To say that F.E.A.R. 2 has gone through a lot of changes over the past few years is a little bit of an understatement. Sierra owned the franchise name and, up until the Activision-Blizzard merger, the company was supposedly working on its own F.E.A.R. sequel. What was Monolith to do? How about hold a contest to see what the Fans would choose, except the name F.E.A.R could not be used in the title, and thus Project Origin was born. Many feared that without the F.E.A.R name attached many fans would simply overpass this sequel. Rumors started to swirl that Sierras version of F.E.A.R was not doing so well, so in a dire effort Warner Bros. sent over a monetary peace offering, and back came the rights to the franchise name. Warner Bros. and Monolith were now left to deal with the original name and the name that’s been used in all the marketing up till then. Their answer was F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin! And here is my review…
Alma, to many a referential homage to the Japanese horror films of the late 1990’s, to some a lone child/young woman that is tortured, and haunted, with a lust for a revenge that even the Devil can’t subside. With the original F.E.A.R. many fans felt a sense of horror and high tension, but many also felt that there were to many unanswered question within the story. With the announcement of F.E.A.R 2 many asked for some closure to Alma, and the project Origins story.
Taking place 30 minutes before the end of F.E.A.R’s expansion pack, you star as an all new hero to the F.E.A.R saga whom after the initial level’s of the game is subjected to many experiments that some how bind himself to the entity known as Alma. Almost all of the games story is to through in game audio and cut scenes, and while they were beautiful to look at times I found some of the audio a bit hard to hear, while at times this did add to the atmospheric effect, other times it often left me wondering if I missed something. As I completed F.E.A.R 2 I was conflicted with how I truly felt about the story itself. While the in game story effects were nice it often made me feel like it was abare bones info on some truly interesting characters. Within the game are a series of documents that can be found, but to be honest in an action first person shooter I never felt the desire of stopping my game to actually read any of these. I am sure if I stopped to read them the story would have been way more fleshed out, but lets be honest maybe 10% of gamers who play this game will actually read them. This for me is what put a damper on what otherwise would have been a truly in depth horror story experience.
While some of the story elements left me uncertain about how I felt about F.E.A.R 2, one thing that left no uncertainty was the look and feel of the F.E.A.R 2 world. Set in a ravaged city destroyed by the explosion that had recently happened you truly get a sense of a city coming apart from the seams. The environments are very detailed, as well as the tiniest items scattered throughout the world. From rats scurrying down hallways to the water trickling off a bus right before it collapses F.E.A.R 2 is a visual feast for the eyes. F.E.A.R 2 is, of course, a horror FPS and Monolith studios does a great job at grossing it up. There are plenty of decapitated bodies to be found and boy there are times when this games is red..Blood..red. With Alma trying to mess up you mind throughout the game the visual LSD trips can be found hear and there. F.E.A.R 2 looks good I have no complaints, an excellent presentation.
Its not only enough that a game should move us visually and emotionally, if that is all us gamers asked for we would just watch a movie. So how does F.E.A.R’s 2 game play stack up to the FPS that are currently asking for you hard earned dollars? I can honestly say that F.E.A.R’s game play mechanics are a mixed mashed of both Good and Bad. Let’s address the Bad first since these issues are what bugged me most. F.E.A.R offers a cover system that for the most part feels useless, and in cover I mean the ability to flip over objects and kind-of-hide around..under them? I found myself not even looking for things to flip after getting my achievement for flipping over 50 items. Your character has the ability to do this slide attack that I found terribly cheesy as if done right you could kill most enemies instantly. For the most part the weapons feel nice and are varied with enough appeal to make you want to try them all out, while having a weighted feel to them I still found the weapons entertaining nonetheless. There are a few moments that you will have to either man a MECH or a mounted gun turret, I found these to be particularly entertaining as in one scenario the music seem to change to an 80’s hair metal song that brought an almost Rambo-esq euphoria to the game. While that little scenario took me out of the game for a moment I almost wished there were more of those. Earlier in the game you gain the ability to do a Bulletime ability that slow time down for you. Bulletime does allow for some strategy in chaining together kills, but its bullet time and for most of us its been there, done that.
The audio effects of F.E.A.R 2 aptly fit what they were going for. Creeks and moans and a world gone wrong often sounded wonderful with the contrast of heavy gun fire that was a constant take turns approach in this game. The audio won’t win your heart over but it does its job in complementing the atmospheric mood and visuals in F.E.A.R 2
I’m just going to put it out there I tried multiplayer I didn’t like it games don’t need to do this I find the single player mode entertaining enough. “DON’T TAKE ON MULTIPLAYER UNLESS IT’S UP TO PAR WITH COD AND HALO!”
As I put the controller down from finally ending my adventure I couldn’t help but feel that F.E.A.R could have been much more. While not a bad game by any means, I feel its faults were not found in Monoliths presentation of the game, but with minor FPS implementations that we have already done in other FPS’s that make this game kind of blend in around other FPS in the wings. In the end though I can honestly say that with its fault F.E.A.R. is a good game that will provide you with a great experience, and how do I know that? Because I want to play F.E.A.R. 3! Oh was that a spoiler?
So with that I give F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin a Gamers Pub Rating of…Carona..a little bitter but more than satisfying to go back for more!