Review – Chicken Police – Paint it RED!
There’s nothing quite as exhilarating as a classic whodunit or a noir detective tale. For this reason, I’m frequently drawn to mysteries and thrillers, both in novels and video games. However, the success of these types of games not only depends on the mystery itself, but also the way in which it’s delivered. Some are truly captivating like L.A. Noire and The Wolf Among Us, while others are overwhelmingly lackluster like Night Call. When I first saw the trailer for The Wild Gentleman’s Chicken Police – Paint it RED!, I thought it was a joke trailer. When I discovered it was a real game, I knew I had to get my hands on it.
Chicken Police – Paint it RED! is a noir buddy-cop investigative game. That might not sound like anything terribly original, but it’s the way that it’s delivered that makes it stand apart from the rest. This game uses photorealistic animal heads over human bodies for a bizarre anthropomorphic adventure. The idea is similar to that of Blacksad: Under the Skin, but thankfully, Chicken Police isn’t a broken mess like that game.
The tale follows Sonny Featherland and Marty MacChicken, the once legendary Chicken Police duo. After a harsh falling out several years prior, they join forces once again to get to the bottom of a new case. The beautiful and dangerously alluring Natasha Catzenko comes to Featherland for help after she receives several threats, each with growing intensity. Now it’s up to the Chicken Police to reunite and get to the bottom of this fowl mystery.
Chicken Police is for the most part a visual novel. This means that most of the game doesn’t really require you to do much as far as interacting. There’s even an option to let the dialogue auto-play so you don’t have to continuously press a button to have the next character speak. While that’s pretty nice in terms of ease of letting things play out, it really does feel like this is mainly a movie. I would have liked to have had some dialogue options to make it feel like you’re a bit more involved than you actually are.
That being said, there are certain times where you’ll have to question a suspect or person of interest. This is where Chicken Police is the most fun. The interrogation system is pretty user-friendly, but still manages to provide a reasonable amount of challenge at times. It’s nowhere near as complicated, involved, or realistic as Interrogation, but these sections are still a blast. In fact, I would have liked more of them, but there is still a fair amount of them throughout the game.
The real draw to Chicken Police is the humor and voice acting. The performances are very strong throughout and the original score sets the tone for a 40’s noir adventure perfectly. As you might expect, there are animal puns aplenty in here, but surprisingly, they’re not overdone. In fact, there were a few times when I almost forgot the characters were animals altogether while I was watching the gritty crime drama unfold. That is until someone would exclaim something along the lines of “what the cluck?” to bring my attention right back to absurdist nature of the game. Honestly, that’s probably what I loved the most about it.
While I was intrigued by the concept of Chicken Police – Paint it RED! from when I initially watched the trailer, I was surprised by how much I truly enjoyed it. The characters are hilarious and surprisingly fleshed out in most cases. While I called the “twist” of the case fairly early, I still have to give it credit for putting together a well told story. Even though I guessed what was really going on, I still enjoyed every second of this game. Mostly due to the delightful banter between Sonny and Marty. The end leaves room for a sequel and I personally can’t wait to see what the Chicken Police are in store for on their next adventure.
The use of photo-realistic animal heads on human bodies is both effective and hilarious.
You won’t have much to do through most of the game as it’s mainly a visual novel. The interrogation system is really fun and engaging though.
There aren’t too many songs, but the few there are fit the game perfectly. Nearly all of the voice acting is superb.
Fun Factor: 7.0
While I enjoyed it more than I was expecting, I would have liked more gameplay mechanics like dialogue options. The interrogations are a lot of fun though.
Final Verdict: 7.5
Chicken Police – Paint it RED! is available now on PS4, Xbox One, PC, and Switch.
Reviewed on Xbox Series X.
A copy of Chicken Police – Paint it RED! was provided by the publisher.