Many games have attempted to recreate the mystery and intrigue of the film noir genre, but few succeed. Team Bondi’s LA Noire was a sterling example of how to do right by the style. A fantastic game that ultimately bankrupted the studio. Other’s have used the genre and implemented it with fantastical concepts like TellTale’s adaptation of the Fable graphic novel, in The Wolf Among Us. Whenever a developer is brave enough to take on such a tonally sensitive project, I can’t help but take an interest. That developer is The Wild Gentlemen, and the game is Chicken Police – Paint It Red.
A Tale Of Two Chickens
Chicken Police is a point n’ click, narrative-driven noir game, made as a loving satire of the classic 40s detective movies. Much like last year’s Blacksad: Under the Skin, Chicken Police uses anthropomorphic animals as the basis for their characters. Set in the city of Clawville, two legendary detectives, way past their prime, must solve one more case, more puzzling and complex than any before it.
Sonny Featherland and Marty MacChicken were once legends in their lifetimes, but the past decade hasn’t been kind. Sonny took to the booze, leaving him a shadow of the chicken he was. On paid leave, he has little to do but acquaint himself with a bottle night after night. Marty is suffering an arguably worse fate, living off his dissipating fame to get by. Neither has spoken to one another in some time, but that soon changes.
There’s something brewing in Clawville. Something that has all the makings of a classic noir case. A weird crime, a mysterious Dame and two grizzled detectives on the edge. Although not an open-world game, the city of Clawville has been tailor-made to envoke everything that makes a genuinely excellent noir setting. A seething hotbed of crime and corruption set against a backdrop of hopelessness.
Point N’ Click Detective
The gameplay of Chicken Police combines elements of classic adventure games, with the story-driven focus of a visual novel. Clawville is a city teeming with shady characters, with even shadier secrets that you’ll use against them, collecting evidence and clues to further your case. The game also features interrogation, involving you asking tough questions. Be careful, however. You’ll need to pay attention to what kind of person you’re integrating.
Certain characters have traits that you can use to your advantage. Perhaps this calm and confident cat has something to hide. Use their confident demeanour to make them reveal things they’d rather not. I love games that play with this element as it all goes towards furthering character development. You want to understand the motives of characters, not merely the actions that stem from those motives. With over 30 unique people to meet, I can’t wait to get lost in these character’s stories.
Having a visual novel style opens up some exciting options for artistic vision. The game uses both real photos of animals and realistic 3D backgrounds to bring Clawville and its citizens to life. Paired with an appropriately moody musical score and a fully voice-acted cast of characters, Chicken Police – Paint it Red looks to be one of the unique games of 2020.
Another Case, Another Detective
I’m a sucker for anything noir related, so Chicken Police – Paint it Red appeals to me on a base level. Noir is a reasonably straightforward idea. A city beyond the point of hope. A detective with more miles on the clock than his beat-up car. A case that appears impossible to solve. Tropes are tropes for a reason – they work. I’m very excited to play Chicken Police – Paint it Red when it releases later this year on PS4, Xbox One, Switch and PC.
Check out the trailer below and tell me you don’t want to chuck on a worn trench coat and tattered trilby.