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The PS2 Survival Horror Game You Probably Never Played

The PlayStation 2's game library featured some truly fantastic horror games, some of which were more famous than others. One that you may never had heard of actually made its debut near very beginning of the console's life cycle: Extermination. The plot of Extermination borrows heavily from John Carpenter's horror classic, The Thing (minus the horrific ending of that film). Players are put in the role of Dennis Riley, a U.S. Marine who must wipe out the mutant creatures that have taken over a research lab in Antarctica.

Extermination had a bit of hype attached to it when it was first released, mainly because it was technically the first survival-horror title for the PS2. According to The Cutting Room Floor and some fans on the Hardcore Gaming 101 forums, some interesting changes were made between the North American and European releases of Extermination. Among these edits were a more "American" redesign for Dennis and highly-altered dialogue throughout.

While it obviously didn't attain the popularity of games like the Resident Evil franchise, Extermination received a mostly positive response. According to Metacritic, the game has scored significantly higher with gamers than it did with critics upon its release.

What's so great about Extermination?

Some of Extermination's gameplay elements are to be expected from a game of this type. Dennis can upgrade his trusty rifle throughout the game, allowing him to mow down tougher enemies. He also has a combat knife at his disposal, which can get him out of a close-quarters jam.

Although Extermination wore its horror influences on its sleeve, the game did have a few odd wrinkles that set it apart from similar titles. One of the most interesting aspects of Extermination was the "Infection" system. In Extermination, the enemies are out to make Dennis into one of their own. Taking damage from mutants will cause Dennis' "Infection Rate" to rise. When that meter reaches 100%, Dennis needs to quickly find an MTS Bed, which will cure him of his infection. Otherwise, he will mutate and the game will be over.

Extermination has yet to see an HD re-release like some of its fellow PS2 survival horror heavyweights. Fans who still have a PlayStation 2 in their possession may want to hunt down a used copy of Extermination, if only to experience something a little different from the usual run-and-gun fare.