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Written by  :  Katakis | カタキス (40388)
Written on  :  Oct 09, 2003
Platform  :  DOS
Rating  :  5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars

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My favorite of the PQ series to this day

The Good

This is Jim Walls's third and final game in the Police Quest series continues before he bids farewell to Sierra. In The Kindred, we learn that things have changed in Sonny Bond's universe. He and Marie are now married, Marie is no longer a prostitute known as “Sweet Cheeks” (if you remember, she was arrested for soliciting in the first game), and Bonds himself is demoted to sergeant after his confrontation with Jessie Bains. Bonds swore that he will protect Marie from danger as long as he lives. So, when she gets viciously attacked in a parking lot, things get very personal.

PQ3 remains my favorite of the series. It combines the elements of both of the previous games. Throughout the game, you spend your time patrolling the streets, arresting people, issuing tickets, gather evidence at crime scenes, and uncovering the mole working for the Lytton Police Department. The highlight is using the image analysis tools to get a mugshot of the mongrel who attacked Marie and finding out where the next crime will occur.

When I started the game, I was impressed at how the police station has improved. The exterior looks amazing, and everything in the interior isn't laid out all on one floor. There are four levels, including the ground level. The first floor is reserved for the men’s and women’s toilets, the second floor is where the homicide and sergeant’s offices are, and the third is where the communications center lies.

The level of realism is amazing. The first day has you patrolling the highway and pulling over a number of offenders, and deal with them using proper police procedures that are outlined in the game manual. If you don't utilize standard police procedures, things turn nasty, Bonds is killed, and Jim Walls himself tells you what you should have done. You will often spend most of the day driving to locations marked on a map also located on the manual. This level of realism is what made me got hooked into the first game.

PQ3 comes at a time when other Sierra games of its day displayed character portraits, along with their dialogue. You may think that the human portrayed in this game are real, but that's because they are. A number of Sierra employees, including Josh Mandel. And it was great that this adds to the realism of the game.

The soundtrack is excellent, especially if it comes out of the Roland MT-32. I like the music when you are responding to the call from Dispatch, as well when you are pursuing Marie's attacker; these two pieces are energetic. There are some sound effects that are played through the MT-32. The siren sounds so much better than the Sound Blaster's pathetic attempt.

The script is well done. Jane Jensen was new to the Sierra team and it was up to her to write the script for PQ3 after Jim Walls left the company before the game was finished. Not many people realize this, but Sierra was impressed with her talents she went on to write the script for King's Quest VI. She really did an amazing job.

The front cover states that PQ3 has mature adult subject matter, and people who saw the first cut-scene in the game should know what to expect. There are a couple of crime scenes where you see pentagrams carved in blood and hair, and blood is splattered when a character is gunned down.

The Bad

The only problem I had with the game is the dialog boxes, which you only have a few seconds to read. I am a slow reader, so I didn't have time to read through most of them. Furthermore, there is no slider in the control panel that lets you adjust the text speed.

The Bottom Line

In conclusion, Police Quest 3 is the best of the series, in my opinion. It has excellent graphics and sound. Realism goes up a notch in the way that you have to use a map to drive to locations and follow basic police procedure. It also has a dark plot (involving a satanic cult) and blood can be seen at various points throughout the game. A CD-ROM version of PQ3 was planned feature full speech throughout the game, but this never came to fruition.