Reviews

112 Operator Review

A cause for concern, or an absolute emergency? FruitNDoggie reviews.

First Impressions

Having played and reviewed 911 Operator recently, knowing I owned 112 Operator as well, I figured I may as well play it too. As far as I’m aware, it’s essentially the game, but having looked at the store page and some reviews, it’s made some improvements on the original. Hopefully, enough that I enjoy this game more than its predecessor, even if it shifts from a US-centric perspective.

Gameplay

Overall, not much has changed from the gameplay of 911. Your primary task is still responding to 911 calls and directing emergency vehicles to the proper incidents. The major difference I saw was in the packaging, as the presentation is more advanced here. Icons still show up on the city map, outlining the basic issue and what’s needed, but clicking on them shows more information than before. In the previous title, all you’d see was a brief text summary of what was going on. However, with 1O, you get a visual representation of the emergency responders, involved people, and important objects, such as vehicles. Another important change is when progressing in the Campaign, you’re assigned more territory to cover, as long as you meet certain objectives. You’ll certainly notice a difference between handling a few dozen districts compared to the starting amount of three.

112 Operator Review

Controls

Since 112 is still a form of resource manager, its controls were largely the same and worked just as well as how they were in the first game. Unless I completely missed them in 911 though, 112 adds more control features on how you direct units, giving the player more finesse and options. One I used often was having the first units arrive at an incident and waiting for the last police car to show up before heading in. It’s much more effective for three police cars to handle a drug lord’s base instead of each one barging in on arrival and waiting for backup.

Story

112 comes much closer to a story throughout the Campaign than 911 did. Unfortunately, there isn’t really a well-defined main character, even though he has a daughter. It’s honestly a little odd to me how close they approach the idea of giving this person some character, including a soap opera scene no one would take seriously, but by the end, you still know next to nothing about the guy. Either way, it progresses through this character’s career as a 911 dispatcher, rapidly gaining additional responsibilities and unlockables, such as overseeing other dispatchers. It’s more of a small guiding factor to direct your game progress than a story, though.

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Visuals

There’s not much to change from one game to the next when a large amount of what you see is a city map, and I didn’t notice improvements in things like icons or character portraits. On that note, though, even if it’s not a big deal, having simple visuals showing what’s taking place at emergency sites is considerably more clear and more interesting than one or two sentences of text. Watching firefighters clear away debris while the ambulance team waits to rush in and aid the injured helps me better understand how these roles interact with one another.

Sound Design

I was a bit surprised when I heard some basic music playing, which was one of my complaints from 911. Radio chatter wasn’t a welcome substitute for tunes for me, and though it’s not very pronounced, it still breaks up monotonous silence better than recycled dialogue between different parties. There’s still a bit too much of that for my taste, as they repeat so often, but it might help set the ambiance for those who’d get immersed in this game. Plus, the radio static didn’t seem as screechy this time. As a trade-off, the voice-acting wasn’t any better compared to 911, as some deliveries seemed worse to me.

Tips

๐Ÿ” If you’re unclear on whether a police intervention will need transport, look at the icon as the police handle it. The suspect will clear it up. A ticket or money symbol means they’ll leave once the ticket is issued, but handcuffs indicate they’ll haul the perp to jail.
๐Ÿ” When progressing in the Campaign, you’ll want to reserve a decent amount of money in case one of the upcoming objectives includes buying a specific vehicle.
๐Ÿ” I switched the action too fast forward, and when a new incident popped up, I’d slow the action down so I could process them.

112 Operator Review
112 Operator Review
Final Thoughts
Frankly, I came into 1O doubting that it'd change enough from the first game for me to enjoy this one. I knew that it was going to be similar gameplay, which is the most crucial element, so why would my opinion sway that much? However, the developers must have taken player feedback into account with this release, because almost every issue I had in the first was resolved in some way, including things I hadn't thought about that much. Slowly diminishing the amount of 911 calls the player has to screen so they don't need to worry about making dozens, if not hundreds, of made-up crises was pretty sharp. Taking stead of an entire city's emergency services definitely makes up for not answering calls personally, as you've so many pans in the fire to fret over. It did get a bit annoying at times, but with the refined design compared to 9O, I think people would like this game significantly more. A single playthrough of the campaign is pretty short though, so I'd hold off for a sale.
PROS
Shortly after starting 112, I recognized improvements in the game's aesthetic and gameplay compared to 911. One thing I enjoyed was how it made progression in the campaign much more clear and relevant to my performance.
There's greater variety in the 911 calls you field. It helps the game from getting as repetitive.
CONS
Later in the Campaign, I got really sick of the constant new incidents I'd have to address. I thought that was part of the reason I assigned all of the dispatchers, to remove some of the mundane tasks not needing my input. Unless there's a corresponding emergency vehicle in their district though, they seemingly won't send them over.
With how large the map becomes, this would be difficult to play on a smaller screen.
The load times are pretty slow for a game this basic.

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