Developed By: Chronos Unterhaltungssoftware Published By: astragon Entertainment Categories: Simulation Release Date: 09/28/2023 Price: $35
Over the past decade+, there has been a huge surge in simulation games across PC and all consoles. It’s become a massive genre that’s been flooded with simple simulator games with a few standouts here and there. Firefighting Simulator – The Squad was originally released in 2020 and became one of the standouts pretty quickly because of its realism and intense gameplay.
Last month, the game was finally released on the Switch and as a whole, the port is pretty impressive. It’s a very accurate simulator where you take control of a firefighter and you’re tasked with putting out all sorts of fires across a small city. The gameplay loop isn’t just about using a hose to put out a fire as there are many different situations that you’ll be placed into that require different tools and strategies.
For the most part, the game looks and sounds very good. When you’re in the middle of a level, the fires look great and at times can be very intense. There’s also a great amount of detail in the different environments and equipment. There are a few issues that I had with the way the game ran at times but I’ll talk about those later on. As for the sound design, the game really makes it feel as if you’re there and gives off a very realistic feeling. If you’re playing on an OLED Switch, the game can look even better.
Another aspect of the game that gives the aspect a realistic feeling is the gameplay itself and the amount of content. Almost every tool and piece of equipment that you can think of is present in the game and you get to learn how and when to use each one. This makes the game feel like a true simulation because you aren’t just using a hose to put out a fire but also have to figure out what tool to use for every single situation. Picking the right balance makes the game feel like a strategy game as much as a simulator.
There are also other aspects that make the game feel incredibly realistic. The physics and ways that the fire move and grow is great, there are real tools and vehicles, and the tutorial system is really in depth. If you dive into the training system before doing any extra levels, you could spend hours getting used to all the different tools, situations, and techniques.
The best aspect for me is how much of a thrilling experience the game can become if you really begin to take it seriously. This is mostly because of how good the sound design can be at times. When you’re standing in a burning building you’re going to hear the sound of the fire and nothing else and that’s going to make the game feel really suspenseful and even give you a feeling of dread.
There were times where this feeling would cause me to become hyper focused on putting out the fire and I would become really immersed in each level from start to finish. Because of this, it was pretty easy to do sessions that lasted a few hours at a time.
When it comes to aspects about the game that I didn’t like, they were few and far apart. My main concern was that there were a handful of times where there’d be a bit of lag. Fortunately these moments were mostly concentrated in the opening videos where you’re traveling to each fire but these moments were still quite distracting. I didn’t care much for these opening shots either as I felt the levels would have been much smoother if you just started each level immediately at the fire.
The only other problem that I had was with how much there is to do. Having all these different tools and techniques that you have to do is great but in the middle of a big fire it sometimes became a bit hard to remember what you have to do in each situation. Fortunately those were the only issues that I had with the game and as a whole it was a fun and suspenseful experience.
The game is basically a time consuming, laid back simulator like Powerwash Simulator but with a more thrilling vibe. If you like these kinds of simulator games, then Firefighting Simulator – The Squad should be on your list of games to play.