Without doubt this is one of the best shooters to have hit the shelves in recent years.
Not only is there a fascanating mystery to unravel, but a horror-filled experience to survive. The story is presented in small easy to digest chucks through the clever use of laptop, phone messages and NPC dialogue interactions.
The gameplay is so good I didn't even notice how quickly I was progressing through the (21) twenty-one thoroughly enthralling intelligently designed levels. They really contribute to making you want to explore the gameworld without prompting beyond the initial objective statement.
Gameplay is kept fresh by alternating between scary back-of-the-neck hair tingling moments, frantic fast-paced combat sequences and make-you-jump nightmarish dream events. These are all presented through a slick if a starting-to-date graphics engine. (Well the game is 4 years old.) It is the use or non-use of light source that really makes the atmosphere in the game what it is. Music and sound adds to this immeasureably, triggered at the height of the moment. This is further enhanced when the flashlight runs out of juice and you're left in complete or almost complete darkness. Gulp!
While amospheric in nature, for me combat is the real reason for playing this game. To this end, engagements with the enemy REPLICA forces are top notch. The slow-mo effect is what makes the game what it is. I'd forgotten how much fun shooting things in slow motion was. (Takes me back to Max Payne) It really is so satisfying clearing out a room of bad-guys and then taking a moment to look back to see the dead bodies lying prone - you the only one standing alive.
The addition of boosters to collect to enhance how long slow-mo can be used and your general health, add another dimension to strategy. As does the restriction of only carrying 3 weapons at one time. The small number of grenades are welcome and also enhance the choices to take out your opponents, if like me you enjoy setting traps to take out some of the larger enemy groups in the game.
So while all in all the game is a huge amount of fun, there are a few downers I never expected to see - given the perfect scores it received from magazines and others.
As for being billed as a scary game, for me there just weren't enough moments, or perhaps I didn't find them horrifying enough. I was expecting more "The Grudge" type sequences, but all I got was the odd appearence of the gaunt Alma. TBH I found them to be fairly benign.
Another issue I found was that combat action becomes fairly repetitive over the course of 21 levels, as does general gameplay. On the flip-side, its probably the reason for the games success - it takes a simple formula and tweaks it in as many ways as possible to keep things varied.
Whats more, playing this on HARD difficulty (one below max) was a breeze for me. Thats inspite of some cleverly orchestrated set-piece attacks. Boosters are perhaps too easy to locate, or slow-mo just to powerful. While health and armour are too plentiful. As is ammo, though at least it does become less so later on.
All in all though, this game is just delightful to play. Despite its linear nature, its hard not to get immersed. Its about right in the duration department 20-30 hours and Im so impressed, Im going to load up Extraction Point.
Plays a breeze on a Intel Dual Core i3 3.08mhz (OC 4.0mhz), 4gb RAM & ATI 5050 (1GB) Gfx.
Definately a recommended buy.