Pursuit Force: Extreme Justice - PSP - Preview
Two members of the Pursuit Force, those high-speed police officers who like to put the pedal to the metal and are only outpaced by the bullets flying from their weapons, are getting married when convicts crash the party – literally.
The Convicts have escaped from prison and the leader of the pack, Billy Wilde, is on top of a converted fire engine. Rather than put out fires, though, this one starts them. Well, when a group of the criminal element crashes a party, only one thing to do, pursue and render a little justice.
That was exactly what SCEA and developer Bigbig Studios had in mind with Pursuit Force: Extreme Justice, a sequel to the arcade chase-shooter title, and being geared up for delivery on the PSP in late January.
SCEA sent along a demo disk featuring one mission (aptly named Case 1: The Big Day) that tickles and teases a bit with new trouble for the Pursuit Force in the form of Commander Decker and the Viper Squad. Should you succeed in bringing down Billy and his gang (which you must do or you won’t advance in the game) you will be confronted with Decker and his armored goons showing up to claim the captive Wilde. The actual game will feature more than 50 cases in seven distinct districts and players will be able to access 12 different vehicles (which include hovercrafts). There will also be a variety of weapons in the game, and the game promises to be more over the top than its predecessor.
Of course, being a demo disk, the ROM featured a disclaimer heading into the first mission that the game was a “Work in progress – graphics, gameplay, audio may not represent final quality.”
Well, aside from some staid audio voice work, the rest of the demo level was pretty tight, not only in terms of sound, but graphically as well. Certainly some of the game elements should get some refinement before the release. The window for jumping to another vehicle was very small, and it proved easier just to target (left shoulder button) and shoot (right shoulder button) the vehicles than to commandeer them.
For those who have never seen the game, you are in the driver’s seat of a high-speed pursuit vehicle. You will have to dodge obstacles because each time you hit something, you take damage, and if the vehicle takes enough damage, it blows up and you fail the case. Each case (judging from the demo mission) is multi-tiered, with the minions in the first stage and then a checkpoint before you take on the upper-level bad guys.
The game will also feature multiplayer with up to four players competing in Ad hoc mode.
Graphically the game is solid, at this point. The cut scenes are independent of the game engine and feature a very slick look, but the game engine does a good job of capturing the high-speed antics of the squad. Jumping from vehicle to vehicle is handled well. The controls, though, felt a little off. You will get a pop-up window to tell you when the controlled character can jump to another vehicle, but in the demo, even when the appropriate buttons were pushed, most of the time he didn’t jump.
However, with a month left before the game goes gold, Extreme Justice is shaping up to be a bit of arcade fun for the PSP. It is definitely fast paced, challenging and entertaining – and that fills the prescription exactly for PSP fun.