme of the game. Except for the lucky few smart enough to get out, everyone in Sharpwood at best amounts to nothing and at worst utterly destroy themselves in an effort to destroy their enemy first. A few notable examples:
    • Sheriff Wells hated drug dealers, not even considering them human. His obsession with running them out of his town ultimately leads to his end, when a tip about the Neckties leads him into a deadly ambush.
    • Lana's obsession with catching Jack costs her the respect of her colleagues in Freeburg, ultimately giving them enough ammunition to fire her. Desperate, she stoops to the level of the criminal she despises and resorts to threats and blackmail to track him down. When she finally finds Jack, her constant threats and belittlement of him ultimately gets her a quick and unceremonious death.
    • Lilly shared the old sheriff's hatred of drug dealers, amplified after his death. Henderson predicted that if Jack didn't get rid of them, she'd probably end up dying the same way he did. After the Neckties are eliminated, she makes an enemy of Jack and goes so far as to compromise her morals by agreeing to become Henderson's puppet in exchange for killing him. Jack sees through it immediately and has her killed first.
    • Despite claims to the contrary, Colonel Henderson proves to be Not So Above It All by manufacturing an enemy in Jack. Being no stranger to having been used and discarded before and knowing Henderson has a history of it already, Jack sees right through Henderson's attempted betrayal and has him gunned down in the midst of a "staged" ambush.
  • Rocket-Tag Gameplay: On tactical missions, a single shot to the torso (the easiest body part to hit) is enough to incapacitate a character for the rest of the mission. As such, stealth is highly encouraged due to gunfights having the potential to turn ugly in a single turn.
  • Sinister Silhouettes: Before the defense against Henderson's men, a cutscene will play with Jack and his Police Officers, showing up as black menacing sillhouettes.
  • Shop Fodder: Many calls and events will end with your cops returning with various items in tow, procured from the scene. These range from basic every day items to more expensive and illicit things. Sometimes these items can be needed in certain events but most of the time they are there to be sold.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The Bloody Shirt movie series seem to be a reference to Bloodsport, with the star of the series, Paul Shpagat, a reference to Jean-Claude Van Damme ("Shpagat" can mean "a split" in Russian, as in JCVD's signature move).
    • At the time of release the game had a recruitable officer named Rosenkrantz, with officer Guildenstern introduced in a later patch. They benefit from working together, receiving double experience from calls where both of them are present.
    • The disloyal Officer Kevin Penkin is modeled and named after the game's music designer, who is known for his work on the anime Made in Abyss. Penkin starts the game off with the lowest Professionalism level of all the officers, at 10. Fittingly, if you raise Penkin's Professionalism to 1000 within one playthrough, you are awarded an Achievement called "Made in Abyss".
    • The Officier Kuplinov, which is a Shout Out to the russian let's player who made popular videos on the first This Is The Police. Can appear in the first day, if you enter his specific code in the main menu.
      • Another russian let's player earned this previlege, by the name of Officer Wycc, who can also be summoned with the special password combination in the main menu.
  • Stealth-Based Mission: Stealth is possible on all tactical missions but two cases enforce it. During one mission perps have a hostage who they will kill as soon as alarms are raised, instantly failing the mission. Same with the Neckties' base assualt, where you abruptly get a mission failure the moment they raise an alarm.
  • Storming the Castle: All tactical missions are this, with your cops having to storm some place where bad guys held up. Doubly so with Assault operations, which have you make preparations and gather intel several days in advance. Inverted with the last mission, where you have to defend your police station against Henderson's goons trying to storm it.
  • Straight Edge Evil: The Spinach Berserkers are this with a dash of social darwinism.
  • Then Let Me Be Evil: After starting the game just trying to run from his problems and searching for a way to clear his name, by the end the increasing pressure from Lana, Lilly and Henderson to manipulate and/or get rid of finally causes Jack to snap and embrace his darkness, losing what few morals he had left.
  • Unexpectedly Realistic Gameplay: Treating your officers negatively can impact their loyalty, as they will ignore player's commands during the tactical phase. (Watch the hats.)
  • Unhand Them, Villain!: Comes up during one call — a man will drag his ten-years-old stepson to the top of a water tower, holding him over the drop. Telling the man to let the boy go will result in the boy's death.
  • Unwinnable by Design:
    • You can't win the competition with Carter, no matter how hard you try. Arrest all the criminals you meet, have no cops injured or killed, destroy the Woodsmen gang — on the last day Lilly will just hand Carter a stockpile of unsolved cases, and his AI will always end up with a dozen tabs more than you do.
    • No matter how good you are at defense games, the waves of forest demons will not end and will successfully corrupt Jack.
  • Villain with Good Publicity:
    • Colonel Henderson, the 'supplier', is famous among Sharpwood for being 90% legit, thanks to his amazing $0.12-a-can mushroom soup and other cheap commodities. In contrast to standard market goods though, they suck. He's also an abusive psychopath, especially to his subordinates, who pretends to be nice to everyone he plans on using or murdering.
    • Jack successfully becomes this at the end of the game. Ironically, his Face–Heel Turn is the best thing to happen to Sharpwood, as he manages to whip the police force into shape and builds a stable relationship between the police and the town. Too bad he killed everyone who stood in his way.
  • Wham Shot: Literal, Jack shoots Lena after succumbing to his Heroic BSoD breakdown, which is a move that signifes that he is no longer trying to be good in his vision.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Tarek Palm, who runs the Sharpwood Winery, but also offers a service to cure alcoholics of their addictions. This involves sealing them in a barrel of white wine vinegar until the stench makes them never want to touch alcohol again. You can rent this service out for your own alcoholic officers, who will thank you when it succeeds. This is actually the more humane version of Palm's treatment. Captain Carter reveals that Palm cured him of his alcoholism by sealing him in a dark basement for three weeks with only water and one copy each of the Bible, Torah, and Quran.
  • Well-Trained, but Inexperienced: Lilly Reed was utterly swamped with her responsibilities to lead a department, since she was not expected to succeed Sheriff Wells, not to mention the other two potential successors were killed along with him. As a result, her inexperience and rookie nature meant that she had difficulty in managing cases and most of the officers do not respect her.
  • What Measure Is a Mook?: Every police officer has their own personal life. Resorting to We Have Reserves will cause complications from their families and lower morale/loyalty among the force. Officers with low morale will disobey orders and may quit outright. Furthermore, even their preferred diet has to be accounted for when buying food at the beginning of the day in order to boost morale and improve respect.
  • Woman Scorned: Lana has become this by the time of the game. It's clear something in her snapped after she learned the truth about Jack — she's become obsessed with tracking him down, to the point she's alienated her colleagues with her desperation and compromised her morals. It ultimately gets her fired when her relationship with Jack is made public due to a clear-cut conflict of interest. Not long after she finally tracks him down in person, Jack snaps and kills her in order to tie up loose ends about his true identity.
  • Wretched Hive: Sharpwood is basically just as problematic as Freeburg, not helped by the fact that it wasn't prepared to deal with a gang like Neckties. The death of Sheriff Wells and piss-poor funding for the police department just made everything worse.
  • You Are in Command Now: Lilly Reed is a replacement after Sheriff Wells and two senior officers were killed in an attempt to arrest the leader of Neckties gang. Unfortunately, her status as a new leader meant that she lacks the experience and respect to lead the station. In one of her conducts, it resulted in the death of her second-in-command Gale, where Jack Boyd decided to take over thanks to his experience as a police chief.
  • Your Mind Makes It Real: After killing Lana Jack will have officers from the first game appear without a prompt in his roster, to have them vanish without prompt or trace by the end of the day. Most likely these people are hallucinated by Jack because of stress — which does not stop them from responding to calls and even being usable to resolve situations on site. This is because Jack's hallucinations are replacing other officers- this becomes apparent if one of the returning officers replaced Leiva, as they will share his habit of losing equipment.