True Crime: Streets of LA
Written by Daniel Westerstal   
Friday, 09 March 2007

Another Grand Theft Auto 3 –clone, this time you play as a cop with extreme methods in a not too distant future Los Angeles.

Crime and gangs has spiraled out of control in a near future Los Angeles, to respond to the new threat LAPD forms a new task force, EOD (Elite Operations Division). You play as Nick Kang (not related to the aliens in the Simpsons), just suspended because of excessive force. However Kang’s capabilities is wanted by the EOD, and he is recruited.

The story itself is dynamic, if you fail a mission you will not be able to repeat. Instead the story changes depending on the mission. If you are suppose to tail a bad-guy to a hideout and the suspect spots you a shootout will perhaps occur, if you shoot the suspect it will be harder to find his intended destination.

True Crime Streets of LA consists of storyline missions and street crime missions. Storyline missions are triggered when you reach certain destination. The missions are usually shoot-outs, tailing cars or hostage situations. Overall the story is pretty much a lame version of the Lethal Weapon movies, it makes you wonder if they just ripped the whole thing and changed the names. Nick Kang is a very uninteresting and rude character, and is a complete ass during most of the game.

The street crime missions are triggered randomly; you get a report over the radio of the crime and rush to the scene. Street crimes range from domestic violence, muggings to hostage situations and bank-robbers with assault rifles. On some missions other patrolling officers join you.
True Crime Streets of LA contains a pretty advanced reward system for the street crime missions. If you just kill everyone your good/bad –cop rating will go down. If you become a really bad cop the other officers will not like you, and the civilians will riot against you. However if you manage to solve most crimes without civilian casualties you mostly get praise by the population.

Nick Kang can wrestle suspects, shoot them or start practicing martial arts on them. It’s also possible to announce your presence by flashing your badge, or shoot warning shots if the situation seems tense. Some suspect gives up if you just flash the badge or turn on the siren on your patrol car or unmarked car. But many criminals try to outrun you or highjack a car and drive away. It’s possible to shoot their tires out while chasing them, or do a sliding tackle on them if they try to run.

When trying to solve the street crimes you get a taste of the weird controls in True Crime Streets of LA. You often have to act fast, if a suspect has a weapon you will have to go into weapon mode, the game is however really slow when changing modes. The camera angle doesn’t always keep up, especially around corners, so sometimes you accidently shoot a civilian because the camera didn’t keep up.

There are no less lethal weapons in the game except the stun gun, which you only can use on special story line missions. This means that when solving street crimes you have to rely on martial arts and guns, not very realistic since real officers have pepper spray, stun guns and less-lethal shotguns. Anyway the objective of the game is to arrest suspects with as little losses as possible. Sometimes the game becomes very frustrating since you can’t get it to perform as you want it to.

I’m really impressed by the environments in True Crime Streets of LA. The developers have rendered 240 square miles of authentic LA environments; it takes some time to drive through the whole city. Even after playing the game for a while you come across places where you haven’t been before. Driving around is fun and the traffic behaves somewhat normally. But the controls when driving are a bit too sensitive, especially when turning.
The soundtrack in the game is quite good with fair artists like Snoop Dogg, Coolio, The Donnas, Warren G among others. It’s even possible to unlock the game and play as Snoop Dogg, for some reason.

True Crime Streets of LA is a good idea, I wish that more effort had been put into the policing part of the game, especially making it easier to control and more realistic. The story is a rip-off and by removing the Nick Kang character altogether the game would be better. However it’s fun to play when the game does what you want it to.

Related: CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Grand Theft Auto, Midtown Madness
Developer: Luxoflux
Website for Game:
Publisher: Activision
O/S: Windows 98/ME/2000/XP
Cost of full game: N/A
Year of Release: 2004

800 MHz Intel or AMD processor, 128 MB RAM, 32 MB VRAM, Direct X 9.0b
Tested on:
AMD Athlon 64 2.2 GHz, 2x512 MB RAM, Geforce 4 64 MB, Windows XP.

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