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Pursuit Force: Extreme Justice - hands-on

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Dec 13, 2007

The first Pursuit Force, released last year on the PSP, skimmed under a lot of gamers' radars, but it had something no other game has had before or since - a balls-out-insane daredevil cop who stops criminals by leaping onto their cars during impossibly fast chases and stealing their rides out from under them. The sequel, Pursuit Force: Extreme Justice, is due out next month, and from what we've played so far, it looks to be more of the same - and we mean that in a good way.

Judging by the two levels in the demo version we played, the gameplay doesn't seem to have changed a great deal since the first Pursuit Force. You'll still spend most of your time tearing ass down a twisting-but-linear highway in a sporty police cruiser, chasing down carloads of exotic criminals in thugged-out jalopies. Once you've caught up, you can either ram or shoot them to death, or latch onto their vehicles with a daring high-speed leap before pumping the occupants full of lead and stealing their ride. The craziness is once again punctuated by slightly slower-paced on-foot shooting missions and on-rails segments where you'll hammer enemies with a helicopter-mounted chaingun, but most of the action still unfolds on the open road.

The first level we played through, "The Big Day," starts with the wedding of Pursuit Force's hero (now referred to only as "Commander") and chopper pilot Sarah Hunter. The touching scene is immediately crashed by the orange-jumpsuit-clad Convicts gang, who've escaped from prison (again) and stolen a firetruck, seemingly for the sole purpose of ruining your nuptials. From there, your job is pretty straightforward: catch up to the Convicts, kill every last one of them and take down their cackling, gasmasked leader, Billy Wilde, before he reaches safety.

The first part of that was pretty simple, with the chase sending us roaring over hilly city streets and through a strangely empty mall, although we did discover one new feature that Extreme Justice has over its predecessor: this time, you can actually hang onto the new weapons that you score by taking over enemy vehicles and switch between them, instead of them just being replaced when you jack a different car.

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