| The Good
Good use of analog control
Decent voice acting
Intelligent gameplay for an action game
Fairly good story
| The Bad
Weak puzzle elements
Music gets old after a while
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.