Review: Pursuit Force: Extreme Justice

PursForce EJ-pkg front.jpg Pursuit Force: Extreme Justice is all about more. More modes, more vehicles, more weapons, more variety, more control, more detail, more story. Just plain more of EVERYTHING! Put bluntly, all of the added content and enhancements put the original to shame. Seriously, I went back and played through it again in preparation for this review and was shocked at how lousy it plays in comparison.

Fundamentally, Extreme Justice (EJ) sticks to the same mold as its predecessor. You take on the role of the Pursuit Force, an elite team of super agents devoted to protecting Capital City from the criminal exploits of five ruthless gangs. Performing that duty generally sees you at the helm of various land, water and air-based vehicles – of which there are now 12 different types, like jet skis, hovercrafts, helicopters, cars, buses, motorcycles and so on — chasing down bad guys at high speed, jumping from vehicle to vehicle to shoot ‘em up and take ‘em down.

As you’d expect from a good sequel, numerous gameplay tweaks, subtle as they may be, have been implemented to amp the intensity up to a whole new level. For one, the extreme difficulty of the original is more well-rounded, meaning it’s balanced perfectly to be difficult without crossing the line into PSP-smashing frustration like the first game had a tendency to do. After playing through the original and then jumping into EJ, I was also pleasantly surprised by how much tighter the controls and physics are. Barreling down the highway (or river) at breakneck speeds has a smooth, effortless feel to it now.

PursuitFoce ExtemeJustice_01 (8).jpg

The single greatest improvement EJ brings to the table, though, is its deeper sense of variety. In the first game, every mission eventually started to seem like the same thing over and over again, but that is no longer the case here. Mission types are so much more diverse than they were before, so every case you go on is fresh and exciting. Sure, there are the standard seek-and-destroy, point-to-point racing, escort, on-foot and on-rails helicopter shooting missions from the original, but now there’s even more, such as vehicular interrogations where you have a gang member strapped to the hood of your car and you have to ram things and drive into traffic in order to scare info out of him and first-person sniping missions in which you provide cover fire from afar for other agents on the ground. Bosses are far more extravagant too, now encompassing entire vehicles that you have to mount and ascend.

These are all fantastic upgrades, but guess what? I really haven’t even begun to scratch the surface of just how much better a game EJ is over its predecessor. The detail in the graphics is noticeably higher, the frame rate is even faster (though occasional slow down and a few bugs do muck the presentation up a bit), the soundtrack hits all the proper notes of a big-budget Hollywood action movie, controls for the on-foot, third-person missions have been refined and expanded, there’s a more hands-on ability upgrade system, you can now cycle through weapons on the fly during gameplay, and God of War-style button-press mini-games have even been sprinkled in. Oh yeah, and a brand spankin’ new Ad Hoc multiplayer mode has been tossed in for good measure. It definitely comes across as a toss-in mode though, as it’s hardly something you’ll go back to after a couple sessions, especially since game sharing isn’t supported.

PursuitFoce ExtemeJustice_01 (3).jpg

As much of an improvement and as good fun as it is, however, Pursuit Force: Extreme Justice is just like a typical blockbuster summer action flick. You go see it, enjoy the flashy effects and crazy action for a couple hours, then leave the theater entertained but not really prone to go back and watch the film again. Same thing with Extreme Justice. You play through the campaign, take in the impressive presentation and savor the vehicle-hopping, car-chasing, gang-busting gameplay with an ear-to-ear grin on your face for the few hours that it lasts. But then once it’s over, it’s over, and you won’t probably won’t look at it again.

TryIt.jpg

Pros:
+ More mission variety than the original
+ Epic boss battles
+ Tighter controls and balanced difficulty improve gameplay substantially
+ Impressive visuals and great music

Cons:
– Lacks staying power
– Occasional frame rate drops
– New multiplayer mode feels kinda tacked on

Game Info:
Platform: PSP
Publisher: SCEA
Developer: Bigbig Studios
Release Date: 1/29/08
Genre: Action
Players: 1-4

About the Author

Matt Litten is the full-time editor and owner of VGBlogger.com. He is responsible for maintaining the day to day operation of the site, editing all staff content before it is published, and contributing regular news, reviews, previews and other articles. Matt landed his first gig in the video game review business writing for the now-defunct website BonusStage.com. After the sad and untimely close of BonusStage, the former staff went on to found VGBlogger.com. After a short stint as US Site Manager for AceGamez, Matt assumed full ownership over VGBlogger, and to this day he is dedicated to making it one of the top video game blogs in all the blogosphere. Matt is a fair-minded reviewer and lover of games of all platforms and types, big or small, hyped or niche, big-budget or indie. But that doesn't mean he will let poor games slide without a good thrashing when necessary!