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Platform

PC

 

Genre

Shooter

 

Publisher

Sierra

 

Developer

TimeGate Studios

 

ESRB

M (Mature)

 

Released

October 25, 2006

 

 

- More F.E.A.R. action

- Most of the standard expansion pack conventions are adhered to

- Good balance of "run and gun" and peeking around corners

 

 

- There's no closure to the storyline; if anything there are more questions than answers

- Some game-stopping bugs

 

 

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F.E.A.R. Extraction Point

Score: 7.0 / 10

 

fear extraction point          fear extraction point

 

When F.E.A.R. was released I recall that there were some comparisons to the sci-fi/paranormal TV show, X-Files.  Well, with Extraction Point, the expansion to F.E.A.R. that comparison is even more apt.

 

The original game featured a lot of creepy blood and gore action, with a few psychotic disconnects for good measure.  But at the end there were still a lot of loose ends connected to the story.  You can be forgiven if you thought Extraction Point would answer the questions that still remained at the close of F.E.A.R.  The X-Files did the same thing.  The series had a good run and then came the movie

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(while the TV show was still being produced) with the suggestion that some of the alien storylines would be wrapped-up or at least explained in some satisfactory manner.  No such luck.  It’s the same situation with Extraction Point.  You reach the end after about six hours of shooting mayhem (not including reloads) and a few eerie moments, then it just ends.  It’s 

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moderately frustrating but considering Monolith didn’t have a hand in the expansion it may be explainable.  TimeGate Studios, creator of the strategic Kohan series, had the development duties.  So, the lack of satisfying answers may lie with the fact TimeGate is new to the first-person genre and unfamiliar with how to implement story into the game or it’s done that way on purpose to setup a second expansion.  Either way, the objective is simple: reach the extraction point after your chopper is shot down.

 

There’s not a lot to Extraction Point if you’ve played through F.E.A.R. – a minimum of new weapons show up (including an automated turret and a chain gun), one or two new enemies, the return of the slow-mo bullet-time, and enclosed spaces.  It’s the tried and true, “more of the same.”  But it fits right into the F.E.A.R. timeline, picking up right after the events of the original game, so if you enjoyed F.E.A.R. you’ll likely enjoy the expansion.

 

fear extraction point          fear extraction point

 

I make that recommendation with somewhat of a proviso.  I ran into a couple of game-stopping bugs and only after dropping the difficulty level to “easy” and loading a save from earlier in the game was I able to stop the game from locking up entirely in a couple of different locations.  The “solution” was only found after consulting the official Extraction Point forums where others had come across the same problem and posted possible solutions.  (Mysteriously, that same thread has been deleted!)  What would cause a game to lock-up on “normal” but be fine on “easy” is completely lost on me, but until there’s a patch, you might just want to play it on the lowest difficulty setting.

 

F.E.A.R. continues to prove to be one of the best-looking games on the market at the time of this writing – Extraction Point doesn’t do anything new with the engine, but it still looks great, even if the environments are relatively homogenous throughout.  Barrels explode, smoke, environmental damage (i.e. bullet holes), flying bodies… it’s all good.  Provided you have the hardware that can handle it.

 

Extraction Point retails for $30US, which works out to be about $5.00 per hour of play.  That’s not bad for a straightforward follow-up for F.E.A.R. fans; just don’t expect a whole new experience.

 

- Omni

(November 7, 2006)

 

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