Extreme Exorcism is a paranormal platformer where all actions come back to haunt you. In the game, you take on the role of exorcist Mae Barrons, whose unconventional supernatural skills are called upon when everything and everyone else has failed to rid a haunted house of its ghostly presence.
Aside from the blurb above, there’s really no story to Extreme Exorcism. You’re an exorcist that visits various rooms and locations in and around a haunted house… and that’s pretty much it. If you need the motivation of a story about saving someone or dialogue to keep you interested in the characters, you won’t find it here. Extreme Exorcism is all about the gameplay.
Each level is a series of platforms in a self-contained room. No scrolling here. Round 1 starts with one enemy in the room that can’t do very much until you kill it. From there, Round 2 introduces a crowned ghost who copies your exact movement, including weapon fires, that you made in Round 1. Round 3 introduces a new crowned ghost that copies your movements from Round 2, while a second ghost continues to copy your movements from Round 1… and so on, and so on. To beat each Round, the only ghost you need to kill is the crowned ghost, so avoid or kill the others and focus on your target.
The weapons available are definitely the highlight of Extreme Exorcism, ranging from your typical shotguns and pistols to missile launchers, mines, martial arts, lightning spells, and boomerangs. At any given time, you can carry and fire three together, but the most powerful, and necessary, weapon are the angel wings which you can use to “exorcise,” or erase, ghosts from returning the next Round.
While the concept of enemies copying your moves sounds like a great hook, and at first it is, unfortunately it gets old pretty quickly. Once you figure out the basic strategy, there’s not much to keep the game from getting repetitive. New weapons are introduced and level design changes from room to room, but ultimately you’re playing the same game over and over again, only competing with your high score. For some that might be enough, but for me, constantly thinking carefully about my every move in a game that doesn’t evolve just became exhausting. If there was an option to turn on some sort of enemy AI instead of always relying on the player’s movements, I would have had the chance to cut loose and just have fun with the different weapons.
Extreme Exorcism is an interesting concept with the potential for a deeper experience, but one that ultimately becomes too repetitive before it can reach it.
+ Fast, arcade-style gameplay
+ Careful strategy required for deeper experience
+ Creative weapons
– “Floaty” jumping
– Enemy AI dependent on the player
– No story