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Pursuit Force: Extreme Justice: It's Just Us Elite Cops Again

The first Pursuit Force for PSP was a marvel - it combined great mission-based driving with shooting action and one-button, timed combos similar to past titles like Dead to Rights. Where most driving games have pitted characters against the police, Pursuit Force envisioned a team of elite police determined to take down equally elite criminals no matter the risk to life and limb. It has been almost two years since the original PSP game hit domestic shores, a long time for fans. The burning questions about this new installment, Pursuit Force: Extreme Justice, were mostly answered after a hands-on session with the preview. Looking ahead to January, we have every reason to expect great things from Pursuit Force: Extreme Justice.

A recap for folks that didn't tune in for the original. Pursuit Force involved a series of mostly driving missions that pitted a ballsy policeman against a host of criminal gangs fully equipped for mayhem and not afraid to take hostages or human lives. The main advantage you had in the game was a complete disregard for personal safety. The "neato" factor went to 11 the first time you rolled up behind an enemy vehicle. An icon flashed as you closed in on the vehicle and if you pressed a button at the right moment, your character would vault out of his car and onto the side, back, or front of the enemy ride. You could either take possession of the vehicle after landing or you could slow down time (a la the soon-to-be overused "bullet time" effect) and blast the bad guys in mid-air. The alternative to any of this was to just shoot car-to-car and destroy enemy vehicles. As you progressed in the original game, you quickly realized that it was possible to commandeer all types of vehicles, like high-speed carjacking... but legal since you were the fuzz! This was the main gameplay mechanic and allowed for lots of cool mission combinations. The missions usually involved several distinct stages or checkpoints. Occasionally, you'd get some variety in the form of helicopter missions that involved shooting from a large-bore, stationary gun.

We had the chance to play two distinct missions from Pursuit Force: Extreme Justice and both hearkened back to the original with some improved graphics and a few new play mechanics. The first mission involves a high-speed chase in pursuit of a runaway fire engine. To get to the boss, it's necessary to battle wave after wave of minions driving a variety of souped up cars, trucks, and motorcycles. After boarding the fire engine, you gun down the boss and then watch a short cut-scene introducing a new department in the police force that has an axe to grind with you and your crew. It isn't clear how this group is going to factor into the story in Pursuit Force: Extreme Justice, but the idea of more complex battles fits well with the overall style of play. The second mission we previewed involved both the stationary gun and some driving. The other mechanic that comes into play which wasn't used enough in the first game is the action once you board a vehicle. It appears that some of the boss battles will take place on giant vehicles (a tank in this case) where you'll have to soften things up with heavy explosives before you'll have a chance to face the boss.

Any control issues from the first game seem to have disappeared entirely; everything here feels smooth and responsive. The other exciting news (although still mainly guesswork derived from screenshots posted on the Pursuit Force: Extreme Justice website) is that there will be more action on foot this time. We hope things don't move too far in the direction of tactical espionage, but we're guessing they won't since subtlety isn't a big part of how this police force operates. We are excited about any new features as long as there's plenty of over-the-top action when Pursuit Force: Extreme Justice ships next month.

-Fridtjof, GameVortex Communications
AKA Matt Paddock
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