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     " For an early PS2 game the graphics are good. The only problem is that this is not an early PS2 game. "

      Title: Extermination by Sony

      Format: Horror for PS2

      Reviewing Monkey: Simi N.

      The Hype: Alien invaders have commandeered an arctic research station and you, as the mysteriously lone special forces soldier, must kicks some ass to save the world. A third person shooter best described as "Metal Gear Solid" meets "Resident Evil", Extermination attempts to combine advancing weapons and suspense into a tight little action horror package.

      What This Monkey Thought...

      Graphics: For an early PS2 game the graphics are good. The only problem is that this is not an early PS2 game. The failings in the graphics of this game are varied, and widespread. The first thing that people will notice is the relatively low polygon count of the main characters in the game. Shoulders arenít round, and often times there is horrible overlap. And though the animations of the main character are good (very smooth and realistic) some of the other characters move in a very stiff and incredibly unnatural style. And the biggest pet peeve for me is that if you break open a crate in an area, leave and come back, when the area is loaded the crates all reappear. This takes away a great deal from the realism of the game. 2.5 out of 5.

      Sound: I must admit I like those games that are very quiet for the most part until something big is about to happen. Where youíll be running down the hall, and suddenly the music will start to pick up and youíll know that youíre in for a big fight. And this game does that really well. Music is only used to help establish the feel of a situation, rather than just blaring the whole time so you wonít get bored. The sound effects in the game are also very good. The mushy sound of walking on dead mutated flesh, and the yelping of the mutants when you blast their asses back to hell are awesome. But the voice acting is horrible. 4 out of 5.

      Game Play: Usually I donít really enjoy horror games. The biggest reason is that I canít stand having preset camera angles. This game has very nice approach. You are allowed to position the camera right behind the character whenever you want to. But when you do this, the camera stays there until you move it, or the environment forces it to be moved. The controls are very good as well. Your character is very responsive to your commands, and there are plenty of ways to move about a level. It is wise to look around your environment to scout the best possible route. More importantly, in this game you can actually target enemies with ease. This is due to a quasi auto aim system. The way this works is that when you aim your gun, anything in a radius in that particular direction will get be targeted. You can break the target off if you want to, or you can use the scope to get a better shot. I would suggest getting a better shot since the key to this game seems to be conservation. I strongly suggest that you conserve, not only your ammunition, but your healing items as well. If you donít you will find yourself in trouble come the final boss. * Hint: feel free to use the vaccines, but donít ever use your boosters if you can avoid it (I had nine vaccines left after the final battle). 4.5 out of 5.

      Level and Environment Designs: I must say I was surprised at the diversity of environments in this game. Considering the fact that the entire game is spent around or in a military compound, the programmers were able to put in a good deal of very different environments. The only problem is that the different areas of the game often get "re-infested" at certain points in the story, but they get infested with the same creatures in the same spots. Thus itís just annoying to have to go through duplicating your original approach. If they switched around the enemies, it would require new tactics for an old area, making it much more involving. 3.5 out of 5.

      Multiplayer: No such thing 0 of 0.

      Replayability: One thing big things about this game is that there are many items that you pick up and keep track of that donít ever seem to do anything. Well what they do is allow you to play the game in a different mode after youíve beaten it. In this new mode the enemies are harder. There may be other changes as well, but none that I have found documented. This adds a bit to the replayability of the game, but there are too many things that take away from it. One of those being the story (you only need to experience it once, believe me), and another is the amount of repetition that is already present in the game. You will be frustrated when you play through the first time when you find out that an area you just cleared of mutants is fully infested again. But the worst part is that it has the exact same enemies before in the exact same areas. If youíre going to make us kill tons of mutants, you should at least put in some more variety to make it enjoyable. 1.5 out of 5.

      Story/Dramatics: To put is bluntly this story is hackneyed. It seems like stories of mutating alien viruses that threaten to take over the world are all that we can expect these days. So thereís this alien threat, and you and your marine squad are sent to wipe it out in the deadly cold region of Antarctica (anybody ever see that movie The Thing). Of course this story does have a different spin; this time itís not a virus, itís a bacteria. Nice try guys. The story is unbelievably predictable, except for the one time when you expect them to throw in a twist and they donít (which rather than seeming fresh, seems like the writer simply decided to hurry the story along). And of course, like usual, crappiness of the script in this game is only outdone by the voice acting (the main character may as well have been played by Keanu Reeves). Here is my advice to the video game industry on this subject. When translating these games just give us subtitles, and leave the Japanese spoken language in there. This isnít because the Japanese voice acting is necessarily better, but the average gamer doesnít know the language so we canít tell if itís bad acting. And if you donít like the idea of not having the characters speak English, at least give us a choice. 2 out of 5.

      Instructions and Learning Curve: This game has very intuitive control. It wonít take you long at all to become a pro. The instruction booklet tells you exactly how to manipulate your character in an easy to handle format, and the game itself is very good at easing you into it without being condescending. 4.5 out of 5.

      Installation and Real System Requirements: This game is not at all a push for the PS2. The graphics are mostly sub-par. There isnít any kind of incredible destructive texturing that happens. Basically it kind of looks like the caliber of game that we could have seen at the PS2 launch. But luckily the game loads pretty damn fast. When you enter a new area, it only takes about 15 to 20 seconds, maximum, for it to load up. And the game utilized the Analog controls on the Dualshock pad, but not he analog buttons of the Dualshock 2. 3 out of 5.

      The Verdict:


       This game is, in a simple word, good. Donít expect it to blow your mind, but you will definitely have fun playing it. It is easy to pick up and engaging at least long enough for you to beat it.

      The Good: Good easy to learn control, a bunch of enemies to kill, fast load times, and great atmosphere.

      The Bad: Recycled story, bad script, horrible voice acting, and the graphics are just not up to date.

      The Overall Ugly: If you want something with an original story, stay the hell away from this one. But if you just want something fun to play for a while, give it a shot.

      What it's Worth: $35.00 easy.

Buy it direct from Amazon.com

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