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I’m a gigantic cock.

While that’s not exactly news to anyone who has met me, for once I’m talking about that description in a more literal sense of the word. To be specific, I’m a massive anthropomorphic rooster, strutting about a seedy city and solving crimes. I’m calling suspects mother-cluckers, the world is painted in shades of grey between monochromatic mayhem, and murder most fowl is going on in the shadows.

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Enter you, as burned out ex-cop Santino “Sonny” Featherland. A rising star in the making before he clucked it all up, Featherland’s now a private dick in the city of Clawville where you’re either a predator or prey that’s waiting to be devoured. It’s a fascinating environment, one put together by a team of former Witcher 3, Crysis, and Call of Duty WWII developers now known as The Wild Gentlemen.

And wild’s a great adjective here! Just like Featherland, every character you meet takes on the appearance of a Furry’s wet dream. Shy goats, cunning cats, and grumpy hounds all cross your path during the course of the game. In typical hard-boiled fashion, it all begins with a dame in the office, a chance at redemption, and more questions than answers as you find yourself plucked from the streets and drowning in a tangled web of mysteries.

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To get answers, you’ll need to do some proper detective work, verbal sparring, and keep your eyes open for clues in the static environments. How you ask a question is just as important as which question you’re tossing at a suspect, with each character interaction hatching more of the plot as you move forward to an inescapable conclusion.

In many ways Chicken Police plays out like a hidden object game merged with the trappings of a visual novel. Words are more dangerous than a loaded gun or a femme fatale with lofty ambition, but your handy notepad helps you keep track of everything and everyone you come across. Occasional mini-games and shootouts break up the endless barrage of questioning, but make no mistake: Chicken Police wants you to savour every crumb of its gumshoe dish.

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That makes for a deliberately slow game, one whose pace won’t sit well with anyone who wants to hit the skip button and move forward. Instead this is a game where story comes first, where nuanced conversations drive the plot forward and subtle jabs between statements can deliver a cerebral haymaker.

And for all of its unrelenting weirdness, it’s a heck of a game to look and listen to. The voice acting from the diverse cast never feels out of place amongst the entire zoo of characters, every stage is a loving homage to the detective films of a bygone era, and the weirdness on display helps create a unique atmosphere. Few games deserve this statement, but there’s genuinely nothing else that can compare to Chicken Police’s B-movie stylings that are rendered with an A-game effort.

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It’s both hilarious and serious, but Chicken Police is more than just 2020’s weirdest game. Beneath the clucked-up surface is a genuinely engrossing story, amazingly developed characters, and a cast that brings them to life. With slick production values, this is one hard-boiled detective story with a unique flavour.

Last Updated: November 10, 2020

Chicken Police: Paint it Red!
It’s both hilarious and serious, but Chicken Police is more than just 2020’s weirdest game. Beneath the clucked-up surface is a genuinely engrossing story, amazingly developed characters, and a cast that brings them to life. With slick production values, this is one hard-boiled detective story with a unique flavour.
8.0
Chicken Police: Paint it Red! was reviewed on Xbox One
81 / 100

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