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Disaster Report casts players in the role of a reporter named Keith Helm trying to uncover the story of a lifetime: the person or persons responsible for the collapse of an entire city. The problem? The reporter is in the city as it starts crumbling into the ocean. Armed only with a backpack, a map, and a compass, players must navigate their way through the ravaged urban landscapes while piecing together the clues behind the city's downfall. Fire, earthquakes, collapsing buildings, and other dangers can strike without warning, and a number of citizens may be trapped in harm's way.
Played primarily from a third-person perspective behind the lead character, Disaster Report makes use of two horizontal gauges to monitor health and thirst as well as a compass icon to indicate the direction the character is facing. To obtain a closer look at the surroundings, a first-person view can be accessed with a press of a button. Players can use objects found within the environment to help save potential victims, assemble makeshift items (like torches or flashlights) by combining objects, and learn more about the situation by reading found documents or listening to recordings.
As players explore the various regions of the city, which include a residential area, suspended bridge, sports stadium, harbor station, and office towers, they will be able to meet and cooperate with police officers, doctors, and other citizens in need. To help survive the ordeal, the character can brace himself at the onset of a tremor, cling to surfaces or hide, shout out to others, climb, run, and use transportation such as bicycles if available. Each action makes the character tired and more dehydrated over time, which can be countered by drinking water and finding first aid kits. ~ Scott Alan Marriott, All Game Guide