Extraction Point falls well short of the hype.
Please note: This game is an expansion pack and requires the original F.E.A.R. game.
When Franklin Delano Roosevelt uttered the words “We have nothing to fear but fear itself,” he was trying to address the economic hardships that the U.S. endured. These words have stood the test of time to and are relevant to many different aspects of life, including those little boogy-monsters in the closet. The people over at Vivendi Games, however, are ensuring that not only will those things that bump in the night scare you in F.E.A.R.: Extraction Point, but they will kill you too. Once you get past the creepies and the crawlies, you will realize that things feel just a little flat.
Extraction Point continues the carnage of the original F.E.A.R., one of 2005’s most decorated and heralded FPSs. You and your team board a helicopter and a huge explosion’s concussion sends you screaming towards the ground. The objective in XP is no longer to hunt a target, but instead escape the Replica forces that have occupied this small town in which you find yourself.
Especially early in the game, XP follows many of the FPS conventions that define the genre. One early objective is to find a subway with an ally, but the game constantly forces you to rendezvous with him by throwing obstacles in the way. Another cliché is the “support your ally by sniping from afar” section that is also rather early on. It’s a stale formula to be sure, but its executed here well enough to forgive, especially when you consider just how deadly the enemy AI can get at times. Players will have to be on their toes and on alert at all times when running down corridors or through warehouses because slipping up can get you killed really quickly. Just as before, enemies will flank you from the sides, pin you down with covering fire, and use grenades to flush you out from cover. Extraction Point is no less dangerous than the original, guaranteeing that the Slo-Mo power gets plenty of work throughout.
More disappointing than the stale gameplay structure is the predictability of the scares XP throws at you. If you are walking through a room, and you haven’t seen a Replica soldier for a while, you know that you are in for a scare. Before, the anticipation of the scare was part of the fright, but more often than not you will see familiar sights; there is only so many times that one can be scared of a creepy little girl in a red dress. With as much free-reign as a game like this allows for paranormal monsters, Monolith missed the mark.
There are, on the other hand, now paranormal enemies to go along with the different Replica soldiers and armored walkers. When you encounter these shrouded adversaries about halfway through the game, you’ll end up unloading an entire clip into nothing and taking tons of damage. These enemies are fast, hard to see, and really do a number on your psyche. Besides these ghouls, there is really nothing else new. There are even bigger robots and armored suit Replicas with rocket launchers, but they don’t present anything new in terms of challenge.
Player’s armaments get a boost from a few additions in XP, but they are also slightly disappointing. The dual-handguns are cool to bust out and go to town with, but you have to unload entire clips to take down enemies and they are ultimately useless. The laser-gun and mini-gun are much more effective tools for carnage, but their appearances are too few and far between. Sticking with the weapons you are accustomed to will serve you just well through the tiny five-to-seven hour campaign.
F.E.A.R.: Extraction Point had a lofty goal to reach in expanding on an instant classic, but it falls just short of the mark. We know its going to be gorgeous, and it is, but we expected to see something more than five hours of straightforward FPS gameplay, especially when the scares aren’t quite as good as we remember in the original. 30 bucks for XP doesn’t seem worth it when what you get feels more like a tack-on instead of a full-blown expansion.
Overall Rating – Good
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.
|Rating out of 5
As fantastic looking as the original, Extraction Point will wow you with every firefight..
Just as effective and precise as before.
| Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Creepy music and voices combined with loud machine guns and explosions make for a solid audio package.
| Play Value
A game as stellar as F.E.A.R. really should have gotten more in its expansion. Five-to-seven hours and a couple new guns isn’t worth 30 bucks.