Where do I begin with the madcap gem that is Extreme Exorcism? Like the ultimate realization of the “stop hitting yourself!” gag, this part-brawler, part-platformer throws together something that’s not like anything I’ve played, wrapped up in a tidy pixelated package that brings out a completely insane and thoroughly enjoyable experience. To get into this, though, I think I’ll have to start with a brief examination of what exactly it is that Golden Ruby Games has put together, and move on to some of the strategies I’ve developed in response to the way that it all comes together.
Extreme Exorcism starts off easily enough. You’re dropped into one of a haunted mansion’s many rooms with naught for company but one possessed piece of furniture. Weapons spawn at various spots around the map, and your objective is clear: grab a weapon or three and take out the baddie. It’s very straightforward, but that’s about where the sudden turn comes in. As soon as you eliminate the single enemy, the level resets, and you’re dropped in against another enemy – the ghost of yourself, mimicking everything you did the last time around, sporting a crown. This cycle repeats ad infinitum, with more and more ghosts dropping in as you seek to take out the crown-wearing most recent version of you. Needless to say, it gets hectic, fast.
The trick along the way with Extreme Exorcism is a pretty simple one really, but at the same time it’s tough to hold to. Since most of the game is spent fighting the ghastly copies of your former self, you have to keep in mind that any swipe, shot, or other attack they took will be repeated. With that knowledge, you’ve got to manage your assault well — which, quite honestly, isn’t an easy task as the room fills with your haunting clones. Since you can kill or be killed by any clone, not just the crown-bearer, you’ll end up doing a lot of fighting that leads to little result, making each round progressively more dangerous.
The real selling point for me in Extreme Exorcism was the weapons. A wide variety of high-tech gadgets, mystical artifacts, and more conventional tools of battle like swords and firearms are available, and up to three can be held at a time – all controlled with the same button. There’s even a power – Exorcism – that creates a destructive sphere around the user that eliminates any ghost it touches. Permanently. This gives players a form of crowd control if used correctly, and can help wipe the slate a bit cleaner and restore order to the chaos. It doesn’t always work out as planned, but it has great potential when the next goal is seeming out of reach.
Extreme Exorcism winds up taking a very simple idea, splashing it with variety, and turning it into something that’s not just well done, but tons of fun. With solid mechanics, visuals, and audio to back up the intense, engaging gameplay, it creates a fantastic experience whether you’re playing alone or are in a multiplayer game. With the mix of weapons and effects that end up shaping how each round plays out keeping gameplay fresh and interesting even over long sessions, Extreme Exorcism ends up being a great face-paced diversion for both single players and party game enthusiasts alike.