Police Quest IV: Open Season (Sierra On-Line, 1993)

Police Quest IV was the first game in the series not written by Jim Walls, and his absence hurt the series. Replaced by Daryl Gates of the Los Angeles Police Department, the game takes on a grittier, more realistic version of police life than the other games. However, it lacks the character of Sonny Bonds and everyone associated with him, which is the game's biggest failing. Replacing characters which have been developed through three games with those that have only a fraction of the depth of cardboard, while a typical ploy for Sierra, simply doesn't work from the standpoint of the player. Obviously not designed with the player in mind, the plot is ridiculous and confusing, making even less sense than that in the original Police Quest, with numerous pointless subplots and an awful nonsensical ending. More insipid and dull than Police Quest III (and yes, that's possible), I can only recommend it for actual police officers or those who actually have the patience to put up with tedious exercises in complete pointlessness.

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