YOU HAVE TO laugh when the expansion pack of the game we criticised for having repetitive environments finally lets you leave the subway level you've been running around in for an hour, only to have it explode and launch you onto the roof of a parking garage.
Come on, a parking garage? Why not get blown off a bridge and land in a zoo? Or an arboretum? Extraction Point takes F.E.A.R. nowhere other than down the same corridors you've no doubt tired of.
In fact, for almost the entire first half of this expansion pack, I found myself playing monotonous filler levels. Odd new additions such as Max Payne-style gas canisters were annoying, unpredictable things. Fights were badly paced and tedious, and characters were characterless.
In fact, Extraction Point does nothing to progress F.E.A.R.'s story at all, besides arbitrarily reintroducing dead characters
and killing off others (and yes, that fat Cheesy Poofs-loving bastard makes a short and bafflingly pointless appearance). Even the game's trademark terror comes on far too strong to begin with, rendering the player tickled rather than terrified. It's a mixture of us becoming desensitized to little girls walking in puddles of blood, and new developer TimeGate's inability to nail the timing required to make us piss ourselves.
PUT THE FETTEL ON
It's not all mediocrity and gloom though, as later levels are a true return to form for the F.E.A.R. name. It does nothing particularly original, but the new mini-gun serves up insane amounts of hilarious carnage, and the red laser beam gun (excuse my ignorance) offers some fun moments as it sears through wall and flesh alike. There's a solid few hours of gaming excellence in here, surrounded by hours of disappointing F.E.A.R.-lite action.
Although this isn't really F.E.A.R. is it? This is the husk that was left on publishers VU Games' doorstep after the original developers Monolith left. While Extraction Point certainly does pick up towards the end, providing some absolutely sublime moments of action, ultimately it feels far too much like the worst bits of F.E.A.R. all over again, masquerading as something we love. Like lifting up your new wife's veil on your wedding night only to find out it's actually Murdock from the A-Team.
- New weapons are ace
- It's still F.E.A.R.
- Almost zero significant plot
- Starts off really slow
- Not much original content
- Uninspired level design