The Co-Op Game You Never Played
The side by side co-op experience is something that is almost dead in America. Born several console generations ago and the ever present need of two siblings to find something to argue about the concept was birthed into being. Shortly after you had such refinements as Firemen 2, the story of two of the bravest souls who could not care less about how the physics of the outside world impacted their attempts to extinguish fires—and yet kindled so many fires inside of our hearts.
Pete, the older and clearly more level headed of the two, attacks things from the classic perspective of a hose although things like water pressure and/or supply seem to be something that only a lesser man think about because is constantly blasting at full power in much the same way that only Jean Claude Van Damme did all through the 80s. Danny, who seemingly cares less as he shares my namesake, can’t be bothered with anything nearing tradition and attacks only using an axe and his decreasing levels of self-preservation.
Problems arise in the game when it is played single player as Danny likes to go on his own series of adventures and randomly becomes lodged behind various objects. It helps that in this mode he is utterly invulnerable, but can seem to mess up the flow when half of the firepower suddenly disappears behind a shrubbery during a literal fire fight. The game is also not translated at all so there are parts, namely the marine “boss” (in quotes because it is a tank of water), that would be nearly impossible to figure out if it wasn’t spelled out for you—this one needed to be broken open even though there was a ladder next to it hinting the need to climb up, which it cannot be.
Aside from the initial confusion produced by the rarity of one of the main characters sharing my first name, The Firemen 2 is worth the price of admission for a lazy afternoon’s play through with a friend hanging out on a couch. It is a little of harder sell for anyone who wants to play it not in that mode as the confusion and faults, and age, manage to show through more than they would otherwise. All in all, if you have a second controller and a friend that can laugh at an entirely untranslated game that made it to our shinning shores you owe it to yourself to pick up Firemen 2.
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