Firefighting Simulator – The Squad

Firefighting Simulator – The Squad by developer Chronos Unterhaltungssoftware and publisher astragon Entertainment—Sony PlayStation 5 review written by Jim with a copy provided by the publisher.

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

I have always liked firefighters and have been playing games about them since I played the original Emergency: Fighters for Life game that was released way back in 1998 for PC. Since then I have played just about anything that has to do with firefighting and firefighters from the newer Emergency games to platformers like Firegirl. My favorite has always been Firefighter FD 18 for the PS2 mainly because I liked the story in it. So needless to say I am a fan of firefighters

Firefighting Simulator – The Squad is mostly for those looking for coop with some buddies but it can be played alone with an AI-controlled squad of three plus yourself. I mostly played this single-player mode but I did also try out the online coop with some random people.

Starting you play an introduction level that helps so you how to play once that level is done you are brought to a world map where you can pick a mission to do. I picked training so I could learn how to play better. Once I completed all of the training I jumped into a mission. After selecting a mission you are asked if you want to play online, alone with AI, or with friends in a private game. You also get to pick what kind of fire truck you want to use. At first, you can only pick one, but as you beat levels and gain experience and level up you can unlock some new trucks. These are a ladder truck, and another that I’m not sure what they are called but can shoot water out of them. You also get to pick if you want to deploy at the scene or if you want to drive to the scene yourself.

For every mission I played, I picked to drive myself as you get more experience for arriving fast. There is where I ran into a few small problems. The first was the graphics. As you drive there is a lot of pop-in with objects coming into view. Trees, buildings, cars, and other things all pop in while driving and it can be distracting. I also had cars disappear in front of me for no reason. The second thing was sometimes it took me longer to drive to the fires than it does to put them out.

These are more apparent in special missions called walk-in missions where the only truck you can pick are two walk-in vehicles. This means you can not hook them up to fire hydrants but you have to use fire extinguishers. After you beat a level you get experience points that will level you up unlocking more trucks and levels. Once you reach the max level though there doesn’t seem to be any reason to revisit any of the levels.

There are a decent amount of missions to be had in this game most of them take place in houses. There are a few that are in warehouses and restaurants and then a few special ones. Some of the warehouses and restaurants had the same layout as each other which does feel a little lazy but luckily this only happens a few times. The game does look pretty good when at these fires from some electrical sparks. The fire looks real and the hose you and your team carry around never disappears on the ground. Smoke was one of the things the game does well. You won’t be able to see well unless you crouch or you can vent buildings by breaking or opening windows so you can see better while inside a burning building.

One thing I didn’t get was the game telling you how important it was to find victims first, but even if you don’t and they are right in the middle of a fire they will never get hurt or die. Another issue I have was there are no car accidents only fires meaning you won’t get to use the jaws of life. Putting out fires in this game is pretty easy as little icons appear on the screen as you try to put them out. Most of the time this works fine other times it seems you have to aim just right. There are also two kinds of fires, normal fires, and grease / chemical fires. Normal fires can be put out with a hose and water, and grease / chemical fires have to be put out with a fire extinguisher or it will start more fires. Kind of like real life they say never put water on a grease fire.

There are other tools in the game though like a saw to cut locks, a pry tool to open locked doors, an ax to cut open doors, and fire extinguishers. Some of the things in the game are somewhat realistic, like needing to attach a supple hose to the truck and then to a hydrant. You can turn a setting on so that the AI does this automatically at the beginning of a level or if you want to do it manually. Then you have to attach an attack hose to the truck and then attach a nozzle to the hose before you can use it. Another thing that I liked that could have easily been overlooked by the devs was that you need to put out the outriggers before you can use a ladder on a truck. Something that real firefighters have to do.

Now another problem I had with the game was that the AI squad mates are dumb. You can tell them to grab a fire extinguisher but they won’t use it they will just hold it and stand by you. Sometimes when you tell them to put out a fire, and they will go to the area where you tell them, but they will just stand there. This makes it playing single-player more frustrating than needed if only some more time was spent on the AI. When the AI is doing what they should be doing a level can go smoothly, but this is rare.

Now playing coop online is fun even if you play with random people online as I did. It was fun and smooth but there are not always players online and if the host decides to drive to the scene the other three players just sit there waiting. Sometimes it can take five or more minutes to drive to a fire. I do wish there was split screen coop for the game though. I really would have liked to play with some of my family.

One last issue I had with the game was the music. It didn’t always fit the game or what you were doing. If you are racing to a fire or even putting out fires, one song that plays sounds classical and it feels more like a song that should be playing in an elevator or a hospital waiting room.


Overall Firefighting Simulator – The Squad is a decent firefighter game and one of the better ones on the market today. It’s not perfect but it can be fun to play with friends online. And if they keep updating the game, they could add more levels as there is a decent amount, but still could use more. Also, make the AI better, and maybe add car accidents. This could be a really good game, but as it stands it is decent but not as great as it could be. I do wish there was some kind of story with the game though.

Other than the issues stated I still did enjoy this game. It could be a decent game to show younger players what it’s like to be a firefighter.

Score: 7 / 10



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