Simple puzzles are common as well. Gas jets might be firing out of control, forcing you to dodge them in order to get to a control panel and shut them down. Electrical arcs might be firing off in all directions, necessitating that you quickly pry open a nearby breaker box and throw a lever. There are a lot of stock situations to deal with, and they do get a little dreary at times. Levels are long and you spend too much time simply spraying water onto fires over and over again. Still, most objectives are mixed up enough that you don't get too bogged down in repetition. When levels end, however, you've usually had enough.
Rescuing civilians from smoke inhalation is one of the many challenges in Real Heroes: Firefighter.
The graphics are clear and reasonably detailed, despite the often smoky surroundings, although you're never free of pixelation and jaggies. There aren't a lot of frills here. You can wander the firehouse a bit in-between missions and upgrade equipment, but there isn't much of interest unless you're hepped up about changing the standard firefighter's axe to a medieval-looking equivalent straight out of D&D. The game also throws firefighting tips at you on the loading screens and even some old quotes and poems about firefighters that let you know the developers take the "Real Heroes" part of the game title seriously. Even though the script is loaded with cornball ribbing about your being a rookie, the lines are well voiced by pro actors like James Marsters, a cult favorite due to his portrayal of Spike on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and John DiMaggio, best known as the voice of Bender on Futurama. You might as well be watching a straight-to-DVD action flick. Another nifty trick with dialogue is having your fellow firefighters speak to you through the Wii Remote speaker during blazes. They are a bit hard to hear, but the tradeoff is worth it because it gives these conversations a real walkie-talkie vibe. The music is more dialed back. It's generic movie fluff, rising and falling with the tempo of the game, and is pretty much forgettable five minutes after you put down your remote and nunchuk.
Despite its bargain-bin packaging and occasionally unforgiving controls, Real Heroes: Firefighter is a very respectable, unique take on life as a firefighter. Some of the levels are a little too long for their own good, and the action is repetitive at times, but there's a good amount of fun to be had here if your wrists are up to the job.