Last Level Press

Nutshell Review: F.E.A.R. Extraction Point

Reviewer: Cliff Davenport

Ready for more paranormal ass-kickery?  I know I was when I picked up F.E.A.R. Extraction Point, and despite my apprehension at its development by Timegate Studios, I wasn’t really disappointed.  Functionally, it’s largely the same game as its parent title, and as an expansion pack, that’s to be expected.  It does provide a few new mechanics, such as door-bashes, openable containers, and a smattering of new weapons and enemies, but overall, it’s just more of the same F.E.A.R. experience, for better or worse.  

Extraction Point picks up exactly where the previous game left off, down to the scene.  

Jin: “Whatever happened to Alma?”

Holiday: “I hate you so much right now.”

Of course, the helicopter crashes, Point Man and the other F.E.A.R. operatives survive it (sorry, nameless pilot guy.  I’ll remember you never), and we’re drawn back into Alma’s little house of nightmares.  From here, it’s a pretty cut-and-dry overall narrative; Point Man and the others must trek through the now-ruined city to an arbitrarily distant, alternate extraction point, weathering Replica soldier ambushes and paranormal threats along the way.  I’m sure they’ll never get separated, picked off, and horribly, brutally, bloodily massacred.  Right?

“What…?  Why you looking at me like that?”

Extraction Point’s gameplay is more or less a magnification of what’s come before.  The gunfights are often larger in scale (and a bit more challenging, thanks to further improved A.I.), there are even more hallucination sequences than in the first game, and Alma’s horrific influence is much more overt, almost to the point of losing its potency at times.  This is especially true after the story’s mid-point, since Alma actually starts moving to protect Point Man from this point on, rather than assailing him.  Subsequent encounters are unsettling, to be sure, but much less frightening, since it quickly becomes clear that players are no longer under any threat from her.  We are, however, privy to further insights into Alma’s background and developing psyche via periodic visions, leading up to an admirably subtle, but powerful culmination of her warring personalities by game’s end.  

On that note, I wish I could say that the game itself enjoyed as satisfying a conclusion as its primary antagonist does, but it doesn’t.  I mean, it really doesn’t.  It just ends.  Abruptly.  Big explosion, lots of bodies, ominous narration, and BAM!—roll credits.  There are indications of a deeper subtext during the game’s final moments, but none of it is demonstrated or displayed.  I understand that uncertainty is one of horror’s greatest tools, but this just came across as an unfinished drop-off.

Unfortunately, once players are finished with the rather brief single-player story, there isn’t much to keep their attention with Extraction Point. It adds nothing to the multiplayer experience, and doesn’t boast any sort of ‘New Game Plus’ mode, making replay a rather unappealing notion, despite its significant entertainment value.  It should be noted that, unlike its later cousin, Perseus Mandate, this expansion to F.E.A.R. does require the original game to function.  It should also be noted that you should never waste a cent on Perseus Mandate, but that will be covered in another review entirely.  Finally, note as well that neither expansion is considered canonical, as they were both developed by Timegate Studios rather than Monolith, so take their narratives with as much salt as that might entail for you.  

I wish I could score Extraction Point higher, I really do, but critically, it just doesn’t deliver all that much.  It expands and deepens F.E.A.R.’s narrative, fills in a couple of plot holes left over from the original, but then proceeds to leave us with as many open-ended new questions as it answered.  In all, F.E.A.R. Extraction Point is a short-lived return to an otherwise great gaming experience, its greatest flaw being that there simply isn’t enough of it.  What it does, it does as well as F.E.A.R. ever did, but it just doesn’t do enough.  

Rating: 6.0

Visuals: 7

Audio: 6

Controls & Mechanics: 7

Atmosphere & Experience: 5

Entertainment Value: 5

It does, however, boast one of the best post-resurrection lines ever:

“You killed me.  I didn’t like that.”

  Consoles: (PC), Xbox 360

  Developer: Timegate Studios

  Publisher: Vivendi Universal

  Release Date (U.S.):  Oct 24, 2006

  Release Date (U.K.):  Oct 24, 2006

  Release Date (JP):  Oct 24, 2006

Final Verdict:


Last Level Press © Copyright Cliff Davenport  Est. 2013.  Links | Legal Notices

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