Firefighters: Airport Fire Department is among the worst games to release on PS4. The FingerGuns review;
Have you ever heard of “Firefighters – The Simulator”? It’s a first person firefighter game that was released in January 2017 by UIG Entertainment & VIS Games and it’s generally considered to be one of the worst games available on the PS4. Well, Airport Fire Department is a follow up of sorts which copies and pastes the fire station and many of the vehicles from the original into an airport setting. Instead of the nuclear power plant, retail shops and the industrial estates of the original, you have a helicopter pad, a departure lounge and runways. Somehow, Firefighters: Airport Fire Department manages to be even worse than the original game. It’s among the worst games I’ve ever had the displeasure of experiencing.
In this game you play as the newest recruit to an airports firefighting team. When you first start the game, you’re greeted by your fire chief who looks like a henchmen from Goldeneye on the N64 with the same 20 year old texture quality. He saunters around the fire station at a dead snails pace pointing out various rooms that look like they were thrown together in seconds using cheap Unity store assets. As he meanders around the station, he occasionally says something like the below which is either an utterly terrible joke or is a mistranslation.
Eventually, after walking around the station for what feels like several lifetimes strung together into one horrific fever dream, you get to drive a vehicle. The fire chief leads you around the airport – which is mysteriously devoid of any other human other than those driving a vehicle – pointing out all the important locations like the petrol station and the water refill station which, it turns out, are the only points of interest on this entire map. Of course, just when you thought you might be ready to get into the actual game, the fire chief then decides he wants to drive you around the entirety of the airport perimeter to show you a car park, an empty hanger and an enormous length of fence. 20 minutes of fence. *huge fucking sigh*
If you’ve not quit and deleted the game by this point, you get to start your first day as a firefighter. As the noob of the team, you’re giving a small van that’s equipped with nothing but a fire extinguisher and given your first duties – to find holes in the massive fence. No, seriously. For the next 24 in-game hours, it’s your job to drive around the perimeter of the airport to radio back the location of any damage to the fencing. After just a few minutes of this, you’ll be begging for some kind of disaster to befall this unnamed airport just to break up the monotony. Thankfully, there’s not normally much of a wait.
While you’re on your shift, the radio can call you to a fire at random. There’s a generous timer that counts down when you’re racing to the fire although it’s so generous, I didn’t actually find out what happens if this reaches zero. On your first day on the job, you’re called to out to little emergencies like a smoking ashtray by the departure lounge or a bin fire by the helipad. As you progress and are given control of bigger vehicles, you can use hoses and are called to bigger emergencies. Eventually, after several days of repetition, you’ll be put in control of the Panther Water Tankers and called to major disasters.
Unfortunately, no matter what fire fighting vehicle you’re driving and no matter what the emergency, the solution is always the same. Point the hose at the fire and spray until the smoke goes out. Rinse. Repeat. Ad infinitum. For a game that claims to be a simulation, there’s very little science or reality here.
I’ve struggled to find anything positive to say about Firefighters: Airport Fire Department aside from the vehicle models that are well detailed. Unfortunately, everything else is subpar, frustrating, boring or terrible. The soundtrack sounds like it was made by a 14 year old EDM fan on Fruity Loops. The environment textures look like they’re from a PlayStation 2 game. The game is empty of actual human models outside of the fire station and even those look shoddy with out-of-proportion body shapes and a walking animation that looks like they just shit themselves. The lighting is spotty at best. The gameplay is repetitive, shallow and devoid of fun. The collision detection with other objects and vehicles is rough. There’s vast amounts of time when the game gives you nothing more to do other than sit around and wait for a fire to begin. The tutorial is a turgid and bloated mess of useless information and padding. There’s no auto-save function and the only opportunity to save the game comes at the end of each 24 in-game hour shift; miss this opportunity and you’ll have to start the shift from scratch. I could go on, but you get the picture.
By transplanting the same mechanics and theme from the original Firefighters – The Simulator into a setting that’s devoid of any life or fun, VIS Games have managed what I thought was impossible by creating a follow-up that is worse than the original. Firefighters: Airport Fire Department is a disaster and is certainly a contender for the worst game on PS4.
Firefighters: Airport Fire Department is available now on PS4 (review version), PC and Xbox One.
Disclaimer: In order to complete this review, we received a promo copy of the game from the publishers. For more information, please see our review policy.