Firefighting Simulator - The Squad... Reviewed!

Before I jump in... I want to give thanks to Astragon for supplying a copy of this game for review!

Have you ever thought of strapping up in fire-resistant gear, jumping into fire trucks, wielding axes to go all Jack Nicholson on doors + windows, and even gripping up water hoses to put out ferocious fires in a number of scenarios?

Personally, I never thought about doing it in a game... but Astragon delivered a simulator that showed me how much I could appreciate such an experience. I have to admit, when it comes to certain games... simulators can be a bit intimidating. Not in a scary way, but usually because they require a lot in order to get things done in-game... which takes away from the enjoyment... but that isn't the case for Firefighting Simulator - The Squad (for the most part).

Gameplay: Here is my first 30 minutes of gameplay in Firefighting Simulator - The Squad:

As you hear during the gameplay, I appreciate the fact that the game delivers a solid tutorial explaining the ins and outs of what to do in-game. I really (really really) appreciate this about FFS - The Squad because it eliminates the time invested in scratching my head trying to figure out what control does what. Some games literally throw you in the deep end and ultimately get less appreciation... even if they're really good games because the gamer is focused on how to merely control the game, which I know several gamers who end up walking away from a game they purchased.

Astragon gets two thumbs up for this title because you can play it like a lot of the third-person shooters. Instead of guns... you have a hose to take on one of the hottest antagonists ever.

Everywhere the flames of your opponent show up on the map... is another opportunity to put them out and keep the citizens in these industrial, suburban, and downtown areas... safe. Some of these areas will have more monstrous fires that require multiple hoses, while others can be simply put out with a fire extinguisher.

There are a number of scenarios to combat the fires in these areas... which deliver over 30 diverse deployment locations across 15,000 acres that resemble the Westside of North America. In some of these missions, you can easily run up and start spraying, while in others you need to break windows and push the fire back to climb inside and shut off the breakers because it's an electrical fire.

The number of scenarios increases the depth of the experience because you aren't just going from one area to the next doing the same exact thing.

Outside of the initial intro to the game... you have to drive the truck, but no need to fear... it's still served up similar to driving in other games. Things get a bit technical when it comes to actually attaching hoses and delegating tasks. Even with the tutorial, this is the bigger challenge I ran into.

Fun Factor: The fun factor in this game can vary. The fun factor went up when playing the game in multiplayer (when people were available), but going to the new locations in single-player was fun too. 

You aren't entirely alone in single-player... but delegating tasks can be a bit of a chore. I would assign a firefighter to connect a hose, and they would only connect the attack line hose and not the supply line... which can be annoying when you're racing against the clock (I was truly like... WTF?!). Taking on the different scenarios can be fun though... but when you take out the need to delegate... it's just more enjoyable because you aren't tying up those annoying loose ends that pros wouldn't drop the ball on.

This is a con in my book, because if you need to rush off and take on the fires... you shouldn't have to worry about being the person that connects this and that. Perhaps an update could allow for you to choose whether you want to do this stuff manually or have the NPCs auto assist and connect the hoses so that you can take care of business. At one point I tried to delegate from the firetruck by connecting hoses and handing it to... the squad, in order to send them to fight the fires, but that didn't work (I had to be closer to the objectives in order to delegate).

I'm not exactly sure of how they could've made that better but I'm still trying to figure out the best way to delegate and tackle tasks as a team (in single player).

In multiplayer, the only thing you need to do is focus on being the best member of... the squad as you can be. This game wins in the multiplayer department.

I wouldn't have minded having a single-player story experience that revolved around... the life of the squad, the fire station, and gearing up before you hop on the truck and... firefight. There could have been NPC's with memorable personalities showcased during your missions and... all that good stuff.

Replay Value: The replay value is high because each location you take on consists of various scenarios that firefighters have to take on... and the objectives can be approached in different ways, especially in multiplayer. 

Each level won't just deliver the same amount of points, if you crash into a car (like I did) or a wall then it will impact your score. If you take too long driving to the destination, your score will be affected. If you take too long with the fire, your points will be affected, so... keep that in mind and go back to the various locations until you improve your score.

You also have to unlock the different locations, which challenges you to do better before you move on. As mentioned above, you have over 30 different deployment locations, so there are plenty of locations to unlock + 30 achievements.

Price: If I could recommend this game to anyone... it would definitely be firefighters and even the kids of firefighters because it's a way to get a little understanding of what your mom or dad does... while also getting in some game time. I'd also recommend it to other gamers for some variety, and since it's priced at a solid price of $24.99... it's affordable for a group of friends to get in on the action.

Overall, multiplayer is the best way to fly in Firefighting Simulator - The Squad, but... it's not bad in single player, they just need to take care of a few things in order to increase how smooth the experience is. It's definitely one of the better Sims I've played as far as operating equipment is concerned. The ratings for this game are very positive at the time of this review, and I think that's because of how amazing the multiplayer is. That said, check out my score below and grab Firefighting Simulator - The Squad... here!

Gameplay 4 (Multiplayer gets a 5, single-player gets a 4)

Fun Factor 4 (Multiplayer gets a 5, single-player gets a 3)

Replay Value 5

Price 5

4.5 out of 5 Cool Points

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