911 Operator: Search & Rescue Review

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If you’re reading this, chances are you already know what 911 Operator is. For anyone who doesn’t, you take the place of a 911 call handler on a typical shift – where random emergency events will be thrown your way. During the average shift you’ll have to deduce the best plan of action when it comes to dispatching crews to emergencies in the city. This review isn’t about 911 Operator however, but its latest (and very welcome) DLC expansion – Search & Rescue.

911 Operator: Search & Rescue DLC comes out on the 26thJuly, but I’ve been lucky enough to get my hands on a press copy for review. The main addition is the ‘search’ mechanic, which tasks players to dispatch search crews to an area near the incident. It’s a simple mechanic that will see you moving teams across a grid until someone spots the target of the incident. So far I’ve come across various scenarios including ‘escape from scene of accident’, ‘child abduction’ and ‘kidnapping’ amongst others. This new mechanic is a great addition to 911 Operator, providing some needed freshness to the top-down strategy title.

Two new US cities are playable in the campaign mode – Detroit and Anchorage. These new scenarios will see players tackling a snowstorm and a streak of wildfires. These events will also take place randomly in the Free Game mode too. These scenarios are challenging, and you’ll need to be ready to manage a cavalcade of different emergency vehicles and staff in order to tackle them efficiently.

Fresh new events and calls have been added to flesh out the variety of experience a tad in 911 operator – including 12 new calls and 24 new incidents to attend to. You’ll also have 4 new pieces of equipment to aid in this task, including a drone and thermal imager – which increase the search rate of officers, night vision goggles to assist with accuracy of weapons at night, and a search and rescue vest.

The last of the additions to 911 Operator through the Search & Rescue DLC, is the new vehicles – 3 of them to be exact. The search & rescue helicopter, police pick-up and ‘waterbomber’ are all now at your disposal. The waterbomber is an interesting one – it’s a rapid response for putting out large fires from the air and will disappear once used. So far I have to admit I’ve not had much use for these new vehicles as I’ve assembled a robust squad for tackling most incidents from the ground – not to mention that the new vehicles (except the police pick-up) are quite pricey.

Search & Rescue is a really cool DLC and It’s certainly drawn me back into 911 Operator, which can become a tad repetitive once you’ve completed the campaign and got 100% of the achievements. My only problem with this DLC is that it feels as though the search and rescue mechanic needs to be part of the game, not sold to players as a DLC. It’s like the variety of the base game was stripped out and sold off in parts. It’s for this reason that I’ve knocked off a few points for 911 Operator: Search & Rescue DLC. That said if you’ve already got the base game, it’s a welcome addition and will freshen up your experience of 911 Operator enough to justify the purchase – although right now publishers Games Operators are being incredibly tight-lipped about the price.

REVIEW CODE: A complimentary PC code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to press@4gn.co.uk.

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