reviews\ Nov 14, 2001 at 7:00 pm

Emergency Room: Code Red - PC - Review

Emergency Room Code Red allows you to diagnose, and treat patients in Legacy hospital.  There was a foul up in the ER recently.  A patient went unattended for hours.  Eventually the woman died, and now the city is erupting in riots over the tragic death.  Your skills will be put to the test as every second counts.  Familiar faces will pop in every now and then from a certain channel four drama series.  You know Thursday nights at ten o’clock.  Just the extras show up.  George Clooney does not make an appearance.    

So ER Code Red isn’t going to change gaming in the near future.  It most definitely will not start a gaming revolution.  It might however provide a much-needed diversion to the gamer that is sick to death of FPS titles.  Full motion video is used to portray the ER.  For the most part the acting isn’t too bad, and the sets look like they were lifted directly from that television show.  Full motion video has always been a favorite of mine since the Tex Murphy series.  In case you haven’t noticed, not many games use it anymore.

The patient movements have poor animation.  The sound quality varies between each case.  The volume seems to increase during game play.  The audio to the cut scene movies is low and muddled.  I had to turn the volume up and down periodically.  The wounds you must treat are often blurry.  Speech during treatment is confusing, and repetitive.  Sometimes a patient will still be hysterical after treatment was administered.  There are occasional graphic glitches especially when you are trying to sign out a patient.  Despite all these minor deficiencies ER manages to be an amusing change of pace.  The ease of game play keeps control simple, and the full motion video while it can get corny at times actually helps lend a sense of urgency.

The mouse does a good job controlling your actions.  A PDA in the top left hand corner is used for obtaining information, and performing any actions.  You can move from one location in the hospital to another.  Different tool trays are available, and questions can be directed toward the patient in order to access the situation.  Every case can be researched to learn more about the proper treatment.  If you are not a doctor keeping people alive can become very challenging.  Thankfully there are several ways to play ER.  If you are well versed in medical procedure then you can go for broke and test your ability.  For the rest of us simpletons the easy option comes to the rescue by providing hints to the next step that will lead to success.

If you make a mistake don’t fret.  You can save, learn from your mistakes, and go back and do it the right way.  Anorexia, child neglect, anemia, elder abuse, suicidal depression, hernia are among the situations covered.  I know that it all sounds kind of bleak, but thanks to some silly dialogue that pops in every now and then, the atmosphere doesn’t get too morbid.  If you’re looking for something different to play where you don’t have to frag someone, or battle through yet another dungeon, ER may be worth a look. 

Install: Easy
Nothing to report.

Gameplay: 7
Control is easy to manipulate.  Patient treatment is all pretty much the same.   

Graphics: 7.5
Full motion video is always fun.  Reminds me of the television show.  Some wounds appear blurry at times.  Animations tend to be choppy.

Sound: 7
Speech is low and muddled during movies.  It gets louder during game play.  It does sound like you are in a hospital.

Difficulty: 7
I couldn’t play this with out the easy level.  Not because I wouldn’t be able to figure it out.  Because it just isn’t interesting enough to sit, and read through all the research offered to figure everything out on your own.

Concept: 7.5
Hey it is a change from running around and shooting at everything that moves.  If I have to conquer another demon infested dungeon again I think I’m gonna jump out a window.

Multiplayer: N/A 

Overall: 7
I dig the video, and the whole emergency room scene.  It reminds me of the television show, which used to be good by the way. 


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