"The Shield" videogame doesn't do the show justice. While the groundbreaking F/X police drama has nabbed numerous kudos and won critical praise for its depiction of a group of corrupt detectives, publisher Aspyr Media's mediocre actioner will appeal to neither fans of the show nor mainstream gamers.

“The Shield” videogame doesn’t do the show justice. While the groundbreaking F/X police drama has nabbed numerous kudos and won critical praise for its depiction of a group of corrupt detectives, publisher Aspyr Media’s mediocre actioner will appeal to neither fans of the show nor mainstream gamers.

Game has been a long time coming. Originally skedded for 2004, it was cancelled when original publisher Sammy merged with Sega. Aspyr signed on last year to finish things up and release it, but failed to update much. As a result, “Shield” watchers will immediately recognize the storyline as outdated, taking place after season three but before Glenn Close and Forest Whitaker joined the cast in 2005.

That might be forgivable if the game were well designed, but it fails on every level to mirror the depth and drama of the show. Whether Detective Vic Mackey (voiced by series star Michael Chiklis) is shooting at gang members or interrogating a suspect by stuffing his face in a toilet, gameplay is clunky and awkward. Several levels involve computer controlled partners — who frustratingly have a tendency to run around in the open waiting for the bad guys to shoot them.

Presence of real pornographic videos on TV screens in-game add an amusing touch of realism, though they hardly distract from how bland the graphics are.

To its credit, developer Point of View tries in a few instances to integrate the darker elements of the show’s police anti-heroes, but they don’t translate in game form. Moving a circle around a police badge in order to illegally confiscate a suspect’s drugs and money simply doesn’t capture the gritty action of “The Shield.”

The Shield

Rated M; $29.99

Production

An Aspyr Media presentation of a game developed by Point of View and licensed by Twentieth Century Fox for PC and Playstation 2. Reviewed on Playstation 2.
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