With some big expectations coming from Ubisoft's non-Imagine DS game, COP: The Recruit arrived on the scene with pretty big hubub. So, will you join the force or roam the streets? So, COP toted around to be what Chinatown Wars wasnt; a full fledged 3-D, open world game for the DS. It was an ambitious project that would surely stretch the DS to its limits and introduce some new ones. So, what are my overall impressions? It definitely stretches and shows what the DS can do, but a game riddled with flaws that makes poor use of all this. COP: The Recruit follows Dan, a former street racer who gets recruited to a New York police force, called the CCD (not that boring Christian thing you went to after school). That starts as the basic storyline, but Dan is revealed more further in the game. The story involves a terrorist plot on New York and the framing of your mentor and recruiter and has its shares of twists and turns. It's a pretty good storyline, compared to whatever the fuck Imagine games are based around. All the story is presented through cutscenes, either using well drawn "slides", almost like the cutscenes in MadWorld, or through the 3-D graphical engine. Both of them are presented quite well. You'll definitely get a clear picture of the story, I'll say that at least. The huge flaws with COP is the gameplay. Missions are just plain boring and repetitive. It's either drive here, shoot that, chase this. Over and over again. Driving is a big part of this game, whether it be chasing down a deviant speeder or roaming around the Big Apple. Unfortunately, driving is just as boring and sloppy. Most cars and overwhelmingly slow, and getting a good enough car to actually do tougher driving missions is impractical. Not to mention that controls are loose, lacking simple things like drifting or power sliding to get around sharp corners. The car physics are also terrible. Hitting a car on the side does absolutely nothing. You'll stop dead, deal no damage to you or the other driver. Hitting a tree will bring you to an absolute stop, while hitting a firmly grounded streetlamp will crush it. It makes no sense. Shooting isn't terrible, but again, it's boring. There's no fun features about it. No crouching or taking cover, no rolls, no jumps, nothing. It's basically strafe and shoot. The control of aiming itself is pretty good, but it won't save it the snoozes of the "action". Some other annoyances are a lot of unnecessary features. Why scroll through cameras to find a car when you can just look about yourself? Why type in a pointless key code for a building when you can just use the directory? The overall gameplay is boring, repetitive, and uninspiring. If you want an exciting open world, stick to Chinatown. Graphically, the game really shines. The entire world is in 3-D. The streets, while not a busy New York City by any means, are still full of people, cars, and trucks. There's lots of nice lighting effects and models. The world itself isn't as large as Grand Theft Auto's Liberty City or other locations, but for it being in 3-D, it's a pretty nice size. It definitely stretches the DS to its graphical limits. The only problem I have is Dan's running animations. Seriously, no one runs like this. He looks like a goofball. A cringe worthy aspect of this game, unfortunately, is the audio. There's some rare music in the backgrounds, but most of the time it's the buzz of New York City. But really, does anyone want to hear yelling and cars honking ALL the time? Not to mention whenever you're in a car, the engine is so damn loud, and whenever you get into a police car, the sirens are again, so damn loud. I could seriously see myself getting into a police car and plugging it into the speakers of Guantanamo Bay. It's painful to hear at times and seems to be a portable migraine. So, overall, the game is a good idea that has potential but falls, sadly, very short. A great open world and impressive graphical engine is ruined by boring, repetitive gameplay, sloppy controls, wonky car physics, and ear-bleed audio. With games like this that you truly expect to be ground breaking, it's sad to say so bad of it, but it's true. COP just simply falls short of expectations. Presentation: A well presented and nice story with slick looking menus. Unfortunately, the menus are overly complicated and you'll be navigating through tons of screens just to do something as simple as setting your GPS to go here or there. 7/10 Graphics: An impressive 3-D engine, putting an entire city into nice 3-D. It's not as big as San Andreas by any means, but 5 square miles isn't bad for the DS. Lighting effects are cool, buildings are well textured, and character models are cool. No slowdown either. Poor running animations are noticeable, though. 9.5/10 Audio: Ugh. You'd expect to here music, being in New York, but instead it's city white noise. Cars honking, people yelling, trucks driving. No one wants to hear that. Engines and sirens are overly loud and repetitive. I ended up turning the audio off, seeing as it almost made my head split open. It does give you the impression of living in a bustling city, but do we really want that? 4/10 Gameplay: Boring missions, flustered car physics, and poor driving. Missions are just constantly the same but reskinned. Drive here, shoot this, case that. Car controls are constantly skidding and unrefined, not to mention the physics are completely unrealistic, not to mention cars are overwhelmingly slow. Shooting controls are nice, but incredibly generic and unexciting. There's lots of useless use of the DS touch screen as well, and while I enjoy using the touchscreen as much as the next guy, some of these actions are just pointless and constantly recurring. 5/10 Lasting Appeal: The core storyline itself is pretty long, with most people toting it to have 20 hours of gameplay. Lots of side missions, achievements, photos to take, and barricades to knock over. Still, the boring nature of the game really prevents many from actually wanting to keep playing it for a long time. 7.5/10 Overall: 6.5/10 I feel sad to give such a poor review to the game, but it's true.