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Extermination

Developer: Deep Space | Publisher: SCEA
Players: 1 Player Game | Release Date: 07/23/01 | Genre: Action

To call Extermination a survival horror game is a little bit of a misnomer. Yes, you are placed in a "scary" situation, danger lurks around every corner, and if you are not careful, you could die very easily. The problem comes in that you don't get scared very often. Oh sure, there are the occasional spine tingles, but no good "jump out of your seat" scares. This isn't really a problem unless that is what you are looking for.

You play as Dennis, part of a U.S. Marine Recon unit sent to Antarctica to investigate "something" at a research facility. Of course the plot gets complicated with the added back story of a friend that died a year ago and the girl he left behind who went away to forget everything. Does it work out? On a storytelling level, no. You never leally get enough story mixed in with the action to really care. It doesn't help that the voice acting isn't stellar either. Sure you can understand what they are saying, buy it really is how the characters speak that gets annoying. Thankfully, there isn't a lot.

Once in the research facility, all hell has broken loose. Monsters of few varieties are crawling all over the place. Wait, isn't it supposed to be "� of all varieties?" Well, yes, but in this game, there is not a great variety of monsters. However, the one creature to watch out for is in every room and will take your life quicker than you can say - oh, wait, you're already dead. Damn mutant leeches.

Helping you to rid the facility of the infestation is your trusty weapon (of choice) that is easily changed on the fly. Of course spread throughout the game are various power-ups, like extra magazines, the flamethrower attachment, grenade launcher, and standard military issue weapons. By pausing the game, you are able to change weaponry attachments to your primary rifle and take out the higher leveled monsters without fumbling around for the right button. Of course, since there isn't a lot of variety in the gameplay, you may find yourself changing weapons attachments more than necessary.

Attacks consist of two knife attacks (one soft and pansy, one hard and manly) and the rifle (with attachments. Just walking around and pressing the O or [] buttons give you your knife attacks, but pressing R1 brings your rifle to your shoulder, which utilizes the O (primary attack - bullets) and [] (secondary attachment, flamethrower for example) buttons. You are unable to shoot and run in this game, which can be a real pain in the neck sometimes, and has contributed to my demise on several occasions. Of course, it's not like I was able to completely control where Dennis was running all the time anyway. Yes, there are some "control issues" but for the most part, handles ok. Perhaps the camera is to blame for some of those "control issue" deaths, since I couldn't put the camera where I wanted to see where I was jumping. Oh well.

At least there is unlimited ammunition. What was that? Unlimited ammo? Yes, there are ammunition dispensers peppered throughout the landscape. Kind of a neat idea. You can have as much ammo as your weapon will allow, but you have to survive to the next one.

The research facility isn't that big, but this is alleviated by only being able to access certain areas at any given time. Eventually, the whole place opens up (naturally) but you won't care by the time that happens. Most of your team is dead (didn't see that coming did ya?) and the place is now swarming with icky monsters and goo.

The sound effects are really good, and the music also helps with the creepy feel, actually scaring me more than some of the sudden monster attacks. It is too bad that any effect the music gave was counteracted by the load time when switching rooms.

Visually, the game is not what you would call a PS2 showcase, but the graphics don't suck either. I had hoped for something a little bit more from Sony, since the PS2 has been out for a year and developers are getting a handle on what the console can do. There are some nice water effects though.

Probably Extermination's standout feature is the "infection" meter. Not merely a second health bar, it is the basis for the story in Extermination. All of the creatures are carrying this virus, and if they get a hold of you, guess what? You're infected. Even if your health meter is at 100, you can still die if your infection goes untreated. Thankfully, there are several treatment beds around the facility, but you need vaccine to operate the bed. The vaccine is harder to come by than ammo, so use sparingly.

Puzzles are few and far between, seeing as this is more of an action/survival game. Those that do exist are easily cleared up either through the game's linear play, or solved quickly. The game isn't hard on the brain.

All in all Extermination is a pretty fun (if short) game. If you go into it with the expectation of a Resident Evil, you will be disappointed. If you are able to take the game on its own merits, then you should enjoy it for what it is. Should you buy or rent it? I would suggest renting is since it is short, and there is no real replay value. No secrets opened for finishing the game, but you do get to start over with a butt-load of equipment that you would otherwise have to search for.

By Daniel "Monk" Pel... - 08/15/01
ESRB Details: Blood, Violence
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Screenshots for Extermination

Gallop Racer 2001

Bloody Roar 3