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ups: Same tasty gunplay, graphics and sound
downs: Little to no story or coherent plot

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F.E.A.R. Extraction Point Review
game: F.E.A.R. Extraction Point
four star
posted by: Sean Hilliard
publisher: Vivendi Games
developer: TimeGate Studios
date posted: 06:01 PM Wed Nov 22nd, 2006
last revision: 04:55 PM Wed Nov 22nd, 2006

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Click to read.You\'ve gotta love a game that encourages you to run up on any enemy with guns blazing in slow motion, all the while cackling like a madman.

In that way, the expansion pack for Monolith\'s FPS masterpiece F.E.A.R. gets it right.

In another key way, and here I\'m referring to story and plot, it doesn\'t. Timegate, the developers for F.E.A.R. Extraction Point, actually got it W.R.O.N.G. There basically isn\'t any story or plot. Your nameless character is left to attempt an escape from the clone-trooper-ridden city of Auburn with the two characters from the original game, the demolitions expert Holladay and the medical expert Jin.

I know what F.E.A.R. veterans are thinking: Wait a sec, how can the city be clone-ridden if the dude controlling them was taken out by the player\'s character in the original game? That\'s because for some bizarro-world reason, Paxton Fettel is back. Why? To cash in on the success of the original, of course. Seriously, though, even he knows it doesn\'t make sense. Wait until the first time you see him. He tells you himself.

And, now I know what F.E.A.R. rookies are thinking: Wait a sec, you just blew the plot of the original game! Well, not completely. I\'ll leave the rest of the surprises out of this review, even though I know them all. Trust me, there aren\'t that many.

It\'s sad really, because any third grade English class could put their heads together and come up with a better plot than this stinker. Seriously, the ending is totally unsatisfying, and you will be angry after the game is over.

And not just because the game has no story, but because it\'s short. There\'s a half-dozen intervals in Extraction Point, compared to the 11 in F.E.A.R., and one of the intervals is basically a cop-out to extend the game. You\'ll know it when you see it.

But on the other hand, you\'ll enjoy just about everything else this game has to offer, including its price. The control scheme is the same. Your character can still only carry three weapons at once, although somehow he\'s managed to cram an additional type of grenade into his pocket. And by this I\'m referring to the stationary turret gun, which somehow compresses into the size of a dinner plate before it\'s placed. It\'s pretty entertaining to use, but really doesn\'t add much in the way of help with Extraction Point\'s fierce firefights beyond a temporary distraction when you\'re swarmed by enemies.

The two new weapons, on the other hand, are completely sweet. The laser carbine is extremely fun to use even though it can take awhile to kill an enemy. But the minigun is pure FPS bliss. Nothing\'s more fun than walking into a room with one and just laying down pure destruction.

I\'ve heard a number of reviewers say that these new weapons are not used enough, but I never found myself forced to rely on the lame assault rifle in Extraction Point. The laser carbine and the minigun may not be as plentiful as the shotgun, but cool weapons are often just a firefight away from falling into your lap.

And you\'ll need them because the new enemy types are unrelenting. Every enemy, with the exception of the frustrating flying robots, are back in Extraction Point along with several new ones. There\'s the all-but-invisible red-eyed ghost, the super heavy and the super heavy mech.

The latter enemy looks like a rocket-spewing tyrannosaurus and will take every grenade and bullet you\'ve got to take down. Fortunately or unfortunately for the masochistic among us, the super heavy mech is only found in one area of the game, and you can even walk right past one of them without fighting it if you want to. The super heavy, and if you\'ve played the original F.E.A.R. you\'re familiar with the regular heavy, is just a minigun-and-shield wielding clone troop that has better armor and is bigger.

Still, seeing any of these new enemies come at you is pretty freaking scary.

The graphics are still phenomenal and still run well, even on less advanced systems. Slow-mo looks just the same as it did before, and is still as fun to see and use.

The sound is great, as well. The voice acting, when it\'s there, is just as well done as in the first game. And your guns still have the same visceral, deep sound as before. Firing up the minigun rocks, and it\'s just as scary to hear one key in to your position from across a room.

And speaking of rooms, the environments are great. Gone are the stuffy offices of the original F.E.A.R. Extraction Point offers the player way more open sections to explore and shoot up. The character goes just about everywhere throughout Extraction Point, from a creepy subway to a creepy parking garage to a creepy hospital.

Creepy is actually the name of the game in Extraction Point. SPOILER ALERT ? Alma is back in this game in a big way. ? END SPOILER ALERT. The supernatural experiences come hot and heavy like a load of molten steel. There\'s actually more scares in Extraction Point than in the not-so-aptly named F.E.A.R.

For example, in the before-mentioned creepy subway, you will dread hearing the words \"OK, blow the charges\" over the enemies\' radio chatter. Not to ruin anything, but the last part of that interval is very intense.

In the end, F.E.A.R. Extraction Point is one game that F.E.A.R. veterans should definitely pick up. The budget price of $29.99 helps counter the lack of length, and the great gameplay dynamics help counter the lack of story. And to the Xbox 360 gamers out there that are enjoying the F.E.A.R. 360 experience, you can only hope you\'ll get a taste of this expansion somewhere down the road.

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