In the future, buildings will be hewn from an electric blue still. They will dominate
the horizon with their unlikely silhouettes, and their glittering arcs will draw gasps from residents who have had their capacity for gasping enhanced by cybernetic implants. But most of all, the buildings of the future will catch fire really, really easily.
Auto-driven cars are being guided by unknown forces into road blocks, members of a gang are driving around at ludicrous speeds and casinos and fairgrounds are just plain combusting. While most of us would sit terrified in our homes and scream into the fridge whilst deciding which yoghurt to have for afters, Emergency Heroes is different by having you play the one surviving member of the emergency services capable of doing his job.
By 'job', however, we mean 'complete a repetitive series of driving tasks that involve putting the accelerator to the floor and having little regard for your surroundings'. In your police car, you'll chase down those gang members, shunting them until they decide to pull over. On later levels they drive at such a similar speed to your own, that it's difficult to get the kiss-like collisions to register as a hit.
In the fire truck, you'll drive around a course, pressing A when you're told to, until you have pressed A enough times. To deal with the roadblocked cars, you simply drive a blue sausage-tank through the obstacles. Ambulance quests involve daring jumps, and... well, basically you're driving around doing not much else.
Wii Don't Need A Hero
Steering is managed, a la Mario Kart, by tilting the Wii Remote. It's not terribly sensitive to smaller movements, which replaces any sense of skilled control with a farcical hand jive that's only calmed down when you master the over-reactive handbrake drift. Emergency Heroes has nothing but driving, so making the driving unresponsive until you unlock the better-handling vehicles - by which time you'll probably have tired of the repetitive missions - seems like a short-sighted mistake on Ubisoft's part. But then, considering we suspect the game is aimed at young gamers who'll be too in awe of the ability to crash into anything without much of a penalty, it's likely it didn't think too hard about the details.
Essentially then, Emergency Heroes is a fine and immediately appealing game for people who don't take kindly to failure. You can't really fail missions - you just take forever to do them, and gold medals are disappointingly easy to attain. Plus, those with low self-esteem will enjoy the affirmations of the earpiece lady, who literally can't stop telling you how amazing you are.
£20 might seem like an honest price point for a game of this calibre, but the novelty quickly wears off after a couple of hours, leaving you itching to play something a little more beefy. Still, it's better than anything in the similarly-priced Popcorn Arcade range at least.