“Chicken Police” is a glorious ode to classic film noir with a unique and delightful twist: a cast of characters made up of anthropomorphic animals.
Release Date: November 5, 2020
Available Platforms: Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and PC
Platform Reviewed: Xbox One
With their brand-new debut title, “Chicken Police – Paint it RED!”, the small but mighty team at the newly founded independent studio The Wild Gentlemen have delivered an extraordinary neo-noir tale that frankly fits right in with film noir classics like The Maltese Falcon and The Big Sleep.
One could simply declare that Chicken Police is Sin City meets BoJack Horseman.
Within this bizarre and surprisingly rich world that The Wild Gentlemen have oh so lovingly crafted, the titular Chicken Police are a legendary duo of cock cops who have since gone their separate ways after things went awry on their last case together about a decade ago. Now, on the anniversary of that case, the two must begrudgingly reunite for one last hurrah that goes far deeper than the two gumshoes with gizzards can imagine.
In this point-and-click adventure game, players get to ruffle some feathers as grizzled detective Santino “Sonny” Featherland, a sardonic alcoholic rooster who is just mere months from retirement. The voice acting from the entire cast is phenomenal, but being the lead, Sonny’s voice acting is exceptional and sounds exactly like the gruff gumshoes in film noir classics. Humphrey Bogart would be proud!
The other half of the titular Chicken Police is the amusingly named Marty MacChicken. MacChicken is a young and lustful gun nut who has become bored in life without his old partner Sonny and wants to see some action as he did in the glory days of the Chicken Police. Fortunately for him, Sonny returns just when his old poultry pal needs him most. The relationship between the titular Chicken Police, Sonny and Marty, is quite endearing and is the highlight of the game for sure. This is an instant classic buddy-cop story, and I do hope to see the Chicken Police again in the future!
The game’s overall presentation is remarkable.
I love the classic black and white film noir aesthetic that the game pays homage to. I am a fan of the film noir genre, and it is refreshing to experience a classic film noir story with the added charm and humor of a cast of characters made up entirely of anthropomorphic animals.
In Chicken Police, players get to live out their film noir fantasy in full, quite like Rockstar Games’ classic title L.A. Noire.
As Sonny, players interrogate suspects, analyze clues and link them together, fall hard for the femme fatale, you name it! The story is incredibly intriguing and written exceptionally well. Of course, within the snappy and well-written dialogue, there are plenty of clever animal puns to be found, too. The marvelous jazz score also strongly adds to the classic film noir feel that the game pulls off so well.
For those completionists out there, if you read and explore everything throughout the game, you will find there is also some rather deep lore and world-building within this game that I greatly admired.
I can tell that the small team at The Wild Gentlemen put all their heart and soul into this fantastic first game.
To be quite honest, Chicken Police is not the type of game that I would typically pick up and play. But I am quite glad I gave it a chance, because it is such an entertaining experience.
I will admit though, that occasionally the spoken dialogue differs from the words or subtitles appearing on screen. But I will not fault the game for that because I’ve found it to be a rather common occurrence in many games, even AAA titles. Also, some characters’ mouths continue to move when they cease speaking, but for other characters, the pauses between words and sentences are rendered quite nicely.
Finally — and this is more of a subjective gripe, but I think it deserves to be noted nonetheless — at times I found that the sexualization of some of the animals throughout the game uncomfortable. Interacting with certain characters with pin-up girl bodies and animal heads just takes a bit of time to process.
All in all though, these are quite minimal faults and should not prevent anyone from playing this superb game. Chicken Police – Paint it RED! works as an effective satire of the film noir genre, while also spinning an enthralling narrative that is more than worthy of the classic genre.
If you are a fan of film noir and/or are familiar with Telltale Games or LucasArts’ classic point-and-click adventure games, you will find yourself right at home in the seedy city of Clawville. Even if one is not the biggest fan of film noir and/or typically does not play point-and-click adventure games like Chicken Police, I think that it is distinctive and captivating enough to suck just about any player in. Plus, for $20, why not give it a try? Cluck yeah!
- A thrilling, rich storyline
- A unique, noir-inspired world
- A complex interrogation system
- Lots of optional content and background lore
- Lots of clues and collectibles
- More that 30 unique characters
- A cinematic film-noir like experience
- Professional voice acting and original soundtrack
WRITTEN BY Jarret Reid