Those of you old enough to remember the arcade driving game Chase HQ might remember the adrenaline rush you felt as you chased down the bad guys in your souped up sports car. There was something great about flying down the highway, smashing your target's car to pieces, and arresting them. Now, many years later, Sony's tapping into that feeling, adding a bit of Hollywood stuntman flair to the formula to create a new action/racing hybrid. Even better, you can take it with you anywhere you go since it'll be peeling out on PSPs everywhere. Strap your seatbelt tight, because we're joining Sony's Pursuit Force.
The three level demo that we played didn't go into heavy detail as to the story, the characters or even the scenarios that each stage presented; what it did manage to do, however, is provide that visceral voyeuristic thrill that you might find from watching an action movie or even a car chase. You play as a member of the Pursuit Force, a highly specialized squad of police officers trained to track down and apprehend criminals at high speeds. Of course, in such situations, lethal force is more than necessary – it's probably required, and your officer is provided with a large arsenal of pistols, shotguns and semi-automatic weapons to take out the escaped felons.
The three missions that the demo showed off demonstrated the wide ranging scope of the title, which promises to take players on land, sea and air after criminals. These thugs have taken over barrels of nerve gas, are trying to kill people from boats or are creating a convoy to help a psychotic prisoner escape town. Fortunately, you won't have to remain at a distance to enact justice; one of the abilities you have as a Pursuit Force member is the ability to jump from vehicle to vehicle when you've rammed them. Once you've landed on the hood or trunk of a machine (while it's still moving, mind you), you have to fight it out with the driver and his passengers to wrest control from them.
You can be flung off if you're not careful, and your attackers will continually be firing at you as you attempt to eliminate them one by one. Successful attacks will fill up a meter that will allow you to slow down time and shoot acrobatically in mid-air as you "acquire" new transportation. There is some danger involved however, as a number of innocent drivers will clog up the chase scene, and any damage to their machines will decrease your score and your power bar.
With an anime presentation, Pursuit Force looks like it will be extremely appealing for action junkies or Hong Kong action film fans. Many of the acrobatic moves or car fights look like they've been pulled directly from a hyper Jackie Chan/Chow Yun Fat movie, and the loads of voiceover work for both friendly and enemy characters fleshes out the kinetic gameplay. We'll be looking forward to laying down the long arm of the law when Pursuit Force hits shelves this March. Check back soon for a full review!
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