Dr. Gabriel Cunningham is the Dr. House of the Trauma Team hospital. By using tools like CAT scans and watching his patients like a hawk, Cunningham’s job is to deduce what ails anyone that steps into his office even if they don’t want him to do so.
His patients, like a politician we’re about to talk about, don’t always cooperate. During a demo with Atlus, Cunningham’s stubborn patient needed to be convinced that he’s seriously ill before taking any tests. You start by asking questions and listening for abnormalities such as fatigue or loss of appetite. Players can make Gabriel note ailments, which can be used to hone in on a diagnosis later. Pick something wrong and you lose a heart. Unlike Trauma Team’s surgery modes, diagnostic mode doesn’t have a falling health bar or time limit. Gabriel’s missions are about critical thinking, not how fast you can rub heal jelly on a liver.
All of the symptoms aren’t spelled out in text boxes. Gabriel (i.e. you) need a sharp eye to pick up other clues. Watch Gabriel’s patient carefully and you’ll notice his leg shakes a little bit. This twitch is actually another abnormality the player needs to pick up on. Later on, Gabriel pulls a Dr. House stunt and enrages his patient. Why? To make the patient open his eyes so Dr. Cunningham can check for jaundice, you know a yellowy tint indicating bilirubin build up and liver failure.
Trauma Team doesn’t shy away from medical jargon. Terms such as albumen, creatinine levels, and gamma-GTP are on fabricated vital charts created by the staff at Atlus in Japan for players to analyze. The level of detail is impressive, maybe a little overwhelming if it weren’t for a glossary with plain English descriptions.
Once you finally
coerce convince the patient to take a CAT scan players get to analyze it. The way you do it is neat and a bit like Photo Hunt. You have an abnormal scan from the patient and a normal one for comparison. Your job is to identify differences, in this case bloated regions, by pointing and selecting with the Wii remote. Echocardiogram and stethoscope analysis work similarly. By that I mean you compare Cunningham’s patient against healthy EKG charts and breathing patterns.
When you have a collection of abnormalities in your notes you can drag and drop them into a potential diagnosis. Let’s see… jaundice, loss of appetite… If all of the pieces fit you can make a diagnosis. You can’t make an incorrect diagnosis, though. Dr. Cunningham is too “cunning” to make a mistake.
Diagnosis is one of the six modes in Trauma Team. Surgery and first response are more action packed. Forensics with Trauma Center: Second Opinion star Naomi Kimishima is the other cerebral mode. Beat all of storylines to see yet to be revealed post-game surprises. Atlus also hints there is an incentive to go back and replay missions for a better grade, but didn’t discuss this feature either. We’ll find out what those are on May 18 when Trauma Team comes out.