Voice Module








In Memory
Sean Pettibone


Pursuit Force: Extreme Justice (PSP)

Taking players on another wild ride with the police, Pursuit Force 2: Extreme Justice for the PSP is an exciting and challenging action title that mixes arcade style racing and combat. Like the first game, Extreme Justice allows you to battle a series of gangs as they rampage through your city while jumping between cars and attacking them head-on. This time around, there are new vehicles such as helicopters and more elaborate on-foot missions to keep things fresh. Improved visuals and controls make this installment even better. While it's not the deepest game, Extreme Justice is an enjoyable title that delivers fast, frenetic gameplay.

Set against a dangerous backdrop where criminals are once again marauding throughout Capital City, the new installment in the popular Pursuit Force series finds our cops facing several new gangs and other ones who have re-emerged after being defeated in the last game. In addition, our cops are now faced with a rival group of elite forces named the Vipers who have been enlisted with a new mission of zero tolerance. Their brutal tactics have made the streets safer but they have also made the Pursuit Force feel a bit overshadowed, while also making the citizens feel less secure. The plot is somewhat cartoonish, like an action movie, but this isn't a bad thing, since it's this lack of seriousness that makes the series so much fun. Extreme Justice doesn't mess with a solid formula, but its additions make the game feel deeper and more engaging. The basic premise of the first game remains unchanged. Players chase the bad guys around the streets with their police vehicles and can jump between their cars when they come close, allowing them to combat the criminals at close range. After they have beaten the criminals, they can take over their car. The action takes place in a similar set of places, and players will have to complete a variety of missions before the timer runs out. There are many different types of missions, and they are generally divided into two parts with a checkpoint around half-way through. This time around, there are several new abilities and modes of play included that keeps things fresh. Players will find some new vehicles this time around, including helicopters, tanks and motorcycles. There are also several new playable characters that bring different abilities to the table. You'll also find several new weapons including flame throwers and machine guns. Pursuit Force's driving missions are also complimented with new on-foot missions, that allow you to take the action to the street. Unfolding from a third-person perspective, these are longer and play better than they did in the first game. The missions themselves are a bit longer this time but the game's fast pacing makes them go by quickly. There aren't many branching paths, but players can go back and replay levels in order to get a higher score, which adds to the replay value somewhat.

Pursuit Force's structure is simple to understand and most players should be able to progress through the game's level fairly quickly. Extreme Justice's gameplay is quite fast but most players should be able to jump right into the action thanks to the game's intuitive controls, where you press a single button to leap between vehicles and attack the criminals. You can use the shift button to target foes, which makes for some fairly easy kills. The racing sequences are fast and easy to play, but the game adds several new modes which are just as much fun. There are new air-borne helicopter missions where you have to target vehicles on the ground while avoiding their fire. This is fairly fun to play and maintains the game's fast pace. One of the better aspects of the game's design is the fact that individual missions can mix different types of actions, which helps to keep things interesting. As you complete each mission in the game's story mode, they'll unlock a new mode called Bounty. Here, you can replay the missions and you'll earn bonus stars that you can use between rounds to unlock additional items such as vehicles, weapons and other character upgrades. Once you have these, you can go back and repeat your missions to try for a higher score, they also help to make subsequent missions easier. Pursuit Force's single player mode is quite intense and enjoyable, but the developers have implemented some extensive online modes to add more depth to the experience. In this mode, up to four players can compete in a variety of missions which include a cops and robbers mode where one team tries to evade capture while the other tries to stop them before they reach the finish line. There's also a survivor mode where you and a friend play driver and gunner and need to beat the clock without being destroyed. Finally, the game allows you to play as either side in a rampage mode where you have to destroy or protect as many vehicles as possible. These modes are quite enjoyable and make Pursuit Force a solid online experience as well.

While the basic gameplay mechanics remain largely familiar, players will find a significantly better game in the production values department. There are long, elaborate cut-scenes that help to flesh out the plot, with better voice acting used to help make the game come to life. Pursuit Force: Extreme Justice also has superior in-game visuals with more richly detailed environments and character models used to create a more realistic look. The game's larger selection of vehicles is also better looking and showcases more detail as well. You can definitely see the changes that have been employed in the game's slicker and cooler HUD, which allows you to select and view missions on a computerized mainframe interface that gives the game a futuristic feel. While these changes are all for the better, there is still some room for improvement. The game's missions are relatively short and somewhat linear and despite some attempts to change things up, there is still a sense of monotony that seeps into the gameplay after awhile. This is definitely one of those games that's better in short bursts than in extended play. However, this doesn't mean that the game isn't fun while it lasts, and the arcade feel of the game makes it quite enjoyable for the most part, with an over-the-top storyline and characters to keep you going forward. The game is easy to play and understand and delivers an engaging mix of racing and action that's both challenging and entertaining. This isn't a game that tries to be more than it is, and while it's not overly elaborate, it delivers the goods by staying true to its mission. Pursuit Force: Extreme Justice offers a solidly entertaining arcade experience in a slick package of action and twitch excitement.

- Michael Palisano

Grade: B

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