Rescue Party: Live! review of a firefighter-themed Overcooked!



Here’s our review of Rescue Party: Live!, an Overcooked! style party game with a firefighter theme.

From January 13, 2022 is available on Steam Rescue Party: Live!, the first game of Tag Studio, published by the Italian publisher 505 Games. In the role of a firefighter, we will have to fight against natural disasters and accidents of various kinds to save as many lives as possible, both alone and in co-op. Here is our review of Rescue Party: Live!

Gameplay

One of the first levels of Rescue Party: Live!

Let’s get straight to the point. Rescue Party: Live! is a sort of alternative version of Overcooked!. Simplifications are never the best thing, we know, but if you want to understand on the fly the kind of product you’ll find in front of you, thinking about Ghost Town Games’ game is the quickest way.

In each level we’ll be faced with rescuing injured people, as a result of some accident. Most of the areas will be of the “Save as many people as possible in the time available” type, with the aim of getting enough points and reaching the three Stars. The mechanics are similar to the source of inspiration: there will be raw materials (our “ingredients”) and we’ll have to use them to create (at workbenches) the tools required to cure the wounded (the “dishes”, continuing with the metaphor). Each wounded person requires various items and, in the end, must be transported to the ambulance, which will be more or less far away from where the character is.

The entire adventure is composed of about thirty levels, divided into 6 thematic areas, within which we can play from a minimum of two characters. “Characters”, not “players”, as Rescue Party: Live! – as well as its source of inspiration – allows you to play the entire campaign in single player. Given its setting, though, it’s essential to have two characters on screen at all times, to be controlled intermittently to perform all tasks in the best way.

The solo experience is obviously quite different from the multiplayer one and is included so as not to deny any type of player access to the game, but obviously Rescue Party: Live! should be considered as a cooperative game.

The single player has been made with a minimum of knowledge, however, since the number of points needed to get the Stars drops. At the same time, however, there are levels in which coordination between players is nothing short of essential and there is a risk that alone is very difficult to get even one star. Basically, if you don’t have any friends available, even now we can tell you that this is not a recommended purchase.

Variety and originality

A level with a system of pipes to move objects

Rescue Party: Live!, as you may have already guessed, is not particularly original. The comparison with Overcooked! is impossible to avoid and the game doesn’t come out a winner. First of all, Rescue Party: Live! lacks that slight madness of the culinary game and that stylistic variety that makes its direct competitor always fresh and pleasant. The limitation is also determined by the theme of the game, which “forces” the developers to propose environments with little visual impact and too similar to each other.

The variety comes, at least, at the play level, thanks to some interesting finds. Each level, especially after the first area, always proposes some kind of unexpected that changes the cards on the table. Sometimes the water level rises and changes the shape of the terrain, other times waves of water arrive and sweep away all the resources available, or the resources to treat patients are parachuted into the middle of an area beaten by wolves, which must be frightened with a lighting system that must be replenished with gasoline on a regular basis.

The unforeseen events are various, although unfortunately sometimes a bit frustrating, since they risk blocking the gameplay, waiting for the level to become viable again. Even if it’s rare, there are situations during which we can’t do anything but wait a few extra seconds, and when faced with a fairly pressing countdown, the impression is that it’s an unfair punishment, which will prevent us from getting that third coveted Star.

A crumbling structure from Rescue Party: Live!

We also add the fact that sometimes the controls are not comfortable and we find ourselves losing a few seconds to be able to interact with an object that is in front of us and should be easy to grab.

Finally, compared to Overcooked!, there is a greater focus on survival. Unexpected events can cause us to “die” (respawn is quick, but each death causes us to lose points), and if two characters use the sprint (i.e. the fastest way to move), while they are close together, they risk getting stunned and losing a few precious seconds. Rescue Party: Live! “punishes” those who play very carelessly.

The relevance of these problems is related to the type of approach. If you play to be competitive, then you might be bothered by some of Rescue Party: Live!’s rough edges, but if you want to play cooperatively with a group of friends without worrying too much about the score, then it might be interesting. Our advice remains in any case to first take a look at Overcooked! 2 in case you haven’t played it.

A swamp in Rescue Party: Live!

We also report that a cooperative tournament mode is available, which we unfortunately could not try due to the lack of online players in the pre-launch days. This mode allows you to unlock new cosmetic items for your character. Some cosmetic items, such as new characters, are also purchasable with in-game currency, which you get by completing levels in the main campaign.

Finally, on a musical level the game is quite annoying. The music in the levels is extremely repetitive and pushy: we found ourselves setting it to the minimum very soon. At least, playing in co-op, what matters most is hearing your friends in the headphones. We also report a graphical detail: the basic game is set to show on the screen of the writings, the “flash news” news theme with the rescue in progress. These, however, appear everywhere on the screen, invading it. They are one of the worst ideas of the game (in fact, none of the promotional images include them) and, fortunately, can be disabled in the options menu: we recommend that you do so immediately at startup.

Comment

Rescue Party: Live! is a clone of Overcooked! with a firefighter theme. Compared to the culinary title, it focuses more on survival and the unexpected in the levels, which create various difficulties, both in a positive and negative sense. This is not a revolutionary party game, and while it is playable in single player, it is only recommended for those who know they can play the entire adventure in co-op (up to a maximum of four players).

PRO

  • The unexpected gives variety
  • In cooperative mode it can be fun
  • Derivative
  • Visually unimpressive
  • Have you noticed any errors?
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