Embr
Gameplay 7
Graphics 7
Sound 8

Embr is a frantic multiplayer title where players must fight fires and save clients from burning buildings. While it can be played solo, it’s clear that the game was designed for groups of four. Things start out relatively straightforward, but as players progress through the three districts, the missions become a lot more convoluted. This might annoy players looking for a straightforward firefighting game, but the large levels filled with traps and puzzles do keep things interesting. Embr does have some rough edges and can do with a bit more polish in its current state, but overall it is a lot of fun.

Gameplay: An absolute blast to play with friends and plenty of reasons to keep coming back for more.

Graphics: The visuals are simple but fit the over-the-top style of the game.

Sound: Decent sound effects and a nice jazzy soundtrack to accompany the chaos

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Embr

Developer: Muse Games | Publisher: Curve Digital | Release Date: 2021 | Genre: Action / Casual / Indie | Website: Official Website | Purchase: Steam

From accommodation and caregiving to delivery and transportation, the list of gig economy companies has continued to grow over the years. In the world of Embr, firefighting has joined this list with the promise of fighting fires for fun and profit. While this might not be the best news for clients who actually value their lives and/or belongings, it’s excellent for players who enjoy frantic multiplayer titles.

Although Embr can be played alone, it really shines when four players team up to take on missions together. Not only does a team make it easier to get to clients in need of rescuing quicker, but it also means each player can bring along a unique loadout. Of course, having teammates means they can revive you if you do something silly such as fall out of a window or get electrocuted while trying to douse a fire in a room with live wires. The game requires players to complete the tutorial alone first, but after that, the rest of the game can be played entirely in multiplayer.

Sticking to the whole gig economy theme, Embr presents players with an app from where they can select which mission to tackle. The game features three distinct neighborhoods with progressively more challenging assignments. To unlock new missions, players must earn enough ratings, represented by flames, by completing rescue missions. The goal in these missions is to save the minimum amount of clients required for a three-star rating. Up to five stars can be earned by players who are able to save all of the clients and complete some bonus objectives along the way. To rescue a client, they must be located first, which is a task that can be made easier with the client finder upgrade of your tablet. Players can then sling the client over their shoulder and carry them to a safety zone outside. As tempting as it is to yeet clients into the safety zone, it is important to remember that they are quite fragile and prone to dying if your aim is off.

While rescue missions are the only ones required to complete the game, there are plenty of other mission types to tackle. These include demolition missions where the tables are turned, and players must help destroy burning buildings and salvage missions where the goal is to save us as many valuables as possible. Low house damage missions challenge players to keep the building integrity above 50% while saving clients, while “Special Object” missions mark one object in the burning building as special. Players must find this object and take it to safety to succeed. Finally, Embr Eats is perhaps the most bizarre as it requires players to deliver the right food to people inside burning buildings. If it wasn’t already abundantly evident, Embr is not a game that takes itself very seriously.

Visually, Embr looks like a cross between Team Fortress 2 and Human: Fall Flat. Clients not only look goofy but are more obsessed with using their phones or toilets than any form of self-preservation. It’s not unusual to storm into a burning room and finding a client casually standing in the flames while using their phone. If players are not quick enough to reach clients, they are also more likely to find a cartoony skeleton. While the visuals are relatively simple, the fire effects are quite impressive, and the buildings in Embr can quickly turn into infernos if not appropriately managed. This can affect the gameplay as floors might collapse, or beams drop down from the ceiling to hamper your progress. All of the furniture and valuables are also flammable, and the size and the complexity of the buildings increase exponentially as players progress through the game. Embr is played in first person, and items such as hoses, axes, and other gadgets float in front of the camera VR style when used. The game also features quite a bit of character customization, but without a third-person camera, the cosmetics only really matter in multiplayer. Every item of clothing does have different benefits, such as fire or electricity resistance, so it is still worth investing in them even if you’ll never see the results yourself.

The audio in Embr is quite good, too, with some nice voice acting for the story sections and a jazzy soundtrack while completing missions. The sound effects are not bad either, and things can become quite chaotic with fires roaring and explosives detonating. The controls for the game are responsive, and all of the gadgets in your loadout can be accessed quickly via hotkeys. However, we encountered a few instances where players would get stuck to things like elevators or clients became completely unresponsive and couldn’t be picked up. Rescued clients would also sometimes get stuck in walls, and the physics can become a little loopy if too many things are happening at once.

Embr might look like a firefighting game, but don’t expect to spend all of your time extinguishing flames. As the size and complexity of levels increase, it becomes virtually impossible to douse all the fire in time. A meter at the top of the screen indicates how much damage the flames are doing, and once it’s empty, players are given a few seconds to get out of the building before it collapses. It’s possible to halt the progress of this meter by dousing flames, but usually, your main priority should be getting clients to safety. This is not always easy as some of the later levels turn into mazes filled with traps and doors that require different types of keycards to unlock. By the time retinal scanners, laser barriers, robot guards, and security cameras are introduced, Embr almost feels like a different game compared to the relatively sedate levels of the first neighborhood. However, using gadgets such as the grappling hook is undeniably fun, and every failed mission is usually followed by a quick restart. It doesn’t take very long to complete the 25 unique levels in the game, but the multiple modes, as well as daily and weekly challenges, will keep players coming back for more. In addition, the game can be played on Easy or Hard mode, and the difficulty scales dynamically depending on the size of the team.

Some players might not enjoy the more puzzle-oriented approach of later levels in Embr, but with the right team, it is very satisfying to complete them with time to spare. On the other hand, you might end up with a bunch of shady crooks who are more interested in stealing valuables to line their own pockets than rescuing the clients. The escape missions and boss battles can also feel a little out of place compared to the rest of the game but keep the story interesting. Overall, we really enjoyed our time with Embr, but there’s no denying that the game can benefit from a bit more polish. Being unable to complete a lengthy mission because something glitched out in the last few minutes is somewhat frustrating, and having to restart because someone on the team got stuck somewhere is also not fun. Fortunately, these are all things that the developers can address in a patch. While Embr might lose a few players looking for a pure firefighting game, the complexity of later levels, as well as the variety of missions, ensures that there is rarely a dull moment. Playing alone can also be fun due to the number of gadgets and upgrades available, but nothing compares to playing with a decent team. Despite a few rough edges, the game is very addictive and perfect for players looking to take on something a little different than just another shooter.

System Requirements

  • Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
  • OS: Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 10 x64
  • Processor: Intel i5-6600 Series @ 3.5 GHz / Intel i7-4760 @ 3 GHz
  • Memory: 8 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Nvidia GTX 960
  • Storage: 8 GB available space
  • Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
  • OS: Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 10 x64
  • Processor: Intel i5 9600K @ 3.7 GHz
  • Memory: 16 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Nvidia GTX 1060 6GB
  • Storage: 8 GB available space

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