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Emergency 2: The Ultimate Fight for Life
Review by: Philip Roland
Developer: Sixteen Tons Entertainment
Publisher: ARUSH Games
# of Players: 1
Genre: Strategy
ESRB: Teen
Online: No
Date Posted: 8-19-03

System Requirements:

Pentium III 600mhz
128MB RAM
8x CD-ROM drive
300MB hard disk space
Windows XP/2000/ME/98
DirectX8 compatible soundcard
DirectX8 compatible AGP-videocard with 3D-accelerator and 16MB RAM
Mouse

Of all the occupations in the world, emergency services are one of those jobs that really get underpaid and underappreciated. Considering how much good they do for the world, often times we don't take notice of their importance. Well, with Emergency 2: The Ultimate Fight for Life, you'll have the chance to experience being a member of the emergency services and be able to see just how involved (and exciting) the work can be.

Emergency 2's premise is an unique one - you are in command of an emergency services force that attempts to maintain order in an unnamed region of the country. The game is broken up into different missions, each mission with it's own crises awaiting your attention. Emergency 2 presents solid gameplay that can provide hours of complex and innovative challenges. The main issue with the gameplay is that at times it can be too challenging and frustrating. At least part of this frustration is a result of the control system, which desperately needed work. There are very few hotkeys, something that is almost always existant in an RTS title. As a result, it's more difficult to control and manage your units. Another issue that arises with the gameplay is illustrated by the third mission, in which you have to search through the city looking for a group of bank robbers. The problem is that you have no idea where to begin looking for them, and they don't appear right at the start of this part of the mission. You end up having to search and re-search the entire city until you stumble upon them, which can get boring very fast.

The graphics and audio are realistic, and set the tone of the game very well. Different missions may take place during different times of the day, or in varying weather conditions. These particular variables are also a factor in the setting of some of the missions; fog is the cause of a multiple car accident in one of the missions, for example. Emergency 2 also features cutscenes for each of the missions, describing the scenario for the mission that follows. As for the sound, all of the sound effects fulfill their respective purposes. Emergency vehicles have wailing sirens, and personnel units respond upon clicking on them.

I think the only other problem with Emergency 2 is the lack of a large amount of replay value. The game features 25 missions that can be completed in different ways, but after that it's pretty much over. No unlockable secrets, no special bonuses, nothing. I also would have liked see some sort of multiplayer mode. Nowadays it's usually a given that a strategy title will have multiplayer options, and it would have been interesting to see what kind of different multiplayer modes the developers could have came up with.

-- Philip Roland wants to know, "What's the number for 911?"

Highs:

  • Original premise.
  • Great gameplay, when it's not too frustrating.
  • Realistic graphics and audio.
Lows:
  • Gameplay can be too frustrating at times.
  • Low replay value.
Final Verdict:

Emergency 2 is a nice break from the run-of-the-mill RTS title. It has an original premise that unfortunately was not utilized as well as it could have been. However, Emergency 2 is still worth the play if you want a different approach to the strategy genre and are willing to put up with control issues and occasional frustration.

Overall Score: 7.0

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