Review by JChamberlin
"Fair Medical Sim"
Legacy Interactive brings us back to the hospital scene with Emergency Room 3, and once again, we've got the scalpel. The real question is what has changed since out last visit, from Code Blue? There have actually been quite a few changes since Code Blue.
Code Blue had 35 patients on two CD-ROMs, and here we have 50 on one CD-ROM. That doesn't sound right, does it? They've obviously come up with an alternative to QuickTime movies to conserve disk space.
Not only do we have more patients, but we have a little more of everything. We have new medical tools to use on the patients to help cure whatever is ailing them. We also have new injuries and ailments. This includes pregnant women and sports injuries, which were unfortunately missed in Code Blue. Not only could you lose the mother, but you could lose the baby as well.
After you install the game, you'll be introduced to a few folks and you'll be shown around a little. You'll be shown the location for the case that you pick up so you can find out the history of the patient. There is also a computer that you can use to help find out what's wrong with the patient. You can also download that data from the computer into your PDA (Personal Digital Assistant), and when you're in the operating room, you can quickly refer back to that information, which is helpful.
Once you're in the room with the patient, you have to monitor his/her status, whether it is the blood pressure, temperature, respiratory rate, etc, and use the necessary medical tools to fix the patients problems. These problems range anywhere from a simple dog bite or headache to a cocaine overdose or car crash. Using the medical tools can be a bit of a problem. Depending on the case, you must work very quickly. Navigating through the various menus and remembering which menu has the tool you need is a bit troublesome. There are more than 50 tools to choose from, after all. The instruction manual makes no mention of a "hot key" system, which would be a faster way of going through the menus.
After you've treated the patient, you'll have to return to the Nurse's Station and fill out the paperwork. This includes the prescriptions, aftercare specialists, etc. That's also where you sign off the patient. Once you do that, you'll receive a score based on what you did and how well you did it.
There are three different levels of difficulty in Emergency Room 3, which includes Easy, Normal, and Expert. As you increase in difficulty levels, the use of your PDA will cost you points, so only use the Expert level if you really know what you're doing. On the Easy level, a yellow spot is on the medical tool you should use next, so you have some idea of what to do.
Emergency Room 3 and Code Blue are very similar for the most part, so I do suggest that you read my review of Code Blue, so you can see some of the problems in these games. One problem that I didn't mention in the Code Blue review was the manual. There really isn't much of a manual. A lot of the games I play have massive manuals, which actually help you out. The manual here really is non-existent. Other than a few tips and installation instructions, it's just a piece of paper.
The emergency room reenactment game genre is very small, and it's because the market for it is fairly small. As a big Sim gamer, however, this is a great medical simulation. There's not a whole lot of new things they can add to this game genre, so I don't expect to see a lot more of these games.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.0 - Fair
Originally Posted: 01/31/05
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