OverviewEmergency 2012: The Quest for Peace
is the fifth installment of the Emergency
series. Released in early January, 2011 (US) and early November, 2010 (Europe) for the PC platform. The mentioned series started out in 1998 with the game Emergency: Fighters for Life.
All of the Emergency games are built around the same core concept of the player battling incidents threatening locations around the world. The paramount objective is to achieve synergy as you combine the skills and tools of four types of emergency response units (Police, Firemen, Paramedics and Engineers) in order to overcome anything from a pickpocketing thief, car collisions and suicidal war veterans to huge blazing infernos, chemical contamination and riots.
The game isn't meant to be a real world simulation, but it does make an attempt at capturing the chaos and urgency of even the smallest incident. Time is of the essence. A scenario that appears relatively harmless initially could end up getting out of hand fast if you aren't vigilant.
There are different modes which the player can engage in from the get-go. Campaign
The game ships with 12 campaign missions out of the box. These missions will take the player to locations around the Europe with a main focus on larger cities. In the campaign mode you'll be faced with the responsibility to lead your brave men and women through large-scale operations. When you arrive at the scene, the crisis is playing out almost unchecked and with many civilians in danger you'll have to come up with the strategy required to get as many of them to safety as possible. Quick thinking and the ability to micromanage individual members of your teams is essential in order to succeed.
As an example, one of the missions the player will face in the Emergency 2012 campaign is the Cathedral in Cologne
, Germany. This old landmark building has sustained a weakened structural integrity due to a strong hurricane, and one of its large towers has collapsed and crashed down on the street below. Debris and wounded civilians are everywhere when you arrive.
The Free Play mode is not tied in to the campaign mode in any way. This mode presents you with the option of selecting one among three city-types. Each type differs from the others in that it suffers from a different climate. Heat and Cold climate makes a significant difference in which problems commonly occur in that city, of course there are many similarities factoring in as well. For example in a very warm climate, dry forests or park areas are more vulnerable to forest fires and people or animals could end up suffering from heat strokes and so forth.
The player is based in a large HQ in the city. All of your ground units will be brought into play from this building. The HQ provided has a set limitation in terms of parking space. You will be equipped with a basic pool of vehicles for each of the four roles. When it comes to the more basic vehicles you may customize which gear the personnel riding the vehicle will be wearing when you opt to order it in. The options available depend on which type of vehicle and profession the vehicle belongs to. For example, for an extra cost per man, you can opt to swap out a regular firefighter kit with one that has breathing gear. This of course reminds you that certain elements, such as gas and smoke, which are dangerous for civilians can be also be dangerous for your units. Some vehicles can't stand to be too near to great heat, while a vehicle in the Firefighter role might be specialized to perform exactly those kinds of duties. Your personnel can be injured or wounded in action, and they can die as well. This applies to your vehicles as well. Both personnel and vehicles have health-points, defensive strengths, speed attributes and so forth. If a vehicle you own happens to explode, you'll have to make do without it or opt to spend from your budget in order to replace it. Each time you order a vehicle you own to exit your headquarters, you'll be charged a sum of money depending on the equipment you've chosen and also the type of vehicle. Special vehicles cost more to prepare for field action.
You have one
budget which the city has granted you in order to spend on running costs. The same budget is used to order in different, more specialized vehicles such as armored vehicles, Helicopters, large mobile cranes. On occasion you might be granted extra funds to bolster your efforts.
In Free Play, you'll be asked to select between two sub-modes.
which starts you out in a city where the difficulty and frequency of random problems you encounter is never-changing. None of the two modes are meant to be easy, but this mode is the favored mode to start out with in order to see the wide variety of missions you can face. You earn points based on how many situations you have solved successfully. You will not be able to save your game. The game ends only when you decide that you've had enough in that session, or if you've lost control over the city. Challenge
operates somewhat similar to Endless, but in this mode you'll experience the frequency and intensity of the incidents increase as you play. Think of this almost as a survival mode. You'll know that the game will aim to spread your units thin and try to overwhelm you with challenges to a bigger degree than in Endless.
Emergency 2012 supports multiplayer cooperative play for up to four players simultaneously. Multiplayer is arguably the most appealing aspect of Emergency games. Each player will be asked to select one among the four roles usually juggled by one player in singleplayer. The most popular mode in Emergency is the Challenge game-type. If players are skilled enough a game of the Endless game-type could go on forever, it is a matter of endurance, but there's always the incentive to achieve a good position on the leaderboards making people stay on for that extra mission. The dynamic of the random sporadic missions/incidents makes the transition from one huge disaster to the next feel very non-existent at its most hectic state. Cooperative play
Your four-man team of players will have to work together in order to complete the tasks randomly thrown at you by the game's mission/disaster system. Your team shares the points accumulated throughout the session, which at the end of a session will be uploaded to the online leaderboards of the sub-mode you've decided to play (For example: Endless or Challenge both have their individual score boards). Your team also shares the same budget in multiplayer. If you really need to make a big investment into a new crew, a fire-engine or replace a lost helicopter, be mindful of the potential needs of the other roles prior to going through with the purchase.
Step by Step
Many of the tasks you'll be faced with requires a step by step procedure involving two or multiple of the roles in order to be completed successfully.
For example: In a car collision incident
, firemen are the only ones able to kill the fire if cars are ablaze or cool down objects/buildings as a preventive measure. Firemen are also the only ones capable of equipping the Jaws of Life
which is a tool used to free victims from wreaked cars. If there are fires or other threats nearby, firemen can also opt to pick up the victim and carry him or her to a more safe location. The next step would be for the player in control of doctors and paramedics to send a doctor to stabilize the victims if her/his/their condition is critical. This is an ongoing process, and basically what the doctor unit does is to slowly rejuvenate the victims health to a point where it is safe for paramedics to transport the victim in an ambulance back to your HQ building. If the victim has no HP left, the doctor has a marginal chance of reviving the victim for then to proceed to rejuvenate/stabilize the victim's health-bar to a point where transportation is possible. The process of healing requires the doctor to always be present working on the patient, if the doctor abandons the victim for example in order to save or attend to someone in a more critical state, the healthpoints of the initial victim will slowly drop back into a critical state.
While the fire has been put out (firemen), the victims freed from the wreaks (firemen), stabilized (doctor/paramedics) and then transported away (ambulance/paramedics), the player in control of the police could opt to order in officers to the scene of the accident to direct traffic or civilians away to avoid congestion. Congestion, a standstill in traffic, could prove to be a big problem. Especially if civilian cars are forced to a halt, due to the queue caused by the accident, where there is a train track crossing the road. These are usually controlled by traffic lights and blocked when a train is passing, but if a car is trapped within, the usual traffic regulation system does not help. A congestion could also make moving emergency rescue units to or from the scene more difficult.
In order to have traffic in that specific area flow again on a permanent basis, the player in control of the Engineers are required to order in tow trucks in order to remove and transport the wreaked cars blocking the street. Clans
Some players tend to form up in clans of more organized players, so observing players with tags/pre-fixes won't be a rare sight. The cooperation between skilled random players will work, but as with most online cooperative play, knowing how your team prefers to play adds to the overall experience and increases the chance of not losing control over the city at an early stage.
The Emergency series has a rich history of modifications. User mods have included anything from maps, game modes, sound effects, voice-overs, uniforms, entirely new vehicles, vehicle looks and paint-jobs. One of the more popular mods for Emergency 3 and 4 is the Los Angeles Modification
. Although the creator has now discontinued this mod for Emergency 2012, he has given the community surrounding these games access and permission to use any of his previous creations.
PC System RequirementsMinimum System Requirements
CPU 2,5 Ghz
1 GB RAM
WindowsXP / Windows Vista / Windows 7
DX9 compatible graphic card(min. GeForce 5) with 128 MB VRAM
DSL internet connection for multiplay Recommended System Requirements
CPU Dual-Core 2 Ghz
2 GB RAM
WindowsXP / Windows Vista / Windows 7
DX9 compatible graphic card (min. GeForce 8) with 256 MB VRAM
DSL internet connection for multiplay