Ever seen somebody wearing socks with sandals and wished you could do something about it? Fashion Police Squad is the game for you.
Step into the fabulous shoes of Sergeant Des, and suddenly you’re in charge of dealing with crimes of fashion. Are there businessmen out on the street dulling things down with their grey suits? Liven them up with some colour. And if there’s a Karen stinking up the place while wearing some ill-fitting rags, how about giving her some style? It might just calm her down.
This may make Fashion Police Squad sound like some kind of fashion management game, but it’s not. It is, in fact, a retro-inspired first-person shooter. But even then, it’s not just DOOM with a bright colour palette and less scary enemies. Fashion Police Squad feels considerably unique thanks to its rock, paper, scissors-like approach to combat.
Take the first weapon you acquire, for example. It’s essentially a dye gun that allows you to give those wearing boring grey clothes a little more colour and pizazz. And they’ll be grateful for it, too, throwing compliments your way once you’ve given them a much-needed makeover. Another fashion faux-pas is wearing clothes that are simply too big: for that you have a tailor gun that can take things in and make the wearer look a million bucks.
In Fashion Police Squad, then, it’s all about using the correct weapon to combat the respective fashion crime. Using your dye gun against someone that’s wearing bright, gaudy colours isn’t going to help matters at all, and neither is using your tailor gun on someone that is already wearing something that fits perfectly. And as you push further into the game the fashion crimes become more varied, requiring more outlandish weapons such as sock-stealing gnomes and a dulling water gun to be employed.
It’s true that this combat system is a little limiting, but it makes for some challenging encounters where you need to prioritise targets effectively and quickly switch between weapons. Things are made a bit more interesting by the fact that you can whip enemies with your belt, too, either stunning them or fixing their crimes of fashion. And every enemy you make catwalk-ready adds a bit of charge to a meter. Once it’s full, you can activate your special glove, allowing you to slap sense into the ill-dressed one after another until time runs out. And who doesn’t want to do that?
While combat is the focus of Fashion Police Squad, it’s not all there is to it. There’s plenty of platforming to be done as you make your way through its many levels, and sometimes you’ll even need to use your belt like a lasso, swinging from one pole to another to avoid falling from a great height or moving through poisonous garbage. Secret areas are also waiting to be found, packed with either helpful items like health-boosting mocktails, or posters of the protagonist looking stylish as heck in a range of outfits.
As entertaining as Fashion Police Squad is though, it does have some problems. Sometimes the action can feel a little cramped, for example, giving you multiple fashion crimes to fix while not giving you much room to manoeuvre and avoid attacks. And this also leads into another problem: difficulty spikes. For the most part encounters feel fair, but sometimes all hell breaks lose and if you don’t have your special slap attack available you’ve got a real fight on your hands. Playing on PS5 for review, we’ve also encountered some screen-tearing. It’s not too bad, but if you’re sensitive to such things you might want to be aware.
Still, Fashion Police Squad, with its sheer outlandishness, is easy to recommend to first-person shooter fans. With its colourful visuals, purposeful weapons and camp sense of humour, there’s nothing else quite like it available. You’ll chuckle at its dialogue, be thrilled with its gameplay, and take glee in fixing fashion errors that may cause you genuinely roll your eyes in real life. Who’d have thought making your enemies stylish could be so much fun?