Rescue - Everyday Heroes

Review

posted 1/17/2014 by Travis Huinker
other articles by Travis Huinker
Platforms: PC

Rescue - Everyday Heroes from developer Fragment Production combines the genres of simulation, management, and real-time strategy into a game in which players control the operations of a fire station and respond to various emergency situations. The gameplay switches between two modes with one involving the management operations of running a fire station that range from hiring new recruits to repairing equipment. The other gameplay mode involves responding to an assortment of emergency situations that may include a camp fire out of control or downtown apartment building in flames. The fire station operations mode functions similar to many casual management games while the emergency mode is best compared with real-time strategy games in terms of controlling units and such. The simulation aspect of the game is found in the various emergency response situations in that players must use realistic hose operations and manage the spread of fire on multiple level buildings.

Those gamers interested in only the emergency situations can switch to the freeplay mode that focuses solely on the mission aspect of the game. The story mode on the other hand has players alternating between the fire station management and emergency situations over a day and night cycle that can alter in-game events. Station management involves an assortment of tasks that require the player's attention including placing furniture and equipment items, purchasing new emergency vehicles, hiring response personnel, and assigning each team member a task from training to repairing equipment. Missions are assigned to the station once the emergency mode is activated that places the team on alert status. Once missions are accepted, players assign certain personnel and vehicles based upon the particular emergency situation requirements.

The actual mission mode switches to a real-time strategy view in which players must direct response personnel and vehicles to the particular emergency. Maps in which missions take place vary from rural farms to downtown city areas. Select missions also employ the use of multiple level buildings that require more precise navigation of response units. Missions can also vary in which emergency unit is required in regards to either fire or paramedic units, or both. In battling fires, players must go through the entire process of managing water flow from a hydrant or vehicle's storage tank to connecting hoses to battle spreading flames. Every task ranging from selecting which type of hose to which flame to extinguish first has to be manually managed by the player. The same manual process is also true of paramedic units in which players must first examine emergency victims and then proceed to treat their wounds and transport them on stretchers. More complex emergency situations also might require the use of tools to cut open vehicles to reach victims as well as managing fires at multiple locations.

While the variety of missions and emergency units to utilize are a welcome feature, the severe lack of different locations is disappointing. The inclusion of a day and night cycle is a step in the right direction, but the same maps are used repeatedly from one mission to the next with very little change in scenery. Fortunately, missions use every location of a single map in where the emergencies occur that range from car crashes to farm fires. Another disappointing issue with the game lies in the emergency response mode in controlling the various units. The pathfinding of units has difficulty in properly navigating environments with the simplest tasks from hooking up a fire hose to disembarking from a vehicle. The lack of a time limit on missions does help in that players can take their time in responding to emergencies, yet the controls frequently require the repeat issuing of commands before units perform the intended actions. Much of the interface is small in design, which only increases the difficulty in selecting units and issuing commands.

 

In regards to presentation, the game varies often in that some scenes look nicely-detailed while others seem severely-outdated. The station management mode in particular offers a great deal of detail in the various furniture items and emergency vehicles. As well, the day and night cycle and environmental weather effects are all great additions to the game's atmosphere. On the other hand, mission locations and the emergency scenes are lacking in visual effects. In particular, the visual effects used for fires don't appear as either dramatic or menacing. The game's music tracks, or lack thereof, are mind-numbing and are better muted. The game's presentation has many things right for it in regards to highly-detailed emergency vehicles and such, but most often suffers from an outdated visual style.

For fans of simulation games and in particular ones that focus on emergency response, Rescue - Everyday Heroes provides a great deal of content for a worthwhile price. Both the variety of missions and fire station operations are sure to keep fans of the management and strategy genres busy for an extended amount of time. Yet, the game unfortunately suffers from some gameplay issues in the lack of mission locations and unresponsive unit pathfinding. Even with the game's mentioned issues, there is still entertainment to be found in the game's approach to emergency response simulation. Rescue - Everyday Heroes is best recommended to fans of the simulation genre.

Rescue - Everyday Heroes is available now on Steam for Windows PC.

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