ReviewsReview: Firefighter Simulator - The Squad

Review: Firefighter Simulator – The Squad

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Many of my family and friends serve in the emergency services. As such, I hear the banter and how harsh they are to each other. Firefighters are normally the butt of all jokes and apparently, they spend most of their time sleeping. However, I’m not so sure about that and I certainly wouldn’t want to run into a burning building. Now, saving a cat from a tree is definitely more of my thing. Yet, I’m not sure they’ll hire me just for that role. Consequently, when Firefighter Simulator – The Squad came to my attention, I thought, now is my time to shine.

Developed by Chronos Unterhaltungssoftware UG and published by Astragon Entertainment, this is a hard-hitting simulation title. What’s more, it can be enjoyed solo or with up to three friends. Therefore, you can tackle fires, rescue people, and save buildings from the safety of your own chair.

Each fire will test your resolve.
Can you quench that fire?

Firefighter Simulator – The Squad is dramatic and challenging. 

Unlike some simulation titles, Firefighter Simulator – The Squad has no story. Instead, each mission has multiple objectives, and the only form of progression is a basic levelling system. Now, this may seem dull and stripped back. However, the action is anything but. Instead, what I experienced was a dramatic and challenging game that keeps you entertained throughout.

The action begins with an in-depth and fun tutorial. Here, you’ll learn the fundamentals and the best way to tackle each blaze. You’ll be instructed on ways to smash windows and doors, how to set up the truck, and the best way to use the extendable ladder. Furthermore, you’ll understand how to rescue people, the risk of smoke and blowback, and other dangers. But this isn’t entirely necessary, as the developers have dumbed down the action. Subsequently, every task is relatively easy to complete and your only stress is the time it takes to finish each job. Normally, you’ll be asked to switch off the electricity, save injured or trapped individuals, and quench each fire. This is the crux of the gameplay loop and it’s oddly addictive, even if it is straightforward. 

Firefighter Simulator - The Squad has 6 trucks to unlock.
Which truck will you use?

Choose your firetruck and mission, and get to work. 

The levelling system allows you to unlock bigger and better vehicles. With 6 on offer, you’ll upgrade from a rudimentary truck to a massive vehicle with loads of tools and an extendable ladder. However, no matter which one you choose, they are all suitable for each job. As the mission begins, you can choose to play solo or online. After that, you pick whether to drive to the scene or start at the source of the blaze. If you choose to drive, you’ll be scored on how long it takes to arrive. Sadly, the driving wasn’t as fun as it should have been, as the AI simply moves out of your way. Furthermore, there are no penalties for crashing, so you keep going no matter the danger. 

Once you arrive on the scene, you must assess the situation and plan a quick course of action. If you are a solo gamer, you’ll command your squad mates. On the other hand, if you are playing online, you must connect supply hoses and work together to complete each mission. The online mode is where this excels as the AI is bloody awful. What’s more, they rarely listen to commands and they’ll stand in the fire for no reason at all.

This is a problem that needs to be addressed by the developers. When the solo gameplay worked, it was fascinating, enjoyable, and dramatic. Moreover, issuing commands and getting your tactics right was rewarding. However, when your teammates simply stand around while engulfed in fire, it isn’t realistic, and it’s bloody annoying.

Firefighter Simulator – The Squad looks great. 

The simulation genre isn’t the prettiest one around. Normally, the developers focus on gameplay rather than graphics. As such, the finished product is normally rough and full of bugs. Luckily, Firefighter Simulator – The Squad looks great, mostly. There is the occasional issue with clipping the scenery or vehicles disappearing, but it matters not. Instead, I was impressed by the character animation, the movement of the water, and the oppressive nature of each fire. Moreover, the smoke mechanic was amazing as each room darkened and your visibility was reduced. On top of this, the excellent targeting system was easy to look at and simple to understand.

Another amazing element of this game is the audio. The high-energy music sets the scene, whereas the crackling of the fire, the rush of water, and the crashing of buildings are enthralling and captivating. However, the soundbites were annoying, especially when the AI couldn’t complete a task. Like a toddler, your squad repeats the same phrase until you instruct them otherwise. Alongside this, the bizarre screaming whenever you walk into a fire was unrealistic and repetitive. 

Firefighter Simulator - The Squad demands that you use the right tool for the job.
Grab the right tool and break in.

The radial controls weren’t great. 

The usual PC-to-console porting issues are experienced within this title. Disappointingly, the radial menus are clumsy and this impacts the ability to control your AI squad. Instead of simply completing tasks as requested, your teammates run towards you, then complain about a lack of equipment, and finally decided to help out. Maybe I missed the point, or the tutorial wasn’t clear, but I failed to get to grips with issuing orders, and that was frustrating.

With mountains of missions to complete, an array of obstacles to overcome, firetrucks to unlock, and a grading system for each job, there is plenty to do. On top of this, there is the fun multiplayer action that keeps you playing for hours. Accordingly, it has both longevity and replay value.

Firefighter Simulator – The Squad is good, but issues hold it back. 

I knew I’d like Firefighter Simulator – The Squad as I adore the genre. Yet, its minor issues annoyed me. I couldn’t get past the poor AI and the frustrating command system. If these problems were solved, the solo gameplay would be vastly improved. However, as a multiplayer game, it is phenomenal. If you have a great bunch of friends, you’ll love arguing and quenching every blaze you see. Consequently, I can happily recommend that you buy it here! Being a real-life firefighter is tough, dangerous, and not for me. Instead, sit back, turn on your console, and become a virtual firefighting hero. 

SUMMARY

Firefighter Simulator - The Squad is a fun multiplayer simulation title. Work together to fight fires, save people, and complete simple tasks. You'll be judged on your speed and professionalism, so work fast to save the day.


+ Great animation and realistic fire movement.
+ The audio is dramatic.
+ Addictive action.
+ The multiplayer mode is enjoyable.
+ A clever and simple concept.

- The AI is terrible.
- Soundbites are annoying
- The controls could have been better.
- The driving mechanic wasn't as exciting as it should have been.

(Rating: PEGI 7 Implied Violence Release date: 06/12/2022 Price:£24.99)


(Reviewed on Xbox Series X. Also available on Xbox One, PC (Steam), PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5)


Daniel Waite
Daniel Waite
My gaming career started on an Amiga and spans many consoles! Currently, I game using an MSI laptop and Xbox Series X. A fan of every genre, I love to give anything a go. Former editor and reviewer for www.bonusstage.co.uk, I'm loving my new home here at Movies Games and Tech. I can be contacted for gaming reviews on the following email: Daniel@moviesgamesandtech.com

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<p class="has-text-align-justify" style="font-size:14px"><em>Firefighter Simulator - The Squad</em> is a fun multiplayer simulation title. Work together to fight fires, save people, and complete simple tasks. You'll be judged on your speed and professionalism, so work fast to save the day.</p><br/> + Great animation and realistic fire movement. <br/> + The audio is dramatic. <br/> + Addictive action. <br/> + The multiplayer mode is enjoyable. <br/> + A clever and simple concept. <br/> <br/> - The AI is terrible. <br/> - Soundbites are annoying <br/> - The controls could have been better. <br/> - The driving mechanic wasn't as exciting as it should have been. <br/> <br/> <p class="has-text-align-center" style="font-size:10px">(<b>Rating:</b> PEGI 7 Implied Violence <b>Release date:</b> 06/12/2022 <b>Price:</b>£24.99)</p><br/> <p class="has-text-align-center" style="font-size:10px">(Reviewed on Xbox Series X. Also available on Xbox One, PC (Steam), PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5)</p><br/>Review: Firefighter Simulator - The Squad