June 19, 2001
Extermination - Review
Release Date Publisher Developer Players Rating Price
8/6/2001SonyDeep Space1M15+$99.95
Online Gameplay Difficulty Save Size Vibration 60Hz 50Hz Border
NoMedium90 KBYesNo None

Click To Enlarge Image
The flames are quite impressive.
Almost everyone who has owned a PSOne has played one of Capcom's excellent Resident Evil titles or Konami's Metal Gear Solid. If that includes you, which should be a pretty much everyone, you will know what to expect from this title. Sony have even described this game as the "first survival horror game for the Playstation 2". If that's doesn't indicate a lot of influence from Capcom's Resident Evil series then nothing will. While other companies have tried to re-create the atmosphere of Resident Evil few have truly succeeded. Deep Space and Sony Europe are desperately hoping that Extermination can fill a large void on PS2 before Resident Evil 4 appears later this year. Have they succeeded? For the most part, yes.

Click To Enlarge Image
Just hanging around, may be deadly.
The storyline in Extermination is pretty standard fare. The game is based in the remote reaches of Antarctica after your plane loses an engine and is forced to land. 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. Naturally, everything is not as it seems and after loosing your buddy in the first couple of minutes it's all up to you to discover the horrific secrets of the base.

Gameplay is a cross between Resident Evil and Metal Gear Solid and should be very familiar to those who have played either game. While the majority of Extermination takes place in the third person perspective, it is possible to switch to a first person viewpoint when targeting or looking around. It works quite well but unfortunately it isn't possible to shoot while running or strafing. One neat touch is the addition of a flashlight for use in the darkened corridors. While the beam shines brightly on one spot it also emits a low illumination of the entire room. This definitely adds some atmosphere and a sense of claustrophobia to the game. Yet another neat addition to the game is the ability to jump gaps using the generic action button. Unfortunately you will end up trying to jump gaps that are just too wide and there is no warning of the imminent danger. The camera angles in this game are fairly good with few cases of not being able to see what is ahead.

Click To Enlarge Image
There are a lot of purple aliens.

There are some problems with the game however. The biggest is that you've probably seen it all before. The game is littered with worm-like creatures, zombies, switch type puzzles, and an infestation styled atmosphere. Everything is all so familiar to gamers with few real shocks during the game.

One thing that did surprise me was the quality of the graphics in Extermination. From the pre-release screenshots and movies released the game looks somewhat under whelming however it all ties in quite nicely while playing. The levels are detailed; the special effects such as fire and snow are impressive. Perhaps the biggest problem is the enemies themselves. Who would expect to see a purple alien species more predominantly then a brown or grey one? While it's not a major problem as such, darker enemies could hide better in the corridors. The cinematic cut scenes are of tremendous quality, although there is a little jerkiness at times.

Click To Enlarge Image
The standard in-game viewpoint.
Sound in a game such as this is crucial to building up the atmosphere and tension while playing. There is nothing like creeping down a dark corridor knowing there is something waiting to jump out from somewhere with the haunting sounds of your footsteps and some spine chilling music. One of the things that did surprise me about this game was the voice acting. Some other reviewers have stated that it is appallingly bad. I beg to differ. To me the speech has a natural and unplanned feel to it. Sure, much of it is not relevant to the games story, but it gives the characters more realism.

Ever since Resident Evil on the PSOne five years ago now developers have been trying to cash in on the "survival horror" craze. Some attempts have fallen way short of the mark but this game is pretty good overall. This game has also added a couple of neat touches such as the flashlight, jumping and infrared targeting. It's a shame the game couldn't have been polished off a little more but fans of the genre are likely to enjoy this title. Extermination is a decent action game that Playstation 2 owners should consider.

Graphics Sound Gameplay Value Overall

85%

88%

81%

80%

83%

Talk about Extermination in the forums now.