With Simulator games having a big audience with video game players today, one recently caught my eye, 911 Operator. This game allows the player to take the role of an emergency services dispatcher, where you’re tasked with answer incoming calls and respond to them properly. This can vary from giving first aid advice over the phone, dispatching fireman, police or ambulances to incidences or sometimes just ignoring a call because it’s not important or a prank. At first I thought that to enjoy this game I would need the knowledge on the emergency services and also first aid but this was quickly explained to me when I first loaded up the game, allowing me to feel comfortable playing it.
The game has two modes, Career and Free play. Career is made up of 6 cities that will test you with specific events that you need to successfully complete during your duties, whereas Free Mode gives you the option of downloading and playing in any Real City in the world. It was so much funny playing the London map as well as New York and Tokyo.
One of the key features in the game is that you are given REAL first aid instruction and procedures. These can be read while the game is in its loading screens, you have plenty of time to read through them before proceeding. Once you are ready to go just click continue, it will then take you to the screen that allows you to set up your squad, resources and shop. This part is really in-depth because you are given time to hire and buy equipment that will aid you in your duties, select which vehicles you are going to use, the squad member that will be in each vehicles and what equipment they have. The game has 12 types of emergency vehicles at your disposal, these include helicopters, motorbikes and trucks. Each squad member that you can hire and manage has their own abilities, for example their Driving, First Aid or Marksmen rating. You build you squads around these abilities to make sure that they’re at their best. Your squad member can also get injured during your duties, which could lead to them having to take time off or worse if not responded to quickly. While they are out you will need to get replacements in, so that everything can still run smoothly. I was impressed with the level of detail that has gone into this game.
When in game you are presented with a map of the city, you can see all your vehicles and their currently locations as well as base locations. When an incident happens it will appear on the map, you can select the incident and view what is going on. From the information you are provided with you select the appropriate squads to attend to that incident, sometimes you might have to send multiple depending on whether the situation can be handled with the squads you send. When you have an in-coming call it will notify you at the bottom of the screen, if you don’t answer it in time then it will ring out. Though if you answer it you are presented with voice over dialogs, some based on true events. These can range from serious or dramatic events to helping an old man get his cat down from a tree. It’s up to you to try and resolve the matter as quickly and efficiently as possible, whether that be sending the correct emergency services to the scene or simply ignoring the call because it’s not worth your time. There are over 50 different types of voiced dialog based on true events, though if you play the game long enough you start receiving the same calls and the game get boring due to you knowing what to do already. There is a clock at the top of the map that indicated how long you have been on your duties and how long is left, in the top right you have your Cash, reputation and resolved. When completing events you are rewarded with cash that can be used to further your squads, get new equipment or vehicles. If an incident is resolved your reputation with go up though if you perform badly it can go down this is all depending on your performance and decisions.
When selecting an event you are welcomed with a window that has three headings, these are info, dialog and onsite. Info gives you a brief explanation of what’s going on, dialog will show any dialog that has happened between you and the person, then onsite just tells you of which squad members are there and what they are doing to resolve the issue. Some of the incident will indicate which services you need to send to them, with fire department being show in red with a little flame, police being blue with a little shield and ambulances being white with a little cross. You might even have to send multiple squad/services to an incident depending on how serious the matter is. With every incident/event that comes through you have the choice to ignore the matter or wait and see if it excels, sometimes it’s better to do this if there is another more serious event happening. Sadly you learn quiet quickly that you can’t please everyone. If you don’t respond to events quick enough they can time out and cause you to loose reputation because the incident wasn’t seen to.
At the end of every duty, you’re presented with a duty summary that gives you an in depth break down of every incident that went down and the outcome, you’re total cases that you resolved and also the finances side of things. It very handy to look over because it allows you it improve or see where you might have gone wrong for next time.
Graphically the game hasn’t really got much going for it but it is perfect for what the game entitles, audio wise it’s brilliant, sure the opening line every time you pick up the phone can get annoying after a while but it can be turned off. If you use headphones while playing the game it adds to the atmosphere because it feels realistic, as if you’re the one answering the phone and trying to resolve the matter. You will get some calls where you can hear things in the background that can aid in the choices you make.
Positives & Negatives
- Enjoyable to play
- Good simulation game
- Unique idea (with it being an emergency service simulator)
- The game can feel repetitive after playing it for some time.
- Once you have played it for a while you lose the WAW factor.
The game is really enjoyable, though at times it can get repetitive with the same scenarios popping up. The fact that you can play in any city in the world is incredible and extends the gameplay hours tenfold. You’re constantly on your toes making sure you’re sending the right squads to the right places as well as manging your time perfectly. You also get the added bonus of learning real first aid techniques that aid you in the game. Once you have put a few hours into the game it sadly does lose some of its WAW factor but not enough to stop you from playing altogether. For any simulator fan I would defiantly recommend it, but if you haven’t played a simulator game before then this might be a good place to start as I’m pretty sure it’s the only one out there that puts you in the shoes of being an emergency lines and services dispatcher. For the reasons listed above I’m happy to give 911 Operator at 7 out of 10.
Interested? here is the link to buy it – http://store.steampowered.com/app/503560/
911 Operator was review on PC vias Steam