We're not entirely sure why, but for some reason or another developers seem to think that Wii gamers just cannot wait to step into the shoes of a policeman or a fireman. Wii gamers have already had to suffer through Emergency Mayhem and now Ubisoft has released Emergency Heroes for the Wii. So, is Emergency Heroes a worthy title or is it about time we called the emergency services again?
Emergency Heroes starts off with a bang. The game is set in the futuristic city of San Alto. San Alto used to be a utopia, but it has recently become overridden with criminals. Players take control of Zach Harper, who was kicked of the Emergency Heroes training academy. Due to the dire circumstances Zach is recalled and his job is to take control of a police car, fire truck and ambulance and help San Alto get back to its former self. Unlike Emergency Mayhem, Emergency Heroes doesn't really contain mini games and is focused more on the driving elements of being a police officer, fireman and paramedic. The main objective in the single player mode is basically to locate problems, drive where the game asks you too, push a button or just get their safely and then move onto the next mission. Occasionally you'll come across a random mission, but these just seem to pad out the single player mode.
The controls in Emergency Heroes are however, surprisingly solid. The game is controlled entirely with the Wii Remote on its side. 1 is used to accelerate, 2 is used to break and the B button is used for the handbrake. The game also includes support for the Wii Wheel and having tested it with and without the Wii Wheel, we're pleased to report that the controls are solid whether you're using the Wii Wheel or not. The sensitivity level is spot on, meaning most players will get used to the controls remarkably quickly. Every time you pull off a neat trick you'll earn hero points, when you earn enough of these points you can activate the hero mode by pressing up on the Wii directional pad. Activating the hero mode will give you a quick boost, which comes in handy if you're driving towards a ramp.
Emergency Heroes also contains some split screen multiplayer support for two players (and not four, which is a shame). There are seven multiplayer modes in total, which is a decent amount, they include a race to put out fires, a race to take out a target vehicle, a race to get to a rescue first, a race to drive to peril locations, as well as a city race and an assault course and a pass the bomb mode. If it wasn't clear, there is a lot of racing. The game doesn't include online support at all, so you aren't able to upload your fastest times online or race against other Emergency Heroes players around the world, which is also a shame.
Even though the controls are surprisingly decent, the rest of the game feels rushed or unfinished. San Alto is a dull city, with every corner resembling the corner you've just passed. If this is what the future looks like we're pleased it's the 2000's. There is a large selection of vehicles, but overall they end up feeling rather similar and the game does feature some technical issues. The storyline is dull and cheesy. We would laugh, but we think they were quite serious when writing the story.
Graphically the game doesn't fare much better, Emergency Heroes may be an open ended city, but it looks average and the game does have moments of slowdown. The objects in the city don't fare any better, they look blocky and some of the objects you destroy just look horrendous. The audio is just as average. The voice acting is forced, dull and cheesy and the soundtrack only just does the job.
Emergency Heroes is a fast paced game that starts off okay, but gradually turns into a repetitive bore. The controls are solid, but the storyline is laughable; San Alto is boring and the gameplay itself just isn't all that fun. It took us about half an hour to get bored of the game and even if for some reason you are having fun you'll only get about 4-5 hours out of the game anyway. If for some reason you just have to take control of an emergency vehicle on the Wii then Emergency Heroes is a better game than Emergency Mayhem, but only just.