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911 Paramedic

Score: 45%
ESRB: Teen
Publisher: Legacy Interactive
Developer: Legacy Interactive
Media: CD/1
Players: 1
Genre: Miscellaneous

Graphics & Sound:

It seems Legacy Interactive had quite a chore when making a game of a rescue-type genre. Sure, they've made games like this before, but the question is: 'How graphic do you let the graphics get when it comes to gunshots, stab wounds, internal bleeding, etc.?' For 911 Paramedic you get an odd mixture of 'real' victims, in a sense that the victims are just FMV stills, with blood painted on. It looks kind of cheesy to tell the truth, but serves its innocent purpose. There's not really a lot to look at in the game. You see a not so good Full Motion Video of your paramedic teammates talking about meaningless nonsense. This is usually followed by the intercom announcing a 911 call, to which you and your pixelated FMV-coworker go hit the streets. You then go through the same video every time of driving to the scene of the accident. Once you get there, another grainy FMV pops up showing some of the witnesses to the accident, in which you then commence with a 'cut and pasted' version of the victim lying down. The broken limbs look almost silly they're so poorly drawn. The blood is all sorts of colors. It's almost chameleon-like as it's a deep wine red on one accident, and a fiery orange color the next. What's your first thought as an up and coming paramedic when you see orange blood? 'Goodness, she needs to start taking Centrum Silver.' All of your equipment is distinguishable as it floats there in your open bag at the bottom of the screen. Need a pulse-ox meter? No sweat, it's right there by the magnifying glass, floating as happy as can be. Nothing really looks that good as a blend between shoddy FMV and unimpressive 'rendered' graphics combine to give you conjunctivitis, it seems. I guess that's why the minimum requirement is a 2 MB video card. Trust me, it's a requirement that it earned.

The sound is yet another testament to not enough detail. Low quality WAV files dot the starry sky of 911 Paramedic. Whoever wrote the lines for the acting did a poor job. I felt like giving myself an I.V. because it was so painful to listen to. On top of that, you have your paranoid commander (with the original name of Commander Cleen) trying to give you hints or reprimand you. He's cute for a bald guy, but what he says is insanely weird. Then there's the usual 'turn on the siren' sound. What's worse of all is when you get to the scene of an accident and the music decides to do what the patient is doing. If the patient is getting close to dying, then the music actually palpitates. It's supposed to be a mix of background/high energy music, but it fails miserably. The sound is not that good, and only makes the game that much more aggravating.


911 Paramedic puts you into the role of an aspiring young EMS Level 1 tech that fights to save lives so one day you may achieve the coveted title of Paramedic. The game has you watching those silly FMVs as aforementioned, then rushing out to the scene of the accident. With over 35 cases, you'll be doing a lot of rushing. Of course, your partner is not there to help in any way. They just watch you and criticize you until you figure out what to do. Granted, I know nothing about being an EMS Level 1 technician, and the tutorial taught me nothing to top things off. So you're trying to figure out what to do for people while your partner just sits there heckling you and that dang background music starts going crazy. You can set the difficulty to Easy, which highlights everything you should use in order, but you still don't know what to do with the tools. You can receive a hint, but that takes points away from you. Your goal is to stabilize the victim, then do some 'sign-off' sheet which you check off things like their primary diagnosis and what level of transport they'll need. This is assuredly a part that I didn't like, because you would stabilize the patient, but as you're trying to do the sign-off sheet, your partner is still ribbing you at how slow you are. You also lose efficiency points for failing to rush through the sign-off sheet. You also lose points if you fill out the sign-out sheet incorrectly. Mix the graphics and sound with some frustrating gameplay nuances, and you'll pull your hair out. On top of that, the Options mode only lets you pick if you want voiceovers or not. Hint: choose 'no' to the voiceovers.


If you are either an aspiring paramedic (read: have studied millions of hours of anatomy), or are really patient (read: you can take millions of hours on this game), then 911 Paramedic isn't difficult at all. Other than that, you enter into this fast-paced ambulance world with no knowledge. You unknowingly try to help the patient while your stiff of a partner sits back and watches. You can actually learn what to do by replaying the same emergency over and over, but that is where the patience part really kicks in. Do you want to do the FMV again? The game is challenging, but for me there was no reward to sit and play the game. I love real life stuff as much as the next guy, and at one time in my life I wanted to be a pediatrician. Still though, there's no way I can figure out that for a fully conscious victim, you're supposed to shove a nose drain pipe thingy up her nose. I guess my point is that 911 Paramedic is aggravatingly difficult in that certain aspects of it peck at you until you don't want to play it anymore.

Game Mechanics:

There is only one camera angle the whole time, which gives you a bird's eye view of the victim. The manual kind of repeats itself over and over again, pounding in your head that your goal is to become a paramedic. It's also loaded with 'remember this is only a game, you're not a doctor' warnings that are pasted on seemingly every other page. The load times are bearable, but it takes a small miracle to figure out how to get out of the game without going to Legacy Interactive's website. The controls are a simple point your mouse, click on instrument, then click on patient's correct body part. It's no good to shine your flashlight on a patient's genitalia if you should be checking for concussions.

Riot Rundown: May I stress that I did beat the game, and am now happy that I can use a fibrillator confidently. If your thing is high stress medical emergencies, then 911 Paramedic will definitely be up your alley. It's worth playing through a few times, but if you've beaten it once, replay value jets out of the door. If you're just a casual gamer, thumbing over the box, the graphics will kill you, the sound will kill you and if you have no patience (no pun intended), then 911 Paramedic will definitely be a rock in your craw type of game. The only redeeming factor is that a portion of the game's proceeds will go to the NAEMT EMS and rescuer relief fund.

-Sydney Riot, GameVortex Communications
AKA Will Grigoratos

Minimum System Requirements:

Windows 9x/2000, 266 MHz Pentium, 32 MB RAM, High Coloer/16-bit capable 2 MB video card, 16x CD-Rom drive, Sound card

Power Mac OS 8.1 or higher, 266 MHz, 32 MB RAM, Thousands of colors/16-bit capable video card, 16x CD-Rom drive, Sound card


Test System:

Windows XP Professional, Athlon Duron 1 GHz, 320 MB RAM, GeForce4 MX 420 video card, 46x CD-Rom drive, Hercules Fortissimo II 4.1 Sound card

Sega Dreamcast Vanishing Point

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