Extermination puts you in the shoes of Dennis Riley, a member of the U.S. Special Forces Marines RECON team Red Light. You were sent to investigate the sudden lost of contact with a top secret research facility in the Antartica. It seems that the scientists there were doing some freaky stuff with DNA, and things go wrong, as they always do in movies and games. Mutants and other unnatural abominations start to appear and has taken over the base. When you arrive there, your team was annihilated, and you have to survive and escape. As you can see, the story’s not half bad. Unoriginal maybe, but certainly an entertaining start to the game.
First the controls. Although it looks like a Resident Evil clone, Extermination plays more like Oni. You use the left analogue stick to control player’s movement, while adjusting the camera angle via the right stick. I can’t see any advantage with this approach because it makes movement a little hard. I honestly think developers Deepspace should have sticked with the traditional RE controls, or employ a faster directional control like in the Tomb Raider series. But if you’ve played Oni, you’ll have no problems with the game.
In Extermination, the subject matter is virus, as opposed to zombies (Resident Evil) or dinosaurs (Dino Crisis). This is what sets it apart from the competition. For one, Deepspace has replaced the health meter with an infection meter, which is triggered when you come into contact/infected with the virus. This meter will rise, adding a sense of urgency for you to get to a medical facility and use the vaccine to neutralise it. The music changes to a faster beat as the meter raises, thus pressuring you to move faster to save your life.
Although the game is more action oriented, there’s still lots of back tracking involved. This is due to the fact that your main weapon has unlimited ammo, but have to be reloaded and reloading stations littered throughout the base. This results in a vicious cycle; kill enemies, head back to reload station to reload, and kill more enemies.
One gripe that I have with Extermination is the voiceovers. The voice acting is pretty decent by comparison, but the lip-sync is simply dreadful. But on the plus side, the ambient background sounds is excellent. The beat changes with the situation, and you guess which enemy is approacing from the sound that they make.
Tapping into the PlayStation 2’s powerful engine, Deepspace manage to get some nice results. The background, characters and enemies are in full 3D polygons. The attention to detail is commendable, but can hardly be described as revolutionary. Problems start to appear when enemies move closer to you - their textures begin to break up and looks very poor.
Another problem is that the background are a bit dark and lack distinguising features. As the gameplay occurs mainly indoors, this makes progression a little hard as most of the doors or hallways look the same. Maybe something should be done about this.
For an above average game, Extermination is fairly short. There’s no minigames, multiple ending or additional characters/ weapons to get you to play it the second time. You’ll have a blast playing it for the first time, but chances are you won’t see this game again.
Overall, Extermination shows a lot of promise, but is hampered by poor execution. A rent title at best.
Former owner and editor in chief of Darkstation.com