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January 20, 2004
Firefighter FD18 - Preview
Release Date Publisher Developer Anticipation Players Price

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Water - it puts out fire!
Following the events of September 11 it was wonderful to see firefighters recognised as a true heroic job. Indeed, when they were filming the movie Collateral Damage starring Arnold Schwarzenegger (which was postponed due to similarities to September 11) there were questions weather he was playing a heroic enough character as a firefighter. Following September 11 we all realised how heroic they are. But firefighters have been a massively overlooked subject in video games, with no appearances on Playstation 2 to date and only Burning Rangers on the Saturn and Sega's Brave Fire Fighters (with nozzle controller attachment) in the arcades really worthy of mention.

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Finding a survivor.
Konami has been keen to emphasise that the storyline in Firefighter FD18 has a strong theme of love and justice - whatever that will mean. The game sees you play the role of Dean McGregor a young firefighter who must extinguish and try to understand a series of suspicious fires which have started breaking out in your area. You soon team up with Emilie Arquette, who is investigating the cause of the blazes for TV, to try and uncover the mystery arsonist's identity. Some of the screenshots around this page may give you a close that something is quite amiss, although I don't have proof at this stage. As you battle through the fires one of your main goals will be to rescue innocent civilians who have become trapped in the blaze.

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Damn that's getting too hot.
As a firefighter you have several main items of equipment which can be used to complete the missions - be it putting out the fires or rescuing survivors. These include water hoses, fire extinguishers, and axes to chop through doors. Naturally firefighting is a dangerous experience and this game will be about taking changes and being able to avoid danger in a hurry. Konami are promising a suitable range of flare ups, backdrafts and chemical explosions to keep you on your toes.

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Is this the luxury cruiser?
The fires themselves look spectacular with some wonderful effects for smoke as well. The effects are among the best yet seen on the Playstation 2 and the locations are varied enough with locations such as high rise buildings and a luxury cruiser being engulfed with flames.

Konami have utilised the PS2's power very well when developing Firefighter FD18, and the results look impressive. Although the Japanese release is set for Befruary 26th and the American release set for March 9th, PAL gamers will have to wait a little longer until late April to get their hands on this title, but it looks worth it.