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911 Fire Rescue Review

Shawn Sparks
GENRE First-Person Shooter 
PUBLISHER Infogrames 
DEVELOPER WizardWorks 
E Contains Mild Violence

What do these ratings mean?


As gaming becomes more and more popular, new genres start popping up to appease the wider variety of gamers. We have enough racers, fighters and first-person shooters to last eons. RPGs? Got a billion of 'em.

So when a game like 911 Fire Rescue shows up, we immediately stand on our chairs and take notice. After all, how many firefighting first-person shooters can you name? None, right? Well, after playing this one, you'll understand why.

Let me start by pointing out that the minimum system requirements are fictitious. On the box it states that in order to play 911 Fire Rescue, you need at least a PII 500. Anyone who games on their PC knows that the Pentium II chipset topped out at 450Mhz. Enough said.

In 911 Fire Rescue, you take on the role of a fireman. Your job? Put out fires. Your reward? More fires. The point? Good question. I'll have to think about that one.

I was looking for a thousand ways to use the whole "fire" bit to coin a catchy phrase or two, but all I could muster
is "the development team should be FIRED!" Ha. No, seriously. This game pretty much fails at every attempt to be a fun, worthwhile product.

The textures are basic at best and environmental props such as a sink or toilet are just poorly rendered and tacky. The level environments are barely realized at all and show a supreme lack of effort. The upside is that the thick, black smoke blankets most of them.

As far as any stab at realism goes, this one is way off the mark. You are equipped with an endless supply of water spraying from the trusty hose in your gloved hand. Apparently you got this hose at David Copperfield's last yard sale, because it's simply a nozzle that continuously spouts water. There's no pesky HOSE trailing behind you getting tangled or restricting your movement at all. FPS apparently stands for "First Person Squirtgun."

There is no actual damage to anything anywhere. Once you put the flames out, everything is hunky-dory... must be that Copperfield water you use. No danger of a ceiling caving in due to fire damage. No worries about a gas line expolding due to the FIRE EVERYWHERE. Just nothing, aside from dumb little houses filled with dumb little fires.

Even the rescue part of this game sucks. When you find the occasional victim lying unconscious, simply click on him (it was the same model every time I found one) and VOILA! You toss out a cheesy phrase and he vanishes...unless he's dead, in which case he stays. There's just no sense of adventure in a game that should be teeming with it.

Not only did they botch the environments, forget that things burn when fire is applied and take all of the drama out of rescuing people from burning buildings, but they even used the wrong soundtrack. Fire rescue should be suspenseful, yet the game floods your ears with awful, totally contrived metal loops. Why heavy metal? If you're going to go for some flaming rock, how about this?

But hey, at least the game is stable, right? Wrong. While the game ran fine enough at home, it crashed constantly on the machine at the GR office. Don't ask why the editors installed it there, too. I guess they're gluttons for punishment. One time, 911 crashed so hard that it actually TURNED OFF THE COMPUTER. Screw fire rescue - how about disk rescue!

If you squint your eyes and look really hard, you might find a few decent qualities in 911 Fire Rescue. The smoke is done fairly well and there are different types of fires, so you might need to use foam instead of water or something to put out a chemical blaze. Hmmm. That's it. Those were the highliights, folks. I did say, a few.

911 Fire Rescue is a value product, costing only 20 bucks - but it's probably worth less. I was hard pressed to find any reason other than this review to give 911 Fire Rescue more than a half an hour of my time. Avoid this burn at all costs.

F Revolution report card
  • No excitement at all
  • No realism at all
  • No effort in development at all
  • (Big shocker here) No fun at all

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