Extermination update

We've got new information on the US version of Sony's "panic action" game for the PS2.


Sony's third-person action-adventure game Extermination was released in Japan last month, and Sony recently sat down with GameSpot to discuss the changes being made for the US release.

For starters, Dennis, the game's lead character, has been given a graphical overhaul. His suit is now a light-gray color, and his hair is longer and styled similarly to Keanu Reeves' hair in the movie Chain Reaction. Also, English voice-over work is currently being done for the game. But the game's most interesting changes aren't graphical.

Many times when games come from Japan to the US, the difficulty is tweaked. But more often than not, when a game is tweaked for US release, it's made a little easier. But Extermination's Japanese release was a little on the easy side, so the game is being toughened up for the North American market. Enemies will absorb less damage from attacks. Magazines will contain fewer bullets, requiring you to think about ammo more often. Also, the game won't have quite as many health packs. Enemies in the Japanese version respawn rather often, but in the US version, when you clear a room, it stays cleared for quite some time, which is meant to make players want to defeat every foe, rather than simply run away from a continually replenishing army.

The game uses the X button as a sort of universal action button. If you're near a ledge, X will make Dennis jump off it. If you're in front of a switch, X will flip it. X is used for just about every non-attack command in the game. Aside from X, the rest of the buttons are used to fire your primary and secondary weapons, as well as attack with your combat knife in two separate strengths.

The storyline in Extermination deals with a highly infectious organism that thrives in water. If you're already infected, stepping in the water will cause you to absorb more damage. As your infection meter nears 100 percent, you start to change. When you're completely infected, you'll see a large mutant spore take form on your character's back. Becoming 100 percent infected cuts your maximum health to 60 points and makes survival pretty difficult, though it's possible to find vaccines that can be combined with a healing station to rid yourself of the mutation.

Extermination is currently scheduled to hit US shelves this July.

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