The original Pursuit Force was one of the early success stories of the PSP for Sony Entertainment. Looking like a Hollywood action flick, it introduced us to the world of justice enforcement at break neck speeds with no thought whatsoever to human safety. Unsurprisingly, it was a smash hit.
The background story is that in the near future, there is an elite police unit known as Pursuit Force that is cracking down on organised crime. As an elite member of the squad, you must chase down the perpetrators at reckless speed before leaping onto their moving car, shooting them and then grabbing the wheel to take control of the vehicle. You can see why this game is titled Extreme Justice.
The premise of the original title was refreshing and exhilarating. But it was severely crippled by frustratingly difficult missions and a terrible learning curve. Unfortunately some of these issues have not been addressed in the sequel.
However there are some improvements. The controls in Extreme Justice are better refined and the handling has been made more responsive. Even the graphics have been improved and deliver crisp visuals even when speeding down city streets on a motorbike. The graphical style is slightly reminiscent of Crackdown on the 360 (albeit not nearly as sharp) and has that similar arcade-like vibe.
Whilst cleaning up the streets with reckless abandon you’ll come across several criminal outfits - two of which, The Convicts and The Warlords, are from the original Pursuit Force. But you’ll also take on Raiders, who are like modern-day pirates; The Syndicate, armed bank robbers; and Vipers, who are corrupt cops. Each one will require you to hunt down and stop in various activities before closing down the organisation with a traditional boss battle. Thankfully these have been improved vastly since the original. Each leader usually has a ridiculously massive vehicle that you must chase after and disable, before taking the boss on himself. It can be a bit repetitive but luckily each one does require a different tactic to find their weaknesses.
The original issue of the fluctuating difficulty levels is still very apparent in Extreme Justice however. There’s around 18 hours of single-player action and you’ll battle through 50 missions. Coupled with over 30 different weapons, which can be used on foot or in a vehicle, most people will find enough fun in this package to keep them entertained for closer to 20 hours. But there are moments after a couple of hours of gameplay where the missions become frustratingly painful to complete. For example, some of the time limit levels are both too restrictive and too close together throughout the game. Enemies seem to appear out of nowhere and respawn like highly fertile bunnies. The game can also be a bit tedious for the on-foot missions as it is a massive drop in pace from the more exciting vehicle scenes. This is mainly thanks to the ultra cool camera angles and effects in the pursuit levels. It is quite obvious that the developers put a lot of effort into making a high adrenaline chase game. There are around a dozen vehicles to play with, including some super destructive tanks and almost super sonic motorbikes for some eye-watering moments.
Furthermore the addition of multiplayer adds plenty of gameplay and luckily removes some of the frustrations you’ll encounter in single-player. Three of the four modes are the usual race and chase scenario and offer some stylish action sequences. You can either take the role of cops and robbers and take turns hunting each other down, or take the co-operative approach and try Survival mode where one player drives, the other controls the rear gun and you both have to fend off waves of enemies. But Rampage is an on-foot deathmatch mode and is probably the least exciting of the collection. Overall, fans of the original will be pleased with the additions and tweaks, but those who found it frustrating will still recognise room for improvements.