Apr 26, 2017 Last Updated 5:21 PM, Apr 26, 2017

911 Operator Review

Published in Strategy
Read 556 times
Rate this item
(0 votes)
Tagged under

If you’ve ever considered or been tempted to accept a hectic job, then 911 Operator is the ultimate test to put your ambitions under stress. From putting out fires to preventing fatalities that would, otherwise, be natural consequences of your victims' unattended injuries, you are that very first response to a City’s most pressing emergencies, and whether or not you are prepared, you’ll have to deal with each unconditionally. And that’s what makes the operator’s job stressful, or if you're the type to see the glass half full, captivating.

I'll admit, launching the simulation from Steam was a bit of an overwhelming experience, but I’m also glad to report that with time, the learning curve felt manageable and the expertise acquired in savoir faire, an organic experience. 911 Operator's objectives are straightforward at first: you're in charge of incoming calls, and you start off with 12 emergency vehicles to deploy and save the day. Everyday. Prior to undertaking tasks, you’re also given the option to collect additional resources first and shop for vehicles or equipment you may need. Such options, to grow your capacity to handle multiple patients, or to fine-tune how efficient you are by adding members to the virtual staff that's in charge of transportation.

After completing a duty you’ll be handed a report. It sounds bureaucratically dry, I know.

It isn’t. It’s your reward, something governments seldom have in the books for their bureaucrats. But this is, after all, the wonderful universe of video gaming where all is possible and the feed for capital gain is real, only not for a retirement home in sunny Florida but for you to purchase... additional units for municipalities. And early on, reaching into your purse to buff a squad up feels unnecessary.

Many of you won't, and will carry on with a false sense of confidence.

You might be warranted in such behavior, indeed. The fact is, missions initially aren’t difficult, at least not enough to incentivize players to go out of their way and prepare for incoming alerts. But then I hesitated... Maybe... Maybe the developers at Jutsu Games built in me a sense of confidence to better inflict upon my otherwise morally-sound character a discomforting feeling of guilt -- and one to accrue overtime. You see, lacking access to equipment and overlooking the option to grow your team's capacity gradually leads you to mediocre performances, and people suffering. If not outright dying, and that's where 911 Operator shines: it excels in guilt-tripping you, through a process that feels as much as a professional experience as it is an emotional journey into a very demanding line of work. Calls will gradually overwhelm you, and responsibilities will creep up on you, together simulating that feeling I would suspect a government employee to feel when left at their desk and sensing a burden of responsibility or, more problematically, guilt derived from being unprepared. From not being able to provide an adequate response.

That fatal death is, on you.

There were times I couldn’t answer. The phone rang but I couldn't answer. I felt that inside. It isn't okay I told myself, but in 911 Operator, it is. Oddly, it's what makes the game fun. On the downside, traction will be lost for some when time becomes of the essence. That's because you can pause or forward calls and actions. Admittedly, that takes away from some of the realism quite a few of us rightfully expect from simulators, but personally, pausing saved my butt a few times, and I, a player like but also unlike many others, was glad a feature did.

On the other hand, realism is found where it most importantly needs to be: story-telling.

In a fragmented style perhaps, but in story-telling nonetheless. Simulation purists might be disappointed in the ability to control time, but they like everyone else will surely appreciate the acting that went into play, in order to create a lifelike sense of distress through faceless voices on the other end of the line.

Then is the educational value at the heart of 911 Operator. Features such as first-aid instructions might come in handy one day, who knows, should the time come for you to intrepidly shut down your gaming rig and valiantly undertake the intimidating task of interacting with the outside world.

Last but not least is the fun factor that the studio wisely plugged into its game so that 911 Operator be not a job but a game - and that required a fair amount of sadism toward the player -- which we appreciate. It's clear to me now that the Jutsu devs were bent on messing with my head. What I might have thought was a prank call, for example, could actually have been legit... Someone might have needed a police sent their way. That straight away, but I wasn't taking them seriously. Or, maybe wait... it was a prank call. Sigh, you get my point: I'm still not sure. Yet it's these very shades of gray that make 911 Operator an engaging experience, and one loaded with intense decision-making gameplay.

As for 911 Operator's visual design, it simply is well put together.

The user interface is clearly designed with minimalism at its core, not to over-complicate or even distract. The bulk of the smaller details incorporated you'll end up finding essential to consider during your playthroughs. On the downside, there isn't much of a soundtrack to accompany them, and were I to be forgiving, I'd argue it isn't fitting for an operator's working environment.


The Verdict

911 Operator is a unique game, to say the least. Although not the simulator to earn praises from die-hard purists of the genre, it's an experimental experience that will be well worth their time and money, and the more casual strategists' as well.

Zahid Omana

Don't worry about pronouncing "Zahid" wrong, everyone calls her "Zaza". She is currently a resident in the crazy city of  Austin, TX, where she studies journalism and makes crepes at a local food truck. During her free time, you will find her indulging in shoujo anime/manga, writing random nonsense, and gaming until her fingers cramp.

Latest from Zahid Omana

Related items

  • Everything Review

    Everything is an extraordinary journey. It’s Salvador Dali meets Neil deGrasse Tyson meets Eastern Mysticism. It’s art and spirituality brought to life in a medium that transcends the limitations of books and paints. This isn’t the game you want if you’re looking for casual entertainment with which to unwind at the end of a long day. Yet, even though Everything challenges your understanding of self and the universe, it never sacrifices the simple joy of fun.

  • Planet Nomads Early Access

    Given that Planet Nomads is in alpha, some of the issues get a pass, but there are other, more serious optimization problems with this title, and the building mechanic is borderline terrible. Movement felt delayed, graphics looked choppy more often than not when moving, and the game went through a serious bout of crashing until I switched to a windowed-only view.
    There’s a lot of room for improvement for this title, but the foundation the devs have built is workable. Keep your eyes on Planet Nomads going forward, but be wary; your expectations might not be met if you jumped into the game now.

  • Reference Research for American Truck Simulator

    Surprising discoveries: We're trying to discover even the smallest details about the new areas we're working on. We don't hesitate to go down the roads less traveled. Our researchers are digging hard, maybe too hard and too deep this time!?

More in this category: Stars in Shadow Review »

Latest Shows

Conan Exiles Early Access - AAA Anonymous Epi. 9

Conan Exiles Ear…

With AAA Anonymous, we discuss our latest AAA game addiction for a handful of months, until the next one replaces it. This episode is the on the release of Funcom's Early Access re...

Mass Effect: Andromeda - AAA Anonymous Epi. 13

Mass Effect: And…

With AAA Anonymous, we discuss our latest AAA game addiction, until the next one replaces it. This episode covers what is to many the most anticipated PC release of the year: Mass ...

Out Soon

PC Gaming Incoming

Little Nightmares

Little Nightmare…

Immerse yourself in Little Nightmares, a dark whimsical tale that will confront you with your childh...

Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3

Sniper: Ghost Wa…

Go behind enemy lines with the ultimate modern military shooter. Play as an American sniper dropped ...



In Prey, you awaken aboard Talos I, a space station orbiting the moon in the year 2032. You are the ...

Paradigm Review

Paradigm Review

Paradigm is proof that quality isn’t the sole domain of big names and hefty budgets. Although the puzzles are a bit lackluster, the overall experience of the game makes it a must-h...

PSYCHO-PASS: Mandatory Happiness Review


Faithful to the franchise, PSYCHO-PASS: Mandatory Happiness manages to involve the player into speculative science-fiction that poses fundamental questions about the human conditio...

Saucer-Like Review

Saucer-Like Revi…

Saucer-Like is a short-form art piece in its genre. Beautiful art is the main focus in the narrative, with over forty hand-drawn backgrounds, each featuring rich contrasts. Saucer-...

Lil Tanks Review

Lil Tanks Review

Lil Tanks is a solid title, providing four distinct game modes, twenty unique types of enemies, four tank variants, and multiple power-ups and weapon upgrades. The gameplay is unco...

Everything Review

Everything Revie…

Everything is an extraordinary journey. It’s Salvador Dali meets Neil deGrasse Tyson meets Eastern Mysticism. It’s art and spirituality brought to life in a medium that transcends ...