All Features


  PlayStation 3
  PlayStation 4
  Wii U
  Xbox 360
  Xbox One


Emergency 2: The Ultimate Fight for Life

Score: 60%
ESRB: Teen
Publisher: Arush Entertainment
Developer: Promotion Software/Sixteen Tons Entertainment
Media: CD/1
Players: 1
Genre: Real-Time Strategy

Graphics & Sound:

Emergency 2: The Ultimate Fight for Life is a simple real-time strategy (RTS) game with very basic 3D graphics. The visuals are functional, with the vehicles and environments looking pretty good, but the characters are blocky and hard to distinguish from one another. Animation is very choppy and slow, and overall, the game has the appearance of something that would have appeared on the Commodore 64 about fifteen years ago (and it would have looked great back then!).

Sound is even worse, as the samples used are of pretty poor quality. Sound effects for vehicles don't even synchronize correctly, as they usually just start and play for a couple of seconds, and then stop even if the vehicles are still in motion. Music is basically non-existent, and the overall effect is a game that is very low on ambience.

The computer generated intro movies for each mission are fairly well done, but they tend to be more amusing than anything else. They don't help immerse you anymore than any other aspect of Emergency 2, which is indeed unfortunate.


Although there are a number of missions, many involving the fire department, the police department or the ambulatory services, missions really boil down to completing the same steps each time: Figure out what vehicles, equipment and personnel you need, send them to the scene, figure out how to use them, and get the mission completed.

There are many different vehicles, including fire trucks, police cars, communication vans, ambulances, and tow trucks, many of which can be equipped with items like fire axes, jaws of life, chainsaws, and other items, and a variety of personnel, including police men, sharp shooters, firemen, emergency doctors, and more. These could have proved interesting if there was some freedom in completing missions, or if the vehicles, equipment and personnel could be used in different ways, but this isn't the case.

And the problem isn't the variety of items in the game, or even the missions, necessarily, but instead it's the fact that there's little suspense or tension. You have to stay within your budget, and there are some time constraints, but one can simply replay a mission until you figure out all of the variables, and then just complete the mission correctly.

And though this is probably true of many games, unlike the best of those, Emergency 2: The Ultimate Fight for Life is not compelling, nor does it help suspend disbelief. It ends up treating the subject matter, which ranges from train wrecks and nuclear meltdowns to hostage situations, tritely. It is unfortunate that a game that probably gets sales from the events of 9/11 doesn't do it any justice.


Emergency 2: The Ultimate Fight for Life provides decent documentation, a straight-forward user interface, and in-game help that really takes all of the challenge out of the game. Some aspects of the game are confusing, and the game screens do take some time to learn, but within an hour most people will be comfortable with the game. The difficulty level can be adjusted, and that does affect gameplay accordingly, but overall, the game can be considered on the easy side.

Game Mechanics:

Emergency 2: The Ultimate Fight for Life has a pretty neat command center, where one can view an overview map, as well as satellite and close-up views of the current scene. The command center allows easy access to vehicles, as well as equipment and personnel. In-game documentation, hints, and the mission summary are all a mouse click away.

While many, especially those in the business of saving lives, might find Emergency 2 a fun diversion, serious gamers will likely find it lacking. Its graphics and sound are poor, its gameplay is simplistic, and its challenge level just isn't good enough. It's nice to see a developer addressing an interesting aspect of modern civilization, but it's too bad Sixteen Tons Entertainment didn't add a little more weight (pun intended) to this particular title.

-Gordy, GameVortex Communications
AKA Gary Lucero

Minimum System Requirements:

Windows 98/ME/2000/XP, Pentium III 600, 128MB RAM, DirectX 8.0 compatible AGP 3D accelerator w/16MB RAM, DirectX 8.0 compatible sound card, 8x CD-ROM.

Test System:

Windows XP Home, 2 GHz Pentium 4, 256MB RAM, GeForce 4 Ti4200 w/64MB RAM, SoundBlaster Live! Value, 32x DVD-ROM.

Windows Dungeon Siege Windows ET Away From Home

Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated