Extermination
Game Info
Platform(s)
Playstation 2
Publisher
SCEA
Developer
Deep Space
Genre
Action/Survival Horror
ESRB Rating
Blood, Violence
Grade
The Good

• Good use of analog control
• Decent voice acting
• Intelligent gameplay for an action game
• Fairly good story

The Bad

• Touchy camera
• Weak puzzle elements
• Music gets old after a while
• Horrible lip-synch

 
Grade
B

Extermination, showing huge influences story-wise from Aliens and The Thing, tells the story U.S. Special Forces Marines RECON member Dennis Riley, whose team is called in to investigate the strange events at a secret military base in the Antarctic. When they arrive, they soon discover that the base is overrun with genetic parasites and things that are even worse. While this survival horror/action game initially comes across as a amalgam of Resident Evil, Metal Gear Solid and Tomb Raider, it does manage to do a number of things well on it's own.

Gameplay
Extermination has finally addressed one of this reviewer's biggest problems with the Survival Horror genre - Analog control. Unlike Onimusha and Alone in the Dark, Extermination utilizes the analog controls to move the character as fast or slow as you want. There's no holding down of a button to make Dennis run. While analog control is not new, it's much more refined here, unlike the extremely touchy controls of Resident Evil 3. Also, for the first time, use of the knife is actually integral to gameplay. In the RE series, it was a joke weapon that only hard-core gamers used, but in Extermination, you can use it to break locks, cut wires to gun-cameras and disable tripwires. Also present is two types of shooting - auto-aim and sniper mode. Holding the R1 button and moving the sight near an enemy allows a fairly decent lock-on. Some skill is required with this as the character doesn't automatically spin around to lock on the nearest enemy. Hitting R2 puts you in sniper mode, where you can pick off enemies from afar. This is especially useful later on when you get new scopes to attach to your weapon.

Unlike other action games, you only have one all-purpose weapon, which can have numerous attachments. One button will fire the main rifle, while another fires or activates the secondary attachment, which can range from a light to a shotgun to a grenade launcher. Ammo is based on finding magazines so that the player can fill them with ammo at certain ammo reloading panels. These feature might make the location an rationing of ammo feel cheapened if it wasn't for the constant respawning on enemies.

One of the nice things about Extermination is that you can't just run from room to room, blasting your way along. You could, if you wanted to see the Game Over screen. Entering a room means looking for enemies, sniping those you can and finishing of the rest in similar manner. If you don't you'll immediately be swarmed, infected and find yourself dying in a fairly quick manner.

Sound
The sound is a mixed bag. The effects are nice and listening in for the sounds of nearby enemies is often helpful. The voice-acting is actually fairly good, although the lip-synch is so bad you feel like Godzilla might be the final boss. The music really brings across a strong feeling of panic and impending doom, but the biggest problem is that sometimes, it just doesn't give it a break. There were times where the music just got on my nerves and I wished I could turn the music volume down while leaving the sound effects on. I don't need to feel impending doom when I'm hunted a cleared room for items hidden in the crates.

Graphics
Graphically, Extermination is solid. The characters are well detailed and the rooms often have multiple levels and items to interact with. The greyishness of the buildings might feel a little repetitive after a while and some of the minor things, like fire effects, don't seem as fleshed out, but either than a few nit-picky things here and there, Extermination is solid.

The Bad
Well, it wouldn't be fair to say that there are things that are bad with Extermination. Just a lot of little things that didn't work right. First of all, the camera can be unfair. Many times, you'll have to go into sniper mode to see what's in front of you when you reach a corner or are facing a wall. In certain incidents, this can lead to a quick demise. Also, there doesn't seem to be much in the way of puzzles, or the ones that are there are just "find the switch and turn it on".

Extermination is a solid, well-done game with a number of small issues. You'll most likely enjoy playing through this the first time and even the second time through. After a while, it might grow a little tedious, unless you enjoy going from room to room, sniping your enemies. Also, the story is pretty good on its own. Any action/survival horror fan will enjoy this.

- - Kinderfeld

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