At first glance, Muse Games ‘Embr reminded us of wacky slapstick comedy titles like Overcooked and Tarsier Games’ excellent The Stretchers. It’s a bright and colorful, multiplayer-focused firefighting carnage that also comes across as a satirical and ironic take on the state of 21st century capitalism. He’s got wobbly physics, silly voice acting, ridiculous staging, and screaming upgrades “This is going to be a lot of fun!” “ However, in reality it is a bit of a wet firecracker.
The first thing we have to mention about this Switch port from Embr is that in six full days of testing we couldn’t find more than two online games to join, both of which only had ‘only one other player in their lobby. Yes, you can arrange for a four-player game with a few Switch-owning friends – there’s no split-screen local multiplayer here – but the more immediate and easiest option to find other people with. who to party in Embr is, judging from our experience, an absolute bust. Both the PC and Xbox versions (and we’re assuming the Stadia version) support cross-platform play, but the Switch version doesn’t have this feature and it takes a toll on the experience.
Of course, you don’t have to play Embr in multiplayer. All of his stages can be completed solo, which is how we had to make our way through this one, but it is very obvious that he is losing so much of what would make him a clean chaotic laugh when you have to charge. alone through burning buildings. . It starts to squeak more than to entertain, with its various flaws all the more evident when you don’t have the silliness of others around you to help you ignore them.
As you continue and dig into your solo firefighter career, you’re presented with three different areas of a city, each with a bunch of tasks to complete, starting with simple rescue cases that task you with pulling a handful. from âclientsâ from hell, to escape missions that see you fleeing multi-story towers and a handful of (pretty terrible) boss fights.
Completing missions in Embr earns you stars and you will need a certain number of them to progress to higher level excursions. Overall, it took us around three hours to go through each level here, a time that would have been a bit shorter if we hadn’t spent a lot of time stuck in a particularly frustrating boss encounter that’s suffering due to The game’s imprecise controls. It turns out that slapping a sarcastic Canadian with a flaming cannon from a distance in this game is quite luck.
Let’s not be all negative though, the basic framework is ring here. There are more than enough missions – especially for the budget price – and each unlocks a variety of different ways to play once you’ve beaten it for the first time. Your first crossing of a building might be a rescue attempt, but then you can choose to start over in modes that allow you to scavenge as much of a building as possible before it collapses, save a special item for a customer, delivering food to hell, or burning houses while cleaning toxic barrels. They all play very similarly, make no mistake about it, but it’s enough that if we had played with some buddies we would be sure we would have had a lot of fun.
There is also a decent selection of upgrades and cosmetics to purchase from the in-game store with the money you earn for successful releases. You can upgrade your hose power, grab an ice accelerator, deployable sprinklers, breaking loads, throwing axes, grappling hook, jumping mats, slides, parachutes, and trampolines. However, in reality, most of these fun little additions offer little to no real benefit, because once inside a building – once a fire rages in – the only real option we’ve found. here is to grab clients or objects as fast as possible, ignore the flames and enter and exit with minimal fuss.
Maybe it’s because we were playing solo, but we found that taking extra time at a level here ended in failure, we did. very little fighting fires, instead of acting quickly, by using our Client Findr to determine the whereabouts of those at risk and eliminate them as quickly as possible. It feels like the game doesn’t give you enough time in the scenarios to settle in and have fun with your tools or the silly in-game physics. It can also be unnecessarily frustrating, as imprecise controls make the climb up. stairs, lifting and placing objects and maneuvering through somewhat painful dangers. Yes, we understand that placing ladders and watching them fall is part of the fun, but collapsing two stories to the ground outside of a building because your character can’t reliably climb the stepsâ¦ yeah, not really.
There are also a handful of other dangers introduced during the game (toxic clouds that can be cleared by using a fan or opening a window, and electrical faults that need to be shut off at their source, for example), but we’ve found that you can just go through most of them, get the hang of it, and avoid solving the simple puzzle at hand. It smacks of the wrong balance – these things should be instant kill scenarios or at the very least take away so much health that you don’t dare go through them by choice.
Again, typing this in, it feels like we missed out on a lot of the potential fun we could have had here because we were forced to play entirely solo, maybe having a friend along with it. who would work would turn those irritations into situations that provoke a laugh. It’s hard to say, and it’s a shame, because as long as the online multiplayer aspect of Embr is failing, it’s hard to really recommend you take it. Played solo, it’s a forgettable and rather irritating experience that just doesn’t turn out the way it should.
Embr has the potential to be a good time, a bit of slapstick carnage with friends that offers a decent amount of missions to complete and plenty of unlockables and mode variations to keep you and your party of first responders busy. However, on Switch this potential is hardly realized because the online component of the game is down. Get a few Switch-owner friends to set up a match and you can have some fun here, but without cross-play, and with a few other game irritations in mind, this one is pretty hard to recommend on Nintendo’s console.