|System: PSP, PS2||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: BigBig Studios||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: SCEA||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Jan.29, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-4 (online)||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Jonathan Marx
January 1, 2008 - Pursuit Force: Extreme Justice is an absolute riot! I had the pleasure of taking on the baddies of Capital City in a hands-on demo, and I am intrigued to see how the finished product turns out. The action in this title is non-stop, the premise and story are utterly ludicrous, and the callous dishing out of justice is so extreme you'll be giggling as you serve up lead rather than fooling around with Miranda Rights.
Pursuit Force is a high-speed romp that follows the exploits of an elite, futuristic, law enforcement agency. You'll chase all sorts of criminals through city streets in 5.0 cruisers, beefy SUVs, motorcycles, and helicopters to name just a few of the vehicles available in the demo version. Your goal, as the name implies, is to enforce extreme justice. You are to shoot first and ask questions later. This is a whole lot of fun. You'll jump from car to car with guns blazing, which provides for an almost cinematic gameplay experience. Taking out foes from inside your vehicle, on the hood of theirs or from a mounted canon within a police chopper is all easily executed and attests to the varied gameplay that is sure to please.
The feel of the title is about as arcade-like as it gets. This is accentuated not only by the total disregard for due process and formalities such as civil rights, but also by the ridiculous story. The absurd opening cutscene sets the tone and lets you know you're in for a lot of fun. I'll set the scene for you. You're at your wedding. Your lovely, yet mannish, wife is dressed in white while you and your cronies prefer to wear your tight, blue spandex police fatigues. Who can blame you? A tuxedo wouldn't show off your abs and pecks with such gusto. As it turns out, it's a good thing you came prepared because you're about to be run over by a crazed felon in a supped up fire engine with a WWI gas mask and a braided mullet. To top it all off, it seems as if your wife-to-be is also the dispatcher. Time to roll up on that maniac wedding-crasher and give him and his buddies a taste of your fiancée's wrath.
Only two levels came with the demo disk, but they were both loads of fun. Supposedly you can play with up to three other friends, but multiplayer online action was not supported by the demo disk. The two single-player levels provided were levels one and seventeen, but there should be more than 50 levels on the full version. Both levels were easy, but I didn't pass either on the first try. The ending sequences on both levels took me a couple of attempts. It looks as if every level will be marked by missions and objectives that flow from one to the next without a break in the action. These sequences then culminate in a unique boss battle. Levels are quick, varied, and fun. I can't wait to try them all!
The checkpoint system employed by the game divides up the levels quite well. If you do find the game to be a struggle, you'll be happy to know that checkpoints are abundant. Developers should take a cue from Pursuit Force. I never had to repeat anything I had already beaten, and that kept the levels interesting and fresh. Additionally, the load times, though initially lengthy, are kept to a minimum. Once you're actually inside the level, restarting after your death or from the beginning of the checkpoint through the start menu are instantaneous. I have to give the developers huge props on that convenience. It just makes the game so much more fun when you are actually playing it rather than waiting for it to load.
The controls are very smooth. Driving at high speeds is extremely easy. This allows you to concentrate on the beat down you need to give to the hordes of armed adversaries that are intent on the city's destruction. Hopping from car to car at triple digit speeds is as easy as pressing the circle button. When you need to riddle a thug with high caliber ammunition, merely hold down the R shoulder button; aiming is just not necessary at such close range. You can also dodge bullets quite easily. If you hold down the square button you'll be safe from enemy fire by hiding on the other side of the car or tank, etc. Then it's just a matter of popping up again and unloading while they change clips or magazines. Everything is very simple and intuitive, yet quite fun.
The graphics are a work-in-progress, but they look very good. The cutscenes are especially smooth. The only real problem I noticed was the active thumb for the PSP menu art. It was terribly pixelated and was obviously not complete. Other than that everything looks very good. I think this title will shape up to be quite detailed and visually engaging. As far as the sounds are concerned, they all seem to be on the right track. I especially liked the silly one-liners from both the commissioner and the level bosses. I only played two levels though and didn't repeat very many sections. I could see the commentary becoming annoying after a while. Nevertheless, I found the small taste I got to be quite enjoyable.
I don't expect this game to be a smash hit or even particularly critically acclaimed because it is a simple cops and robbers chase arcade. However, the game is a lot of mindless fun. I think anyone who likes to have a varied gaming library will want to pick up this title when it releases at the end of January. I know I'll be picking it up. After all, I'm hooked after breezing through just two levels.
CCC Freelance Writer