Embr is a humorous first-person action-adventure game that exploits a rare theme in video games: firefighting. Experience the game around firefighting partners similar to Grab and Gojek models with fun gameplay mechanics. The game not only brings a lot of laughter, but also helps you understand somewhat the hardships of people who always rush into places where people run out. Notably, the game automatically adjusts the challenge level based on the number of people playing, making the experience suitable for those who like solo and co-op with friends.
In fact, firefighting is an extremely dangerous and difficult profession, rarely noticed by game makers. Outside Real Heroes: Firefighter, this is the second game that I experience to exploit the same topic. However, the brainchild of the developer Muse Games has a lot of interesting ideas, offering a different experience than most party games on the market today. Embr still leaves a lot of mixed feelings like Overcooked! but a fresher approach, not just a first-person change in the game experience.
Basically, the player is a fire brigade serving on-demand fire suppression. Each level is a battle. Not only does the Embr experience have an element of fast action before the fire spreads and consumes everything, players also have to solve many related problems designed as challenging puzzles. For example, you can cut off the power to the house to avoid electric shock when fighting a fire, but that also means the sprinklers are disabled or even unable to “rescue” valuables in the safe. electrically operated.
The diverse screen design is one of the most interesting plus points of Embr. Each mission has a different approach to challenges, requiring you to have a reasonable solution. Most objects and water sources are fixed in familiar locations, but the people you rescue always change positions during each mission. That is not to mention a series of physics simulation mechanics that laugh to tears, combined with obstacles that cause many difficulties for players in approaching the fire to fight fires and save people.
The goal of your experience is quite simple: perform the best possible quest requirements, earn money to buy and upgrade equipment to support the job. Easier said than done. Even the tool selection for ‘this mission that mission’ is quite a headache. Not to mention, you also have to balance between saving people and things. Your customers are vulnerable to fire hazards and need to be rescued as quickly as possible. However, if there are casualties or heavy damage, it is difficult for you to make a lot of money from guests, leading to many consequences.
It is a vicious circle like the story of rice and money in real life. You cannot buy good protective and firefighting equipment if you do not earn a lot of money, thereby limiting the rescue plan and time, making guests unhappy. Not only that, this continues to affect the amount of money you earn every time you complete a customer’s “order”. Not to mention, guests also ‘have this have that’ with many wacky requests to their satisfaction. Saving lives is most important, but seeing customers as god is equally important.
From a player perspective, the Embr experience is exciting because of the diverse number of obstacles that interfere with the player’s work. Fire is easy to put out with water, as long as you spray continuously, this goal is completed. However, if you do not pay attention to environmental factors such as gas or electrical outlets, you will only bring inhibitions to your body. These obstacles often require humorous boosters. For example, a hair dryer or an EMP grenade can be used to cut off electricity in the room. The problem is, you can only get them in very limited numbers.
This design brings quite a high replay value to Embr. Many of the aforementioned support tools are extremely useful in the game experience situation but are quite expensive. For example, you can turn a fire hydrant into a jet tube or buy a rocket ax to break doors lightning fast in an emergency. How to use support items depends on the player’s strategy. Rush into a burning building to get people out as quickly as possible, or make it a priority to prevent the fire from spreading? Each choice has its own advantages and disadvantages in the game experience.
However, that’s just the surface of the Embr experience. The biggest problem is still people. The victims of the fire lady not only stood still waiting for you to rescue, they ran around making it even more difficult to save people out. Although I know this is the developer’s design intent to provide a more dramatic and challenging experience, the excessive stupidity and absurdity of the AI makes me not rarely feel extremely inhibited. This is especially true in the solo experience, where you have to do everything without support from other players.
Worth mentioning, many of the levels feel out of tune with Embr’s original humorous gameplay idea and turn into trial and error until it’s right. Instead of focusing on saving people and fighting fires, many tasks require you to remember the layout of the screen space and the location of important objects. From the place of the key to the detour in different situations. There was even a screen that set a very unreasonable trap that greatly affected the ability to save people, leaving me with many mixed feelings in the game experience.
The most unattractive are boss battles where something is wrong. These battles always force you to read the dialogue that is both lengthy and impossible to “fast forward”, they are quite repetitive and take a lot of time unnecessarily. From a player perspective, I understand the developer wants to diversify the Embr experience. However, this is not a design suitable for the typical experience of the game. Instead, they should focus on the gameplay elements that seem to be unbelievably fun to complement the humorous graphic style of the game.
In the end, Embr delivers an exhilarating and fun firefighting experience. High replay value is the biggest plus point of the game thanks to the diverse screen design. It’s quite unfortunate that the biggest minus point of the game is some design ideas that feel like the purpose of prolonging the playing time instead of any other reason. If you can turn a blind eye to this minus, this is an extremely interesting name regardless of whether you play solo or co-op with friends.
Embr is available for PC (Windows), PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.
The article uses games supported by the publisher.