No matter where you turn, “Big Brother” is always watching. Their all-seeing gaze is epitomised by the heartless and cold lens of CCTV cameras. However, its presence shouldn’t insight fear. No, instead, you should feel safe and reassured. City Eye pushes these stereotypes as you take on the role of a control room operative.
Developed by SIG Publishing and published by Ultimate Games SA, this is a crime-fighting simulation title. What’s more, it has some minor resource management elements and plenty of events to tackle. Yet, its concept is pretty simple and its gameplay is straightforward. Alongside this, sadly, you will experience glitches and performance issues. Luckily, though, they don’t ruin the game, they just take the shine off the final product.
City Eye is surprisingly dramatic.
I never envisaged a CCTV operative’s job being so dramatic, but it is. In City Eye, crime crawls out of every corner to keep you on your toes. As the person in charge, you must monitor your cameras and mark any suspicious activities. Furthermore, crime, accidents, and acts of terrorism must be reported and dealt with accordingly.
At first, you use no more than 5 cameras. But as the action progresses, your tools of voyeurism steadily increase. This is incredibly important as crime unfurls at every crossroads. Accordingly, without a presence, you cannot help the victims, nor bring the perpetrators to justice.
Plenty of crimes, events, and technology.
Technology is a wonderful thing. As such, if you have the money, you can automate your entire network. However, this automated utopia is a long way down the road and you have plenty of work to do before then. You must install 3 types of cameras; basic, semi-automatic, and automatic. The more advanced the tech, the more it costs. Subsequently, you must balance high-end cameras with greater coverage. This is no mean feat, and there is no right or wrong approach.
At the start of each shift, you’ll purchase new equipment, check out wanted criminals, and study each event. These normally involve specific crimes, so you must keep an eye out for arsonists, muggers, prostitutes, and more. By flitting between each camera and panning the view, you’ll identify ongoing crime and notify the relevant services.
This is City Eye in a nutshell! Its concept is wonderfully basic, and this lets you focus on each task. Effectively, you must reduce the levels of crime before expanding into a new area. Once this happens, you rinse and repeat the gameplay until every area is unlocked.
City Eye lacks the wow factor.
To say City Eye looks dated would be an understatement. Its graphics are serviceable, but they lack detail or a unique style. Furthermore, there are limited character models, so visually it is repetitive. What’s more, the lack of contrasting tones makes identifying some crimes much harder. Going forward, the developers need to improve the details and add more variety to spice things up.
What was better, though, was the realistic audio. I loved the roar of the sirens, the environmental noises, and the crackle of every flame. The dynamic sounds add drama to an otherwise slow and methodical title. If I was to seek improvement, I’d say that unique noises for each location are a must. If this was implemented, realism would be vastly improved.
A better tutorial is needed.
Though the controls weren’t bad, there was an awful lot of trial and error. This was disappointing, as a better tutorial would have overcome this issue. This aside, the controls are good once you understand them. Consequently, it was surprisingly rewarding to flit from camera to camera while surveying your territory.
In its current build, City Eye will potentially stagnate early on. Sadly, a lack of tasks and unique events makes the gameplay quite repetitive. If new quests were added, or a deeper business model introduced, it would no doubt enhance the longevity.
City Eye is good, but it needs more content.
I enjoyed the mechanics and gameplay much more than I ever thought I would. However, its lack of content is a significant downfall that must be rectified. In its current state, it is both fun and playable, but it could evolve to be so much better. It is for these reasons that I tentatively recommend you to buy it here! Can you operate the cameras and reduce crime? Identify the victims and criminals and demand help from the emergency services.