Roosters – cops on guard of the city – a review of one of the best noir detectives of 2020.

Roosters – cops on guard of the city – a review of one of the best noir detectives of 2020.

Santino “Sonny” Perjeland, a retired cop who works as a private detective in Cloville, prepares for retirement. Quiet days are interrupted by the appearance of Deborah: the girl wants to hire Sonny to investigate threats to her boss, Natasha Koshenko. The case smells fried, since Natasha is the girl of the crime boss Hobart “Ibna” Wessler, and even with the constant surrounded by guards, someone still manages to write threats in huge red letters on the girl’s house.

Realizing that he cannot cope alone, Sonny turns to his former partner, Marty McChicken, with whom they share a difficult past, for help.

Chicken Police, or “Feathered Cops” in Russian translation, is a visual novel in the style of film noir. We are not talking about more modern films or games, but about classics like films by Billy Wilder or Charles Widor. There are also enough nods to “hard-boiled detectives”, on which noir was based in many ways – one of the additional entertainments is the search for books about “feathered cops”, designed in classic covers for palp literature of the past.

As you might expect, the Chicken Police is pretty measured. Most of the time, the player will have to move between locations and conduct dialogues with a wide range of characters, all of them are anthropomorphic animals. The cops themselves are roosters, as you can guess from the name.

Among their colleagues, you can find, for example, a hedgehog and a porcupine (which Sonny, for some reason, cannot bear), several dogs (the police chief is a bloodhound) and a hummingbird. Other heroes match: one of Sonny and Marty’s informants is a raccoon who owns a bar, and crime boss Wessler, in whom Natasha the cat is in love, is a rat. The animal nature, by the way, is reflected in the dialogues: in translation, alas, it is often lost, but the original “I don’t give a cluck” is easy to read.

Simple dialogues can be interrupted by a series of questions that reveal additional information. In some cases, after questioning the character in detail, you can conduct a full-fledged interrogation: relying on the fact that Sonny managed to learn about the character of the animal in front of him, and his own logic, you need to choose the right direction of the conversation in order to get answers to questions of interest. Few people are ready to talk about something directly: the genre assumes that there will be many obstacles on the way of the heroes, so more than half of the game will be played in the dark.

It is almost impossible to guess what a seemingly simple tie will lead to – which, again, is a huge plus.

Both dialogues and interrogations are designed in a classic style for visual novels: static characters communicate with each other, and the text of the dialogues is shown in a small window at the bottom of the screen. By the way, each line is sounded, and each of more than three dozen characters has a unique voice.

Conversations are interspersed with searching for objects in locations and solving simple puzzles like opening a safe or a deduction mini-game, where on a separate screen the user must compare evidence and facts in an attempt to get to the bottom of the truth. There is also a kind of action game: a couple of times per game you have to shoot back from enemies from the car window, plus once unravel a complex knot in extreme conditions (perhaps the only bad place is to easily lose because of the control features). We’ll dispense with the details so as not to spoil.

The stylistics deserves a separate mention. Much of the game is done in three colors: blood red is often added to the expected contrasting black and white with deep and heavy shadows. In separate, more “joyful” scenes, color appears – but, as Sonny often notes, there is no place for happiness in Cloville.

It is also interesting how the world is worked out: despite the fact that most of the game takes place literally in a dozen locations, it contains enough references to both the political structure of the country in which the heroes live, and social features (from the difficulties of cohabitation of predators and herbivores to a separate ghetto for insects ). Many of these details are only tangential and are hardly mentioned in the main storyline, but Sonny carefully notes every bit of information – and you can read the details about literally everything. In combination with the ending, which, although it concludes the story, but leaves room for continuation, this can be considered an application for sequels. Which, in general, is only welcome.

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