Emergency Fire Response


posted 9/3/2003 by John Yan
other articles by John Yan
One Page Platforms: PC
Vehicles of various sorts are also available for you to use. You’ll need the refilling truck for your fireman as they run out of repellent and need refilling. You’ll have to find a nice balance and alternating of fireman with low and full tanks. Walking a whole group away from a job to refill usually results in the fire growing back a significant portion. It is rather annoying to keep having to tell your fireman to go refill their tanks and I would’ve liked an automatic command to have the fireman run back to the truck and back to the spot they left to make things easier.

Driving the vehicles can be a bit of a hassle itself as you have to hold the right mouse button and drag an arrow or direction your car will follow. The longer the arrow, the faster the vehicle will travel. An option to click and have the vehicle would’ve been a lot better too as there are times you just want a vehicle to go to a certain area but don’t want to baby sit it and rather using your time concentrating on the firemen themselves.

If you do achieve some of the objectives in the level early, you will be forced to complete or fail on all of them before moving onto the next objective of that level. For example, on the third level where you have to rescue the billionaire, I had the whole fire put out but hadn’t rescued the people in the green house. Trying to send one of my firemen to bust down the door yielded a voice that said that objective is not a priority at this point. When the final person was rescued for that part of the scenario, I was shown a cut scene of the trapped people in the greenhouse along with some new fires that started in places I had already put out. One of my firemen was right in the middle of the restarted fire causing some havoc. You would think that once a fire is out in a certain area, it wouldn’t reignite when the next part of the level starts. I don’t really agree with the game limiting me to objectives if I am doing a good job or causing fires to start up for the sake of the next objective even though you’ve taken care of that part of the level.

Graphically, the game does a pretty good job at modeling the fire. It sways and moves just like real fire. For slower machines you can turn down the level of fire detail as it can bog a machine down if the whole screen is ablaze. Areas that are burned leave behind a black spots and charred remains. The character models are nothing spectacular but you can easily distinguish them and their specialty by color alone. The environments are modeled well and some can be interacted with. The objects that you can interact with will flash occasionally and the icon on your mouse pointer will change to show what kind of interaction will happen.

Overall, this budget title isn’t too bad. The game will get hectic quick and you have to be really quick on your toes. There can be times where it becomes really overwhelming and that can be frustrating to deal with. AI problems will cause more headaches as well. There are no multiplayer features so once you finish the game there’s not much replay value other than to up the difficulty level. Emergency Fire Response offers some fun and frustration but for $20 it’s not a bad pickup.

Sometimes fun but often times frustrating, Emergency Fire Response offers some good value for a budget title. It's got some AI problems and design issues that keep it from being really good.

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