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Pursuit Force: Extreme Justice
Gangs of raiders on the highways? Cockney crooks on the city streets? Russian warlords on the rampage? Rogue cops going crazy in the city? When the normal authorities can't cut it, it's time for some extreme justice. We're not talking about police procedure; about signalling the vehicle to pull over and reading the suspect their rights - we're talking about blowing them away from a helicopter gunship or about heroic officers that will leap onto the car, stick a gun through the windscreen and fill the perp full of hot lead. It's the sort of thing you saw in the original Pursuit Force, and now it's back, only this time a little more (ahem) extreme.
Pursuit Force was actually that rarest of things; not a port or a PSP remodelling of an existing console series, but a genuinely original PSP game. Imagine a turbo-charged version of the old arcade classic Chase HQ, where running a suspect's car down in your super-powered cop cruiser was no longer enough. Instead you had to get up close and personal with the fleeing criminals, leaping from your vehicle to theirs, blasting them away, then hijacking their ride to get to the next ne'er do well. In between, you had some on-rails shooter sections where you blasted the criminals from the comfort of a great big helicopter gunship.
The whole concept was gleefully ridiculous, and UK developers BigBig studios wrapped it in a tongue-in-cheek Jerry Bruckenheimer movie parody that made Team America: World Police look understated. Even the costumes were camper than a Graham Norton Christmas special. Sadly, the gameplay was never quite as much fun. You were left wanting something with a little more meat and - with some ridiculous difficulty spikes - a little less frustration.
Well, the sequel moves in all the right directions. Right from the opening - a Pursuit Force wedding wrecked by some very unwelcome guests - it keeps the pace relentless and the plot and characterisation fantastically corny, as Mad Max-style gangs are joined by hillbilly scavengers, Soviet warmongers and a hilarious gang of Brit criminals. Visually it's another strong PSP showcase, with some great background scenery during the various pursuits, a rock-solid frame rate and improved character modelling and animation over the already impressive original. With some nice fake-HDR lighting and bloom effects, it's probably as close to a big summer blockbuster movie as Sony's handheld will ever produce. The audio is great, too, with an excellent bombastic score and some thoroughly enjoyable voicework: in Extreme Justice the constant over-ripe radio chatter is a major part of the whole experience.
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