There are two things which interest me, the extreme, and exorcisms, so with Ripstone’s latest title blending both of those things into one, they must be onto a winner! I am however kidding about those two things being my favourite, I’m not kidding about Ripstone being onto a winner.
What you get with Extreme Exorcism is a fast paced platformer shooter where your task is to face your own ghost for as long as you can possibly last for, the only issue is, your ghost is duplicated every round causing for an absolutely insane cluster fuck of projectiles, bullets, explosions, and ghosts.
The game is fairly simple, you choose a player and you’re instantly thrown into the game based around a haunted mansion. You begin with the tutorial, then you land in the Graveyard, you then score big to unlock the rest of the house from the Attic to the Altar buried deep underneath the house.
Each of these rooms have a number of levels within it, each with their own layout. Players then have to hit a certain score in order to unlock further levels and further rooms.
When diving into the game players are faced with a haunted chair which they must take down using the weapon pick-ups located around the map. Players can have up to three weapons at once which all fire at the same time. Once the chair has bitten the dust, the game really begins as that’s when the whole “exorcism” part comes in.
Remember the route you took in the last round to eliminate the seat with a gob? Well our little ghostie friend is now going to follow the same route, pick up the same weapons and fire at the same time as you did. You’re job now is to take the king ghostie down. Once you do that, the next round begins, and it all happens all over again, this time however, that last ghost is back as is another repeating the same moves you made in the last round. It’s awfully confusing to explain, but brilliant in practice.
Eventually the level is filled with a handful of ghosts each repeating your last movements, level after level, with the game becoming more treacherous as each ghost picks up more weapons and fires the same time you did. But instead of having to take down all of the ghosts, you only need to eliminate one, each round, and that’s the ghost with the crown.
Now, this sounds absolutely mental, and it is, fortunately there’s something which can give you a helping hand, the Exorcism pick up. This allows you to remove ghosts from the battlefield letting you play for longer without being swamped by spooks.
To make things even more complicated up to three other players can join you on the battlefield which makes the game a million times more difficult to pay attention to, with ghosts whizzing around everywhere as well as your three friends each of which are represented by their own colour. It’s absolutely nuts.
If I were to sum up Extreme Exorcism based on games I’ve played in the past. It has the same manic gameplay as Vlambeer’s Super Crate Box mixed with Dark Rayman who copies the players moves. It’s both of these fantastic mechanics blended into one and is truly a pleasure to play.
In addition to the game’s main campaign, which I have to admit, is pretty tough at times, Extreme Exorcism offers multiplayer battle modes too where players duke it out to become the winner. Initially, it seemed like it could get old, quickly, as just you and your opponents are on-screen. However, as soon as you take down your enemy, or you meet your demise, a ghost is awarded to the winner making it increasingly difficult as time goes on.
With a race to be the first to secure four crowns, the game becomes tougher as you’re not only trying to target the other player, but also avoiding your own and your opponents ghosts. Having played this with just two players it was pretty mental, I can’t imagine how insane it’d be with four players total.
Now, with the game constantly reminding you of your past movements, you’re constantly thinking about the way you attack levels. You could just go in, pounce about, and hope for the best, or you could be tactical, remembering what you did last, so you can get that fatal blow on King ghostie. The only problem is, this can quickly cause you and three other ghosts of your past movements converging in the same area meaning, if they all manage to pick up a weapon, you’re royally screwed.
You’ve got a think different while at the same time, thinking the same. It’s a complete mindfuck if I’m totally honest, but it’s a ton of fun, for sure.
Though the game is clearly multiplayer focused, the developers have done a fantastic job with the addition of ghosts using your movements against you, to throw in a real human feel to the game, even in the single player campaign.
Would I recommend Extreme Exorcism? Of course, it’s both a fantastic party game and also a brilliant arcade title.
This review was written based on the Xbox One version provided by Ripstone.