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Published by:
ValuSoft

Game Genre:
Driving

Game Cheats:
Not Available

Requirements:
Pentium 300, 64 MB RAM, 250 MB hard drive, 16 MB 3D card, Windows 98/Me/XP

Retail Price:
Not Available
Our Ratings:
Features

Graphics

Sound FX

Gameplay

Overall

Screenshots:
Ambulance Driver


Game Review - by James Allen
One of the more famous games for the Sega Dreamcast (remember that thing?) was Crazy Taxi, an arcade driving game where you delivered patrons to their destinations in the quickest time possible. I bring up this game because it was obviously the inspiration for Crisis Team: Ambulance Driver, another game in the long line of annoyingly two-part titles. Instead of driving a taxi around, you race around several locations in an ambulance, picking up patients and delivering them to hospitals. Seems simple enough, but can Ambulance Driver capitalize on the addictive gameplay that we saw in Crazy Taxi, or just be dead on arrival?

Features:
One of the more famous games for the Sega Dreamcast (remember that thing?) was Crazy Taxi, an arcade driving game where you delivered patrons to their destinations in the quickest time possible. I bring up this game because it was obviously the inspiration for Crisis Team: Ambulance Driver, another game in the long line of annoyingly two-part titles. Instead of driving a taxi around, you race around several locations in an ambulance, picking up patients and delivering them to hospitals. Seems simple enough, but can Ambulance Driver capitalize on the addictive gameplay that we saw in Crazy Taxi, or just be dead on arrival?

Sound FX:
One of the more famous games for the Sega Dreamcast (remember that thing?) was Crazy Taxi, an arcade driving game where you delivered patrons to their destinations in the quickest time possible. I bring up this game because it was obviously the inspiration for Crisis Team: Ambulance Driver, another game in the long line of annoyingly two-part titles. Instead of driving a taxi around, you race around several locations in an ambulance, picking up patients and delivering them to hospitals. Seems simple enough, but can Ambulance Driver capitalize on the addictive gameplay that we saw in Crazy Taxi, or just be dead on arrival?

Gameplay:
So, the game works like this: dispatch radios you with patients, you pick them up, and deliver them to the appropriate hospital location. There are two hospitals on each map, one for code red patients (a trauma center, if you will) and one for everyone else. The patients spawn randomly, but they always show up in the same four or five locations, so you can anticipate where they will be to an extent. Patients come in a variety of conditions: blue, green, yellow, orange, and red. They downgrade every 80 seconds, and if a code red patient gets demoted, you must defibrillate them (as heart problems are the only thing to cause death; blood loss, brain loss, etc., don't count). There is a pretty cool aspect to the game, as you can deliver patients that you run over (for reduced pointage). Once, I hit a pedestrian with a car that I hit, and that was the most fun I've had during the game (sad, but true). While you can pick up the pedestrians that you hit, there is a strange lack of car crash victims, as it's improbably easy to flip other cars like tumbleweed. There seems to be no physics present at all in this game, as the driving model seems unresponsive, and cars enjoy a flipping extravaganza. And on top of that, there is absolutely no damage! So, you can slam and wreck your way through all of the maps, flipping cars and destroying light poles without a care in the world.

The cars themselves slide out of the way of your ambulance with your siren blaring, which, while accurate, is not so much because they literally slide sideways, which is quite hilarious. You can have your siren on without impunity; it would have been nice to have some kind of penalty if you had it on with no patients in the game. There is also no heading on the map of the neighborhood you are in, so I have constantly turned left instead of right when only a quick glance is available. The hospital location and patient pick-up zone graphics were lifted straight from Crazy Taxi. The only reason to play the game over again is to attempt to accumulate more points, which is more a function of how many patients spawn during your game rather than your skill in driving. There isn't a career mode (which might have been interesting) to speak of to prolong the gameplay beyond twenty minutes. The bottom line is that Ambulance Driver just isn't fun at all, and that's the main reason why it fails.

Graphics:
The graphics, sadly, are the highlight of the game. Ambulance Driver apparently uses the LithTech engine, but not very well. You can look at games that use the engine such as Aliens vs. Predator 2, and then compare them to this lackluster effort. The people don't look half bad, but as cars are concerned, there isn't much detail to speak of, and there are several questions about the highest resolution level. Even in max detail, the pop-in is horrendous: I have seen cars appear and disappear magically several yards in from of my vehicle, and the buildings also have this problem. If people have the hardware to exploit the large draw distances, I say let them use it! It must not be so hard to implement, and the fact that it is missing is another testament to the budget philosophy. Overall, the graphics would have been good maybe four or five years ago (and even thenů), but not today. At least they are crisp and clean looking, which results in a graphical experience that isn't painful, but just disappointing.

Overall:
Crisis Team: Ambulance Driver falls short in many different areas, and results in being a below average attempt at copying Crazy Taxi over to the PC. The features are few, sound and graphics are sub-par, and there are several gameplay elements missing that should have been included. It is a budget title, however, but that is no excuse for its ineptitude and general atrocious nature. There are much better options for your gaming dollar out there than Crisis Team: Ambulance Driver.


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