Following on from the success of Police Simulator: Patrol Officers, Astragon Entertainment is back with another emergency services exercise. This time, it’s less about being on the beat and more about withstanding the heat. This Firefighting Simulator: The Squad review will tell you why being the hero can be fun. In a videogame, of course.
The game immediately throws you into the action. The intro sequence is a ride in a fire truck to a house that’s on fire. Immediately you’re tasked with grabbing a crowbar, breaking down a door and rescuing a civilian. Then comes the actual fighting of fire. The mechanics are simple enough – though learning the correct aiming procedure for the hose may take a few minutes – which is good, because there’s plenty more action ahead.
The missions involve a variety of tasks. Assessing the building. breaking windows, rescuing civilians, and of course putting out fires. The player also has the option of driving to the scene initially, or skipping straight to the fight. Each mission is quite lengthy – even once you’re familiar with the procedure – and can be played either solo with AI teammates or in a group online. But before you head out into the world true, it’s advisable to entertain the further training.
There are a number of elements in the main game missions that may confuse you – such as climbing through high windows or cutting through vents – but all your questions are answered in a simple expanded tutorial. It’s a step-by-step breakdown of the various tasks you’ll encounter, and more than adequately prepares you for the real action.
Once you’ve got through all of this and tackled a few missions, you might feel the game is a bit awkward or repetitive. Your AI assistants perform an adequate job, but only when given direct instruction. Instead, the game works far better when playing online. Dividing your tasks between players in a race against time is inevitably much more fun. And in truth, is the only real way to play Firefighting Simulator: The Squad.
Firefighting Simulator: The Squad isn’t the best looking game, but it’s certainly not terrible. The visual design is practically identical to Police Simulator: Patrol Officers. So much so that’s it easy to assume the same engine and toolkit was used to build both titles. What differs here is the audio, however. The music is far more epic – presumably due to the nature of daily patrols versus firefighting – but also the sound of the rippling fire is of a very high quality.
The game is an interesting take on the simulation genre, but this Firefighting Simulator: The Squad review wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the plethora of similar titles available. The likes of Real Heroes: Firefighter deliver a similar experience in a different way, and are arguably more fun. The real benefit here however is the ability to play with friends. If you have three likeminded friends to experience Firefighting Simulator: The Squad with, it might be worth your time. Otherwise, there are better alternatives available.