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Autobahn Police Simulator 3 for PS5/4, PC, Xbox Series X/One


Platform: PS5
Also on: PC, PS4, Xbox Series X, Xbox One
Publisher: Aerosoft
Developer: Aerosoft
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No
ESRB: T

The first clue that something might be off in Autobahn Police Simulator 3 comes before your cop has even left the station: despite the fact that all the officers are wearing jackets that say “Polizei” – and, you know, the fact the game has “Autobahn” right in its title – the game starts with a cutscene where characters all speak with English accents. I’m not saying I wanted the game to be completely in German with no subtitles or anything, but if a game promises to simulate what it’s like being a police officer on the Autobahn, some attempt at verisimilitude would have been appreciated.

Then again, given how bad everything else is here, it shouldn’t be a surprise that they even dropped the ball on voice acting.

Actually, I may be being a little unfair to Autobahn Police Simulator 3: the voice acting, incongruous as it may be, is probably the best part of the game. It may not be great, but it’s at least competent, which is more than can be said about anything else here.

For starters, the characters all look freakish. They’re vaguely humanoid, except everyone seems to have glowing red jaws. At first I thought I may have turned the brightness up too high, but even at its lowest setting, everyone is still oddly luminescent. Add in the vacant, dead eyes, and the whole thing becomes nightmare fuel every time anyone has to speak.

Mind you, at least when you’re in a cutscene, you don’t have to deal with the game’s camera, which is unquestionably the worst thing about Autobahn Police Simulator 3. The best way to describe it is “nauseating”: it doesn’t move around smoothly, but rather jerks around seemingly every other second, regardless of whether you’re actually moving it. It also doesn’t matter if you’re on foot or in your car: you’ll spend every second of the game fighting with the camera.

On top of that, the controls are also a complete mess, ranging from nonsensical to non-functional. Despite the fact that the game very carefully explains how things are supposed to work, they never actually do work out that way – it will tell you how to flag down a car, for example, but when you actually press the buttons, nothing happens.

Mind you, that means you get to experience Autobahn Police Simulator 3’s insane physics as you engage other drivers in car chases, since there’s apparently no other way to check drivers for their license and registration. In one such scene, I hit the other car from behind, which not only sent that car rocketing forward, but also launched my car backwards. Another time, I hit another car head-on, which launched my car spinning into the air. I eventually came down about a kilometre later, but I was upside down – though, helpfully, my car waited a few moments and then bounced rightside up, so all was well. Hitting signposts will stop you dead, and hitting a curb will send you careening out of control.

Of course, I shouldn’t complain too much about the in-game physics when the second mission of the game involves a car-on-cow accident, in which the car slammed on the brakes and literally flipped over a cow. (Unfortunately, you can’t recreate the scene yourself; when your car hits the cow, both it and you just bounce in the air.)

Keep in mind that all of this is what happens when Autobahn Police Simulator 3 actually works – which it doesn’t always. I had the game freeze on me multiple times for no clear reason, and I was forced to quit and restart.

It’s this awful technical performance that makes Autobahn Police Simulator 3 go from so bad it’s good – or, at least fun – to just plain bad. If the whole thing was just a collection of nonsense, then it would be easy to laugh at, assuming you bought it on sale. The fact that it can’t even do that reliably is what makes Autobahn Police Simulator 3 a game to avoid.

Aerosoft provided us with a Autobahn Police Simulator 3 PS5 code for review purposes.

Grade: F