Pursuit Force: Extreme Justice PSP
Published by: Sony Computer Entertainment Europe
Developed by: BigBig Studios
Release Date: Out Now
Released late last year, Pursuit Force: Extreme Justice is a bargain priced over-the-top action game that doesn’t seem to have a single dull moment. Extreme Justice is the sequel to Pursuit Force but even if you haven’t played the original game, as we hadn’t, there’s nothing here that will make you feel like you’re missing out on something. There’s not much of a storyline, essentially your job is to bring four criminal gangs to justice, but the action is free-flowing from start to finish.
The game begins with two Pursuit Force members (specialised police unit) in the process of getting married. The ceremony is soon broken up, literally, when a crazed lunatic, named Billy Wilde, takes his truck right through the proceedings. Needless to say then, you’re soon in pursuit of the lunatic Wilde. Eventually you manage to stop Wilde only to have the Viper Squad (a newly formed Riot Control force) claim him and take the credit for capturing him, much to the disgust of the Pursuit Force. In addition to the game’s Story mode there is a Bounty mode (where you can replay Story mode missions and unlock items), a Challenge mode and a Multiplayer mode (which offers a handful of game types) that supports up to four players (ad hoc connection only).
For the most part, Extreme Justice is an arcade-style action game that mostly requires you to chase villains in a variety of vehicles. As well as chasing the bad guys you’ll have to fire at them too, whilst trying to avoid their weapon fire. Thankfully the aiming is automatic and the only requirement on your part is to stay within range of the enemy or enemies that you’re firing upon. Inevitably your vehicle will take too much damage. Thankfully you have the ability to jump to an enemy’s vehicle and seize control of it. During the more challenging battles the timing of your vehicle-hopping will be crucial. Another of the game’s unique concepts is Justice. By finishing enemies off you’ll earn Justice. When the Justice meter is filled you’ll be able to do various things from shooting more accurately to replenishing your character’s health.
Whilst Extreme Justice dishes out adrenaline pumping action from start to finish, there are a few problems that prevent it from being a truly memorable game. Perhaps the biggest problem is that the game gets repetitive very quickly. Yes the high-speed chases are enjoyable but there’s not a lot of difference between them. Some of the missions are on-foot and it has to be said that they are quite poor and nowhere near as enjoyable as the vehicle based missions. Frustration can creep in as some missions are much more difficult than the rest. Some of the missions have sections that are time-limited and the time you are given feels way too little.
There are an impressive amount of missions in the game but unfortunately the difficulty of them doesn’t progress at an even rate. This means that you’ll run into missions that will have you pulling your hair out after completing missions that weren’t particularly challenging. It would have been much better had the missions steadily increased in difficulty throughout the course of the game. Some might also point out that the vehicle based missions don’t allow you to deviate from the set route and claim that it’s a major problem. Personally this was something that didn’t bother me and for once it made a change not having the ability to get lost by taking the wrong route.
Quite a few PSP titles have a frame rate that is less than desirable. Thankfully this is not the case with Extreme Justice. The general performance of the game throughout is impressive and even when the action really heats up; the frame rate never seems to waver. The game’s load times are also quite good too and help to keep the action flowing.
Extreme Justice is subtitled and can be considered to offer deaf gamers a good experience. The cutscenes are subtitled using white text. There are no character names or portraits placed alongside the cutscene subtitles and it’s not always clear who is saying what. Thankfully communications you’ll receive during a mission and the dialogue you’ll have in the Incident Room conversations (that occur between the missions) do have character portraits placed alongside the text so you’ll know who is saying what. The game makes good use of icons to convey information. The game’s tutorial messages are all in text and whenever a message is given, the action is paused so that you can read the text without danger of fluffing the mission. All objectives are shown in text and they can be recalled. The briefings you receive before each mission are also in text. Whenever a mission, or part of a mission, is time limited you’ll see the countdown timer displayed on the upper right of the screen.
Pursuit Force: Extreme Justice is definitely one of the better action games on the PSP. Priced at just £19.99 (and lower if you look around on the Internet) the game represents good value for money. In some ways the game could have been better. The on-foot missions should not have been included as they lower the overall quality of the game. It’s also slightly irritating that the difficulty of the missions doesn’t increase at a gradual pace. It’s not the best idea to have missions that suddenly ramp up the frustration levels. On the whole though, Pursuit Force: Extreme Justice is enjoyable and mostly delivers exactly what you’d want from an action game on the PSP.