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September 10, 2001 - Image 10

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2001-09-10

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10A - The Michigan Daily - Monday, September 10, 2001
'Extermination' infected
by unoriginal gameplay

ARTS

I

By Matt Grandstaff
Weekend, Etc. Editor
Since the success of Capcom's "Resident Evil"
series, various imitations have been made by other
manufacturers.
While few companies have succeeded in creating
"survival horror" games, including Konami's "Silent
Hill," most of "Resident Evil's" competition has not
matched the experience of Capcom's classic series.
This listincludes the "Alone in the Dark" series, "Evil
Dead" and now Sony's "Extermination."
Similar to other games of the
.' 'ygenre, "Extermination" features a
Grade: C- remote setting (Antarctica),
grotesque creatures (this time it is
Extermination biological mutants) and a hero who
works for a task force (U.S. Spe-
For Playstation 2 cial Forces RECON team "Red
Sony Light.")
In the game, you play as Dennis
Riley, a brash, young member of team "Red Light" on
mission to prevent a biological disaster from occur-
ring in Antarctica. Unfortunately the voice acting of
Riley and the rest of the game's characters are unmoti-
vated and boring. This makes the game especially
uninteresting as it feels like the plot is based around
the second half of "Resident Evil: Code Veronica,"
which also takes place on Antarctica with mutated
creatures.
Unlike "Code: Veronica," however, "Extermina-
tion's" game environment is extremely weak. The set-
tings in the game are very bland, mostly consisting of
snow, lots of boxes and poorly animated fire.
To add to the horrifying visuals, the game features
poorly contrived camera angles. The camera seems
too close to the character at many times, making it
difficult to navigate. Perhaps if Sony would have used
pre-rendered backgrounds as seen in games such as
"Resident Evil" and "Final Fantasy VII" the game
would have looked more appealing.
To make things worse, the game's soundtrack and
already mentioned voice acting bring nothing extra to
the table other than a good laugh.
While "Extermination" is far from being a good
game, it does have some cool ideas. To make the game
more action based, new movements unseen in "Resi-
dent Evil" have been added. Rather than moving at a
snail's pace, good old Dennis Riley runs, jumps and
climbs with the greatest of ease.
Another cool aspect of the game revolves around
Riley's choice of weapon, the Special Purpose Rifle 4
(SPR4). Throughout the game you can customize this
weapon with a grenade launcher, flamethrower, night
vision and more. These customizations are easily
accessible through the game's well planned out option
screens.
Finally, the game features an interesting save/acti-
vate feature involving battery packs. Throughout the
game, gainers are required to find power charges for a
battery pack. These charges allow you to open doors,
access elevators, save your progress and more.

While this feature is interesting, it can become a
frustration similar to the ink-ribbons that save game
progress in "Resident Evil" games, for you cannot
save your progress until you find the battery charges.
But unlike "Resident Evil" games, the gameplay expe-
rience of "Extermination" will have you opting to turn
off the game and leave it off.
a.

Courtesy of Artisan
The bag man himself, Wes Bently ("American Beauty") tries to comfort his love-orn object of affection Melissa Sagemiller, and
hopes that she quickly gets over her dead boyfriend.
UTrVvoTrS' lacks orginality,
ab 1 1 t suvve teen genre

6

By Wilhelmina Mauritz
Daily Arts Writer

A good and memorable movie
does something new and original:It
may have a plot the audience has
seen a dozen times, but it also has

Soul
Survivors
Grade: C
At Showcase
and Quality 16
V

at least one
extra touch that
distinguishes it
from the rest.
Like many of
the movies out
this past sum-
mer, "Soul Sur-
vivors" lacks
any originality
(it is a complefe
rip off of anoth-
er excellent
movie, which
will not be
named for fear

they decide to have one last night
of fun.
They find themselves at a rave in
an old abandoned church outside of
town. Between the requisite rain-
storm, drinking and sexual tension
between Matt and Sean (who both
love Cassie,) the four get into a
major car crash on their way home.
Sean, Cassie's boyfriend, is killed.
After the accident, Cassie heads
back to school and tries to cope
with her grief, which is a lot harder
when she keeps seeing Sean on
campus: Not only that, but she also
has random delusions.
She has some nasty nightmares
that feel far too real in which she is
constantly being chased by scary
masked men she saw at the rave the
night of the accident. That, in a
sense, is what "Soul Survivors" is
all about.
The movie itself has some pretty
creepy moments, but overall, it
doesn't have enough content. The
entire film is built around the end-
ing, which would be OK if the
movie did enough explaining
beforehand, but it doesn't. "Soul

Survivors" substitutes confusion
and busyness for plot, taking quan-
tity over quality in a big way.
Confusion, even if it is explained
in the end, doesn't make for a good
movie all by itself. It is OK for a
movie to trick the audience and
make them feel as though they
know what's going on, as in "The
Sixth Sense," but it is not okay for
a movie to never let the audience
believe they know what is happen-
ing. No amount of explaining in the
end will make up for two hours of
mass confusion.
"S'oul Survivors" was probably
put together way too fast, which
wouldn't be surprising considering
that so many movies these days are,
especially horror. It feels very
rushed, and there are too many tiny
flaws that could have easily been
avoided had there been any effort
made at detail.
For example, Cassie has this cut
on the side of her head that ran-
domly appears and disappears
throughout the movie. There is one
scene where she goes to bed one
night without the cut and wakes up
the next morning with the cut. Mis-
takes like that simply make a movie
look sloppy.
Even the acting was hackneyed
and insipid. It is a red flag, as far
as horror movies go, when the sup-
porting roles are bigger names than
the lead actress herself.
Overall, it seems as if "Soul Sur-
vivors" was attempting to be some-
thing bigger than an average horror
film. In the end though, it turned
out to be simply a mass conglomer-
ate of clich6d suspense films with
no originality of its own.

a

Courtesy ofSony
Fast as fast can be, you'll never catch me! Riley can't run fast
enough out of "Extermination."

of giving away the ending), and
will be all too easy to forget.
The night before Cassie (Melissa
Sagemiller), Sean (Casey Affleck),
Matt (Wes Bentley) and Annabel
(Eliza Dushku) are about to part
ways for their first year of college,

1 -

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