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AIPD: Artificial Intelligence Police Department Reviewed by Cyril Lachel on . Between the presentation and gameplay, AIPD: Artificial Intelligence Police Department gets a lot right. But this is 2016, and you need more than solid mechanics and flashy visuals to keep up with the cacophony of dual-stick shooters on the market. AIPD is guilty of being too repetitive and not offering enough content. Rating: 57%
AIPD: Artificial Intelligence Police Department
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AIPD: Artificial Intelligence Police Department AIPD: Artificial Intelligence Police Department AIPD: Artificial Intelligence Police Department AIPD: Artificial Intelligence Police Department
  • Review Score:

  • C+
With a name like Artificial Intelligence Police Department, I expected AIPD to be a futuristic procedural where a smart-ass cop teams up with a straight-laced robot to solve cybercrimes. But alas, Blazing Badger's newest dual-stick shooter doesn't play out like a cheesy TV show. You don't interview suspects, follow up on leads or file paperwork; instead you shoot first and never get around to asking any questions later.

Simply put, AIPD is a by-the-books dual-stick action game reminiscent of Geometry Wars, Super Stardust HD and countless other recent shooters. You drive a futuristic squad car around a small, circular arena, all while shooting down waves of neon insects. It's a formula you've seen many times before, but at least it gets the basics right.


There's no story here, just aggressive enemies and fast-paced action. Our hero goes into each battle with a customized car and only one life to live; ready to do whatever it takes to beat the high score. Like so many of these types of shoot-em-ups, players will need to race around the screen picking up tiny objects to boost the multiplier. Earn enough points and you'll begin to unlock the game's numerous weapons and ship builds.

We start out with only a Gatling gun, which gets the job done and not much else. It won't take long to unlock a short-range shotgun, powerful accelerator shot and, my favorite, the destructive howitzer. The ships are also different, though their impact is more subtle. You can jump between loadouts that favor brute strength over speed or ships that are designed to quickly cool off.

It's worth mentioning that one of the game's innovations involves guns that overheat. This forces the player to choose their shots wisely and scurry to safety whenever the meter fills up. The good news is that overheating your gun will shoot out a powerful blast that makes getting away a little easier. Unfortunately, this blast can also hurt you if you're not careful.

AIPD: Artificial Intelligence Police Department (Steam)Click For the Full Picture Archive

Like I said, you only have one life to live. There are no 1ups to collect or health items to pick up, so the player will need to focus on dodging enemies and grabbing the various special attacks. These floating items can do everything from add a shield around the car to shoot out homing missiles. They are short-lived, but invaluable in tough situations.

The main campaign takes place over a series of fifteen waves, each ramping up to a difficult boss battle. Instead of jumping right into the next fight, players can choose between two modifiers that will impact the next stage. This can make certain enemies harder to hit, create bombs you have to defuse or speed up the attacking viruses.

I'm normally a big fan of giving players control over each wave, but I was left cold by the execution. Early on, it's not always clear how the levels are being affected, even with the helpful description. What's more, the changes aren't as pronounced as they should be. There are a lot of ways to change up the action, but it always feels like you're playing the same level over and over again.

AIPD: Artificial Intelligence Police Department (Steam)Click For the Full Picture Archive

Repetition is a big problem in AIPD. There aren't very many enemies in the game and the background normally goes unchanged. Even the various modes all start to feel the same after a while. Once you've unlocked all the weapons and ships, there's nothing left to keep you playing. Some may enjoy it in short bursts, but most will see everything there is to see in a single sitting.

Between the presentation and gameplay, AIPD: Artificial Intelligence Police Department gets a lot right. But this is 2016, and you need more than solid mechanics and flashy visuals to keep up with the cacophony of dual-stick shooters on the market. AIPD is guilty of being too repetitive and not offering enough content.
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