Extreme Exorcism is the latest in a long stream of arcade-style indie games that is being released for PC and all of the consoles. The premise of the game has you hunting down ghosts throughout a mansion, either alone or with up to three friends. However, this arcade-style indie game does have an interesting mechanic that helps to elevate it beyond the other games in this crowded genre.
One of the biggest issues that many people will have with this game is that the visuals are very old-school, with the graphics being more akin to something you would find on a game from a few decades ago. While this visual style does not completely destroy the experience, I would be lying if I said that the poor visuals do not detract from the experience.
The main reason to even touch a game like this is going to the gameplay, mostly because these games will often lack any semblance of storyline or plot. Instead, you will end up playing this game over and over again merely to improve your high score and survive for as long as possible.
The gameplay is pretty straightforward in that you will really only be using two buttons in a addition to the left thumbstick for movement: a jump button and a single attack button. The game will allow you to use up to three weapons at a time, with all weapons firing simultaneously when the attack button is pressed. There is a nice mixture of weapons to mix things up, such as baseball bats, swords, shotguns, assault rifles, rocket launchers, and many more.
When you first start a stage, you will be tasked with killing a single enemy. After that, the unique twist offered by Extreme Exorcism will kick in, which is that in the next wave of the level, a ghost will appear that will do exactly what you did in the previous round. This includes all of the movement and weapon collecting that you did.
This will continue for several rounds with multiple ghosts showing up that do what you did in the previous rounds, with one of them being basically being crowned as the lead ghost. The lead ghost concept helps keep the game from getting too difficult and out of control as the wave ends as soon as you kill it. The game makes this ghost easy to identify by placing a crown on it. The level ends when you use the exorcism ability to permanently destroy a crowned ghost. If you miss the crowned ghost, you can still use the exorcism ability to permanently destroy some of the other ghosts to give you a bit of breathing room in the following waves.
Like many other games in this genre, the game has a habit of getting very difficult and hectic very quickly, especially since you can only take one hit before dying. This difficulty can be a bit off-putting to new gamers, but it can be overcome a bit by playing the game with a few friends. Granted, this will cause the game to become hectic and frenzied a bit faster as every player will spawn a ghost in subsequent waves, but those numbers are much easier to deal with when you have someone else helping out.
Extreme Exorcism does offer quite a bit of gameplay for your money, especially when you consider how inexpensive the game is in the first place. The main “Arcade” mode will not take you very long to finish, but the other game modes can help increase this game’s playtime. For example, you could jump into a basic deathmatch with some friends, or tackle one of the many, many challenges available. The challenges will add quite a bit of playtime on their own as they can get extremely difficult.
In the end, Extreme Exorcism is a fun little indie game that features a unique gameplay element that helps it stand out in a crowded genre. While the retro visuals do elicit some fond memories of playing similar games back in the day, I can’t help but wish that they were a bit more modern and polished.
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