The gig economy takes a lot of well deserved crap from people, but it hasn’t really been taped by the video game community as a subject matter to be explored. This is shame, because it’s absolutely perfect mechanically for a video game.
How do I know this? Embr exists.
Embr is a frantic fire-fighting (un)Simulator set in a hyper-capitalist, deregulated alt-present where public firefighting funding has run dry, where venture capitalism and e-hailing rule the roost. The Embr Respondr is the last stand in a world ablaze.
Embr is an online co-op multiplayer game for up to four players, supporting player-hosted servers.
I got a chance to play an early version of Embr at this year’s PAX East and it was a ton of fun, even disregarding the absolutely amazing premise. I had the choice of a few different loadouts before I started responding to a fire, and ended up going with a fairly jack-of-all-trades one. There’s a great variety of tools to choose from, including axes, ladders, trampolines, and a few more hi-tech experimental fire-fighting implements.
As the match began, I was dumped out in front of a house that had started to burn. While I set to work trying to put the fire out, I wasn’t actually following company protocol. Your goal is to get the clients out of the house; it’s not your responsibility to put out the blaze.
One of Embr’s true strengths as a game is that it just gives you a bunch of tools and says “go to it”. You’re free to approach the problem any way you want:
Fancy breaking down the door with an axe, running through the fire and the flames and just carrying the people inside to safety? You can do that!
Instead want to shut off the power to the house, then use water cannons and water grenades to all but eliminate the fire without electrocuting yourself? Smart Option!
Want to use trampolines to get into the second floor, then just yeet unsuspecting civilians out a window to bounce their way to safety? Hilarious and handy!
Embr already has a very solid premise and a superb gameplay loop, and I cannot wait to play it again. I’m interested to see what kind of progression system the game implements, and the variety of levels and challenges that it can present to us, but I’ve got a lot of faith in Muse Games; they did great things with Guns of Icarus, and I have a feeling they’ll do great things with Embr as well!
Currently, Embr is scheduled to hit Steam Early Access later this year.