Hands on: Extraction - PAX Prime 2013

Michael Dunaway
By Michael Dunaway, News Editor

Extraction is a tactical team-oriented first person shooter from one of the original pioneers of class based shooters, Splash Damage. Being a big fan of most Splash Damage's other works, I had a chance to try several rounds of the shooter at this year's Pax Prime.

Splash Damage has a rich history when it comes to cooperative shooters. While still in its infancy, the developer succeeded in creating Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory, an incredibly popular objective-based shooter which is still played today despite being released in 2003. From what I saw at this year's Pax Prime, Extraction aims to retain many of the traits that made the original ET so popular without any unnecessary Free-to-Play inconveniences getting in the way.

Extraction takes place in 2020 after a mysterious attack has left London irradiated and uninhabitable. The only ones who now venture into the city are hired mercenaries, out to extract or destroy the secrets left behind.

Gameplay in Extraction revolves around team cohesion. The map presented at Pax had each team taking turns defending and attacking key objectives. In this case, the attackers needed to hack a railroad terminal before planting C4 on a rail-car in order to derail an incoming train filled with delicious data chips. The defenders of course, needed to prevent the attackers from succeeding. Both teams spawn in predefined areas and must move towards the objectives centered in the middle of the map.

Winning isn't just about preventing the attackers from completing their objectives though. Each round is timed, based on the previous attacking team's performance. The less time it takes to complete the objectives, the less time the defenders have next round. This adds an extra layer of pressure, forcing players to play aggressively as they attempt to beat the clock. It also emphasizes the game's reliance on team-play.

Each class in Extraction comes with their own unique look and brings distinct advantages to the team. Health doesn't regenerate and ammo is relatively scarce. Dying can often mean 15 second respawn timers, but the medic -aptly named Sawbones- can revive downed teammates while healing up minor damage with health packs thrown on the ground.. Conversely, some objectives must be hacked which can take several precious seconds. Proxy, a shotgun wielding engineer has access to a hacking tool which makes doing so a breeze.

The key thing to take away from this is the fact that Splash has removed elements which contribute to a lone wolf mentality. Suddenly, one person is no longer effectively capable of handling all the objectives needed by themselves. They must rely on their team to fulfill the roles they selected. This is further exemplified by the lack of grenades which makes Thunder, a class with access to concussion grenades and an LMG, extremely valuable in tight quarters.

Class diversity is where Splash Damage hopes to set Extraction apart from other team-oriented shooters. While only 5 classes were shown during the demo, Splash mentioned we can expect at least 20 for release with more to come after. Each one of these classes comes equipped with their own unique art-style, weapon customization options and special abilities. With so much class diversity, tackling missions becomes less formulaic and introduces innovative strategies.

One final point that was stressed to me during my tour of Extraction had to do with the game's monetization. Paul Wedgwood, CEO of Splash Damage told me bluntly that the developer had yet to talk monetization at all with publisher Nexon. “Right now we are focused on making the best game possible” Wedgwood said. This was later confirmed when I spoke with Nexon America CEO Min Kim, who said the publisher had no plans for players to pay for gear unlocks.

Extraction is currently in closed alpha, with the closed beta expected to start in next couple months.

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About the Author

Michael Dunaway
Michael Dunaway, News Editor
Michael Dunaway has been part of the MMOBomb team for years and has covered practically every major Free-to-Play title since 2009.

Discussion (14)

Dooder 9 years ago
Definitely not Brink. I played this game in alpha stage when it was called Dirty Bomb. Must faster play, more like enemy territories. Graphics aren't from Brink either, it's all new and looks nicer, less cartoony characters, cool gun animations. Going to start back on this game in closed beta to give it another shot. Having one person not being able to handle all objectives is just a way of keeping team play going also, one of the biggest problems in Brink is that it really wasn't class based considering all of them played the same. Also I think that line is a bit misleading, because you can switch classes between deaths in this game too, but I think it's locked to being able to only select three classes per match. Unless they changed it, you pick which ones you want to be able to use each game you play. Like you say though, if it gets smashed to 2v6 or something you'll have problems unless they can implement a team auto-balancing feature. In my experience in the alpha I didn't feel like it was overly team heavy like a hardcore tactical game, but teamwork does pay off. It's still pretty arcade like, most of the time you'll be firing from the hip like an old-school shooter even. The maps are better than Brink, no more parkour stuff or wonky controls. You'll still have times where some other players are really good and roll the server, spawn camp the shit out of everyone, etc. Splash Damage has been pretty good at trying to remedy those issues though, so we'll see more improvement as development progresses I'm sure. You'll just have to try it on the closed beta or see it when open beta hits. And again, people need to forget about Brink, this isn't it. Even in alpha stage this game has been way beyond that game. Plus, it's a free to play so nobody has to worry about spending money on it if they don't like it. With what Splash Damage has been doing with it, I don't think we'll have to worry about it being pay to win. I haven't seen much feedback on this game on these sites so hopefully something I said was worthwhile. As long as they continue to listen to the community, make great maps, and keep it from being a pay-in game where you have to spend all kinds of cash, I think it will be really successful. See you in the beta if you're playing.

Bic Boi 9 years ago
Sounds fine and all but "Suddenly, one person is no longer effectively capable of handling all the objectives needed by themselves" kinda bothered me. I don't mind team-based stuff but when it's so heavily based on it you come into problems where it will quickly generate a toxic community a la League of Legends; if you are "good enough" you will drag your team down and then the bile spewing begins.

There really is no fixing an FPS; if it's too 'lone wolf' people will whine that teaming is pointless.
If it's too team-based, people will rage when your team gets whacked down to 2v6 and you have little to no chance, or when that one guy messes up slightly and the "plz leave room", "omg u fcking suck n00b", etc. messages begin to fly. There's no winning.

Thrasher1991 9 years ago
Is this game gonna have eu servers, or service? Or are we getting left out again by nexon and their shit?

View 1 reply
Chris 9 years ago
Splash Damage made Brink look amazing but the game was trash. Waste of money and these GFX just look like recycled Brink GFXs.

ACutePuppy 9 years ago
Maple Story, Combat Arms, and other Nexon America games are pretty old in the F2P concept. Players have different expectations than even 6 months to a year ago when it comes to free-to-play titles. If they give Splash Damage full creative control, there won't be room for breaking the game with strange fee structures.

I think Hi-Rez Studios started on the right track with their self-publishing, but it ultimately bit them in the ass when they had no one to hold them accountable to their promises. They promised continuous updates, bug fixes, etc... and they just dropped it completely for their next. SD seems focused only Extraction as a long term project, and this honestly excites me more than the piss-poor support that Bethesda and Activision gave them.

nomadie 9 years ago
Nexon=game fails and get deleted just because. I been playing nexon hosted games since they have been out they have the worst Anti Hack system known to man ok maybe the 2nd or 3rd but it's just epic fail, they even pay people whom make hacks for people to use just so they can ban them. This game looks really awesome but sadly being Published by Nexon just means you will have a ton of hackers and mostly will end up buy to win lol.

masoe 9 years ago
I played Extraction and I have to say it's one of my top game I'm looking forward to.

Aregadon 9 years ago
Even Though it is Published by nexon (Still better then PWE) You can say they Know how to keep a game alive! And those games are almost always Succesfull (Dragon Nest, Maplestory etc.) Nexon is a Great Company with an awesome CEO but their Community Service is just horrible!

Trumbles 9 years ago
This sounds like Enemy Territory + TF2, but with lots of classes instead of lots of hats. Count me in! This looks really interesting!

While Nexon has a bad wrap, i won't totally ignore a game just because it's being published by them.

JUDGE 9 years ago
game looks good might give it a try i love warface but i hate the fact that it went browser :(

CriticismHD 9 years ago
I played this at Pax Prime 2013 just yesterday. Great game! Controls were easy I just got on played. The game was easy to learn I made top 3 on the scoreboard ingame. I even got sign up for the Closed Beta while I was there. The maps were nice as well as the character loadouts, and weapons. Overall you need to play the game before you base your decision off nothing except speculation.

hunter 9 years ago
I have played warface they are both good games the extraction is my choice

moonfanng 9 years ago
Game sounds interesting but nexon ? No tnx, warface will be my prefered shooter for this year

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