This is the Police is a mostly story based game in which the player takes control of a police department as Jack Boyd, chief of police and on the path to an unwanted early retirement.
You will uncover intrigue, mafia plots, a serial killer, and many criminals trying to hide from the law during a playthrough, interspaced with regular calls for the police to respond to.
As it is a mostly story based game, the mood and setting is excellent, with perfectly fitting music. excellent voice acting and a story that makes you want to keep going through the days to see how things go and what will come of them. As such I would recommend playing it blind, and without prior knowledge of the plot past the basics. The story does not disappoint, though you will have to accept that the game is telling you a story, rather than giving you a sandbox or deep gameplay experience if you are to enjoy it.
During your 180 days before retirement, you will be able to deal with the mafia, sketchy business owners asking for some questionably legal help, and the regular crimes happening in the city of Freeburg. All this while you are given a motivation of collecting half a million. A number you will likely have to do some less moral things to achieve.
Most of the gameplay is simple. I can not call it great, but it certainly isn't bad either. You dispatch officers to calls and occasionally get a multiple choice about how they should proceed while at the scene. While these are some of the more interesting, the results of a call are always one of a few options. The criminal can escape or be captured, the cops can get killed or survive, and a bystander can be killed or survive. There is nothing in between, it's dead or alive without any injuries or details on how many civilians got killed.
Further, there is an investigation minigame, in which your detectives find photo frames and you have to personally arrange them in the right order to unlock the next step- An arrest of whoever did it. I've found this personally to be incredibly difficult, with vague frames and sometimes missing information. This is sadly to the point where I have now stopped playing the game as I can not solve investigations without help from someone else. While I applaud the idea of this puzzle, I personally just can not enjoy it.
A disappointment was the gang and mafia system, which appears at a glance to be an interesting net of people to comb through, but in truth is just a straight line up to the top where if you fail once, the entire gang becomes off limits to you and you can't continue an investigation or try to arrest them. At a glance there is depth to the gameplay, but this illusion is quickly dispelled once you play.
In short, This is the Police is a great game if you accept it for what it is. A story-driven game with some basic gameplay to hold you over in between story segments, not a police simulator and certainly not a detective game. You hire the detectives, you don't go out with them. It is priced appropriately, and well worth what it asks as a good story and overall pleasant experience.