February 23, 2001
When Resident Evil was released over 5 years ago now it was fresh. Few games had so much atmosphere and the third person perspective in a 3D world was quite nice to look at, albeit with pre-rendered backgrounds. A couple of years later Konami's Metal Gear Solid pushed the boundaries further by including backgrounds generated by the game engine. Since then developers have been cashing in on both of these magnificent games by cloning not only the graphics styles but quite often the gameplay as well. Extermination certainly looks like a Metal Gear Solid and Resident Evil rip off. Hell, even the official press release calls it the "first survival horror game for the Playstation 2". That doesn't mean it won't be any good though, does it?
The storyline in Extermination is pretty standard fare. The game is based in the remote reaches of Antarctica, Fort Steward is a secret US government facility specialising in alien research. Players take the role of Dennis Riley, a member of the Marine Special Forces elite RECON unit Red Light, on a mission to investigate a distress call emitting from the base. Replace alien with mutants or zombies and it's not too hard to think of a certain Capcom title. Still, at least the game should include plenty of scares.
Deep Space, the development team at SCEE, have designed an extremely intuitive control system to ensure lightening-fast reaction times during intense action sequences. Armed with a M4 assault rifle, the player faces a wide variety of enemies including grotesque mutated soldiers armed with deadly rifles and the ubiquitous risk of infection from alien viruses. During the game you will be able to select from three characters to use. Dennis Riley is a 24-year-old male and is a member of the Elite Special Forces RECON Unit. He fell in love with Cindy Chen, also 24 years old, but never revealed his love to her. One day when a Andrew, Cindy's boyfriend, was killed in action she blamed Dennis and they lost contact with each other for over a year. The third person is Roger Grigman a 26-year-old friend of Dennis and Andrew.
Graphically this game looks well below the standards promised by Sony prior to the systems release. Isn't it strange then that their own in-house development teams appear to be well below other development studios such as Konami's Metal Gear Solid: Sons Of Liberty, Volition's Red Faction and Square's Final Fantasy X? To say that the levels are bland is stating the obvious but hopefully the game will be polished with some nice texturing before it hits the shelves.
Extermination doesn't look great but it's the playability that will count for everything in this game. If it can even come close to the Metal Gear Solid or even X Squad games then it should be enough to tie us over until Konami's masterpiece arrives late this year.