Retro Coin Op Synopsis
On the mean streets of Virtua City, tough-guy cops Rage and Smarty took a byte out of crime in 1994’s Virtua Cop. Facing down the forces of EVL Co. with only a six-shooter at their side, this crime-busting tandem brought light gun shooting games into a new era of depth and realism.
Like Virtua Racing and Virtua Fighter before it, Virtua Cop took place in a polygon-based 3-D world, allowing camera moves and angles not possible in 2-D games. As Rage and Smarty moved through this fully-formed world, various EVL Co. thugs would pop up to bust a few caps, forcing you to shoot or be shot. A circular lock-on target pointed out the most dangerous foes, giving you a quick heads-up before you got shot, but the rest was up to you and your trusty light gun.
The illusion of reality was the driving force behind Virtua Cop, and Sega used every trick it could to complete the effect. Bullets left their scars on everything in the game, from walls to doors to windows to enemy knees. Injuries were specific: A hand shot caused bad guys to drop their weapons, a shot to the knee crumpled them to the floor, and a kill shot took them out permanently.
Three of the game’s four stages were selectable from the start, letting one or two players decide for themselves where to start cleaning up the streets. Bosses had to be taken down before Rage and Smarty could move on, and after all three stages were completed, a final showdown with EVL Co.’s kingpin awaited.
Virtua Cop continued the proud Virtua tradition, adding new layers of reality to established game genres. The game’s look and depth were refined even further in Virtua Cop 2, a 1995 sequel. In this follow-up, the no-goodniks at EVL Co. were up to their old tricks, but this time, Rage and Smarty had the help of a new partner, Janet. The new game also added a chase sequence, giving players limited control over a Virtua City police cruiser as it barreled after the bad guys.
Like its predecessor, Virtua Cop 2 turned cooperative two-player shooting into high-speed, high-stress fun for action fans, paving the way for future 3-D shooters like Time Crisis and Sega’s own House of the Dead.
Arcade Machine Release History1994 - Virtua Cop
1995 - Virtua Cop 2