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Hundreds of years ago we as a human race would of done anything to avoid fear, no one liked being scared, nowadays that is different, we go to the store to buy a horror movie or in this case a game, but is FEAR a good choice for fear seekers? That's debatable, now before I go further I will point out that Sierra attempted an extraordinary feat, to combine to infamous genres together to make one, survival horror and first person shooters, and I will give it to them, for a first attempt it's amazing.
The story behind FEAR is nothing short of 'unique' it starts confusing and gets more and more messed up, in a good way mind, essentially there is a female character Alma, who was heavily experimented on by Armacham Technology Corporation, after breaking out, she seeks revenge on the Corporation using her extremely powerful Psionic abilities, you are a soldier of the elite FEAR unit, you are sent to access and stop the situation, but everything isn't quite as simple as that.
The graphics in FEAR aren't all that good, but it suits the gameplay well, when your attention is not drawn so much to your surroundings you find yourself more immersed in the 'fear' this game has to offer, the creepy scenes are very well done though, with blood covered corridors and creepy little girls, there is plenty of that. The sound is very atmospheric and fitting for the scary setting, adding even further to the fear this title aims to achieve.
The gameplay is surprisingly quite good, it's not like, the best, but for what it is, which I must point out is very unique, it is very good, it gives a fresh twist on both the horror and first person shooter franchise, it is even further improved with the psionic powers your character possesses, the gameplay is always mixed up and changed meaning it is never boring (which is rather impressive, when you consider the game all takes place in an abandoned shopping mall) overall it's impressive, giving a very fresh metaphorical door for us gamers to explore.
Overall Sierra wanted to achieve fear, they achieved FEAR, it's far from perfection but for what it is it's amazing, giving an actual 'horror' edge to the rapidly dying genre of 'horror'
F.E.A.R - Xbox 360
F.E.A.R. was a smash hit on PC one of the surprise packages of last year. Its got a great storyline and multiplayer, It also tested even the best PCs at higher resolution and detail levels. So with its Xbox 360 launch a year on, the game itself makes for an interesting comparison on hardware terms as well.
You're part of a special squad that rectifies paranormal issues, (Ghostbusters??).Your team is called in when a renegade military commander goes insane and starts tearing stuff up with an elite force of telepathic soldiers.
The first problem however happens when you start pushing into the game past the 20 minute mark. Those office environments are pretty bland. It's not that they are bad graphics at all, it's just so....similar to other games....older games. Which was not a great point in the game, the backgrounds and rooms make the game just as much as the story and gameplay.
The weapons are cool, there's something for everyone here whether you're a machine gun person, explosive expert or the sniper. The slow mo/bullet time mode returns as well which I love, other people don't agree but I think it's a great feature just like in the original Max Payne game.
Multiplayer is great, there's enough teamplay and deathmatch modes to keep the player enthralled. In fact multiplayer easily shades out the single player mode here.
The controls are easy and the graphics; apart from the backgrounds are great. I wouldn't suggest this game to buy but either rent it, or better still get the PC version its much better....
FEAR is a horror themed first person shooter for the Microsoft Xbox 360 games console.
In this game you play as an operative for the First Encounter Assault Recon unit. What this means is basically you must find out why things are going crazy and solve the problem with your gun.
This game has pretty satisfying gun play as you can slowdown time and take out the enemys a lot easier. Your opponents are quite clever so you will need to use this to gain the upper hand.
The game is very bloody and brutal, when you fire at an enemy they will explode in a cloud of blood and their limbs will fly everywhere. This is definitely not a game for young children.
The game is also quite creepy, you will see the classic scary little girl around corners and as you climb down ladders, this can really be a bit creepy.
This game is actually very good apart from the abysmal frame rate of the Xbox version, the graphics are also not that special.
You can find this game for around 10 to 20 pounds but if you have a good computer you should probably play it there.
Meshing different elements in games is not easy feat. Especially horror, as trying to incorporate horror into something like a shooter is hard as you have to make it scary while making the shooter unique among the hordes of them in the genre. When Monolith released F.E.A.R. on the PC in 2005, many game critics thought they succeeded at this. Having never played this on the PC, I thought this would be another one of those complicated PC exclusives that they nerds with huge graphic cards would boast off to the console gaming world. At least until Sierra slapped them in the face and released F.E.A.R. on both the PS3 and 360. So I could now play this apparently great shooter, but to be honest, after playing the likes of CoD4, I have seen so much better. Why? Let's find out...
The plot follows a nameless, faceless guy who has recently joined the First Encounter Assault Recon (F.E.A.R.). This is a top secret unit who deals with the paranormal like ghosts. Now, a psychic has brought alive an army of clone soldiers and it's up to you to stop them. Along the way, strange things will happen and a weird ghostly girl will keep popping up. It's not a bad setup, let down by paper-thin characters and a pretty poor way of telling you the proper story. Around the levels phones and laptops will be hidden to tell the plot of the story with messages from loved ones wondering where their loves have gone. They're easy to miss, and pretty boring too. It's not fun to stay still for a chunk of time to listen to someone ramble about missing you.
Because F.E.A.R. is a port of a PC game, the controls were complicated and, in turn, are challenging to adjust to the controller. While F.E.A.R.'s controls are solid, you can't help but feel that the adjustment could have been smoother. Because the game is all about split-second reactions, it means you may accidentally press the wrong button-a lot. This is probably because some actions are different to shooters on the 360. Rather than have slow-mo planted to one of the face buttons, the feature is used on the bumper, which would be better for reloading or throwing grenades. Grenade throwing is mapped to the left trigger, which means you can't fire both weapons in duel wield. The game does it automatically for you, which is confusing. Also annoying is that you turn on your flashlight by pressing up on the D-pad, when this action is usually mapped to a face button. Yet again, you'll find yourself confused. It wouldn't be so bad if the game was slower, but because the game is about fast paced action, the amount of issues is a big problem.
F.E.A.R. plays mostly identical to its PC counterpart, which mixed first-person shooting and horror. It's like a John Woo movie with horror, where you can slow down time and experience some scary moments. The combat in F.E.A.R. is mostly successful, as it's some of the most intense on the system. This is due to a couple of things. The weapons are great, with your standard assault rifle, shotgun, pistol and more. There are a couple of unique weapons, like the burst-firing rifle, a weapon which sears human flesh off and a few more. They all help you feel like a cool commando, but they take away some of the horror as you don't feel scared when you're armed to bits. Another cool thing about combat is when you're fighting, it's like you're playing Unreal as the combat is so fast paced that you may struggle to keep up.
Thankfully, you can slow down time in F.E.A.R. thanks to your characters so called 'reflexes'. You can slow down time at the touch of a bumper and do your killing. Though it's not to the level of Sierra's other shooter TimeShift where you could slow down, rewind and pause time. Slowing down is the most you can do so it doesn't get too crazy. And slowing down is the most satisfying moments in F.E.A.R. as slowing down, shooting someone with a shotgun and seeing their body completely explode into bits never gets old. Unfortunately, this is a crutch as it recharges quickly so you can use the power, get to cover and let it restore, and rinse and repeat. It inevitably gets repetitive and can suck out quite a bit of the challenge in the game.
And that's not the only thing that gets repetitive in F.E.A.R.-perhaps the game's biggest issue. There are a lot of reasons for this. One of which I've already mentioned-the crutch! On top of that, the game recycles the enemy character models and environments way too much. You'll find yourself going through the same office, fighting the same enemies way too often. It means you may struggle to stay compelled, as you essentially playing through the same great gunfight again and again. Much like it sounds, its fun the first time, good the second, getting old the third and just plain monotonous the fourth time. It's also not exactly original-where have I seen bullet time before? And if you chop out the bullet time aspect of F.E.A.R. then really all you have is a generic shooter that's slightly too fast for the controls.
There is one shining element of F.E.A.R.-the opponent A.I. which is formidable at its worst, and downright clever at its best. The A.I. will use cover, even if they need to knock over an object and take cover behind that, talk to each other as they plan attacks, flank you, pin you down and throw a grenade next to you and more. They use the weapons you can use, and to be honest they will do just as much damage as you can. A scary opponent EVE. This is a robot that can shoot rockets at you and take a lot of damage, which are probably the toughest to take down. This means that some fights play differently than each other, which does try to make the game fresh, but the repetitive environments and character models neglect that like a chimney sweep.
Around the level there are many items you can pick up, including health packs and armour. You can pick up a lot of health packs and use them as you please, as finding them won't automatically use them. Also new to this version is the checkpoint system, so when you die you don't have to restart from square one. Unfortunately, the level design is confusing, thanks to dark levels, a lack of an in-game map and repetitive environments. It was a problem in Monolith's other game Condemned and it's an issue here. So simply finding the right way to go is annoying, for example on rare occasions you could jump out of a window onto a lower level, but most of the time you'd just fall to your death. There is not indication between the two, so you'll usually go past a window you were meant to go through, or jump through one you were not meant to.
The unique area of F.E.A.R. is its horror stuff. Like Condemned, the game tries to mess with your head, with many gruesome images and moments. I was walking down a path, only to see a blur of a bloodied up face. I saw a comrade of mine, only to see them dissolve into dust. I was about to enter an elevator and suddenly fell through the floor into a pool of blood. There are lots of moments in F.E.A.R. and half of them are successful, but half of them aren't. The moments when you don't have to shoot anything are cool, like when you see the girl and the whole corridor sets on fire, so you have to jump out of a window (all in first-person, by the way). But there are moments where you have to shoot ghosts that randomly pop out in different places, and the controls aren't able to keep up. In the end, though, it isn't as scary as Condemned because you are armed to the teeth with weapons, which is a sad fact.
Aside from the single player campaign, there is also an Instant action mode and multiplayer. Instant action is where you must fight your way through a few maps in the quickest and most stylish way possible. Unfortunately, it completely removes the horror aspect, which while flawed, made F.E.A.R. unique so this mode feels flat. It's good fun if you didn't like the horror stuff, but not if you did. The multiplayer consists of the standard modes with deathmatch and team deathmatch, capture the flag and elimination where you can't respawn after one kill-and that is it. It's hard not to be disappointed that there aren't more modes and some horror too. It's nice that only one person has control of slow-mo and that if you kill the holder you can use it, but considering the online play is as sparse as a N64 game, the multiplayer feels like a step back from the likes of CoD4.
The game is rated 18+, which isn't surprising considering all its horror elements. It can be scary if you're not use to horror, so younger players should probably stay away. The game can be pretty gory at times, as mentioned before limbs will fly in the game, and there is some strong language. The game is also about quick reflexes, and even though a controller might not provide that, if you're not quick then F.E.A.R. will be hard, so if you have slow reaction time then stay away. I'd say that this is a game for adults only.
F.E.A.R. was one of the best looking games on the PC if you had a powerful enough PC to run it. I saw it on a powerful PC and was immensely impressed, but playing F.E.A.R. on the 360 wasn't impressive at all. The game might use lighting well, as some areas are completely pitch black, it's obvious that this doesn't push the 360 in any way. There just so many ugly things about it. Sharp edged shadows take off some of the pizzazz of the lighting, character models and environments are constantly repeated, giving a sense of déjà vu and upon entering the water, you realise that all that's changed is the sound effects and the animation of your character, as there is little indication you are underwater. At least it runs smoothly, but aside from nice particle and fire effects, F.E.A.R. can barely compete with any game on the 360, aside from maybe looking better than the choppy Quake 4.
The sound in F.E.A.R. is probably the games greatest aspect. While acting and dialogue are about as hammy as a pig, the music and effects really help build tension, which is great for F.E.A.R.'s horror aspect even if the horror itself doesn't succeed. There are lots of little sound effects like when you're in the dark and you hear scrambling which makes you scared and shoot in that direction-these effects bring F.E.A.R. above mediocrity. The combat also sounds pretty good, with great sounding weapons. There are lots of sound effects like the smashing of glass, explosions and exploded barrels hitting the floor. The sound mixing is a little iffy as you sometimes can't hear the acting over the loud sounds, although that is a bit of a good thing if you don't like it. But if you're trying to follow the plot this can be a pain. Other than that though, the sound is the shining pearl in an otherwise ugly necklace of a game.
-(The Replay Value)-
Because online play is so sparse, you're really only getting a single-player experience. The main campaign is about ten hours, which is a good enough length. There is the instant action mode which isn't exactly long but a good diversion. What's new for the 360 version then? Well, aside from the instant action mode, there is also a bonus mission too exclusive for this version, where you take the role of the F.E.A.R. team leader as you escort a hostage off the roof. It plays the same except here you can't use slow-mo and it lasts for about ten minutes and is pretty underwhelming. The achievements also are disappointing. The best achievements are almost impossible to get, like complete the game without dying or using slow-mo. You probably won't bother, and the rest earn very little and mostly come from the sparse multiplayer.
Controls=6-Doesn't translate well from PC to console.
Gameplay=7-Some decent gunfights marred by repetition.
Graphics=6-Doesn't push the system at all.
Sound=8=Great effects and music build tension
Replay Value=6-Disappointing achievements and sparse online.
-(The Ending Comments)-
F.E.A.R. on the console doesn't quite hold up when console shooters have evolved so much since its release. CoD4 upped the ante in terms of visuals, The Darkness improved story-telling and The Orange Box added value unlike ever before. F.E.A.R. could have looked like it would on a futuristic computer, it could have changed its way of telling the story and it could have added meaningful additions. Unfortunately, it doesn't. It feels old, thanks to underwhelming visuals, control quirks and a lack of new content for this version. Plus the online play is sparse, meaning you'll only get the single player, which while long for a shooter, isn't enough to hold your attention for long. There are some redeeming qualities. There is some great sound which builds atmosphere (unfortunately thwarted by arming you with guns), the combat is intense and the slow-mo is a nice gesture. Unfortunately, it's not enough to separate it from the dozens of quality shooters on the market, meaning you should try to find it cheap.
-(The Extra Info)-
This was published by Sierra and developed by Monolith-Ported to the 360 by Day 1 Studios.
This was released on November 10, 2006 and is also on PC and PS3.
This is available from Amazon for £27.98
Have you ever felt true fear? The kind of sensation of your stomach dropping and your bowels loosening? Thankfully for most of us the nearest state to terror we will ever get is sitting an exam or going on a first date. With these relatively safe existences we have to look elsewhere for our adrenaline thrills. This could be in media forms such sensationalist newscasts or the latest horror movie or book. Traditionally these past times have been passive as the audience sits back and absorbs, surely with the introduction of the best graphics and levels of interactivity ever, gaming can stake its place as the new home of F.E.A.R?
F.E.A.R is a traditional first person shooter (FPS) e.g. Doom, with added levels of tension and horror to develop the atmosphere. You play as an agent who is sent into an office building to flush out a criminal. It turns out that this man has supernatural powers allowing him to move objects and project his voice into your mind. If this was not enough he has managed to take control of a secret clone army that the government had hidden. Can you apprehend the criminal whilst fighting his genetic hoards and battling his psychological warfare?
As a FPS F.E.A.R lack some of the atmosphere that is required to make it anything but average. I felt that battling faceless hoards within similar looking environments is not the most interesting few hours of my life. The actual shooting and moving feels good and would hold up in any game in the genre. However, I did have issues with the physics as they seems a bit floaty. Also the fact that the rag-doll effects (which determine how a bad guys falls after death) looked a little dated.
The problems with the gameplay feeling dated all result from the fact that the 360 version of this game is very similar to the aging PC version. Since F.E.A.R came out on the PC, gamers expect more than a straight forward game to entertain them. Abilities such as being able to carry three weapons, health packs and armour are all pretty standard now. You have to do something special to stand out from the crowd.
The one aspect of gameplay that F.E.A.R relies on for its unique selling point is the horror. Rather than just being a straight forward shooting game F.E.A.R contains sections that see the players reality become distorted with horrific images. This is meant to disorientate you and make you lose any sense of power. The major gameplay success here is the small girl that crops up every now and again. She cause the walls to burst into flames and can kill you with one touch, these bits will have you running away in terror. However, this game was made by Monolith Productions the same team behind the excellent 360 launch title Condemned. Condemned was similar to F.E.A.R as it is a FPS that uses horror as its main devise, however, your character is vulnerable and often only has melee weapons against crazy tramps! I can not feel much tension when I am equipped with three machine guns and pockets of ammo. In my opinion F.E.A.R lacks the level of tension needed to make the game stand out from the crowd it becomes an average FPS. (3 out of 5)
Like the majority of FPS games there is little or no storyline to talk of. This is seldom a problem as the gamer usually just wants to shoot stuff no matter the context. However, the plot behind F.E.A.R is actually pretty essential in understanding what is going on as you have to uncover who your nemesis is. Rather than use in-game cut scenes like in many titles the makers have decided to spread the story out over phone messages and computer emails throughout the game. This is an awful way of providing a narrative as not only is it boring, it also means you can miss elements.
The characters themselves are also very flat and generic and do nothing to get you supporting or fearing them. The majority of your work is done alone so you can not connect to anyone. Once again this game compares poorly to Condemned as that had a great story and characters that made you want to play it through to the very end. (2 out of 5)
F.E.A.R has reasonable longevity as I played it for many hours in single player mode. The online side of the game is reportedly meant to be good, but there are so few players on Live with this game that it makes that aspect pretty redundant. The achievements are pretty fun and could encourage people who get into this game to tackle it in different ways such as not losing a life or using few bullets. However, for me the very fact that the game was a bit dull means that the gameplay will only last as long as you can be bothered to play it. (3 out of 5)
The graphics for this game are not inherently bad, but do not compare that favourably to more recent titles such as Gears of War. The use of lighting is fantastic and does increase the tension throughout. However, the character builds and the textures of the surrounding do make the game feel like the 3 year old PC game it is. (3 out of 5)
Level design is probably the weakest aspect of F.E.A.R. Here is a game with a good premise and a well built engine. How do you make it distinctly average? Set most of the game in the same looking grey corridors. The game is set over a series of linear levels that see you moving from one part of a skyscraper to the next. During the level you are likely to come across pockets of cloned marines and perhaps a scary scene or two. After the first 4 or 5 levels this soon becomes a bit tiresome as you become bored of the same thing over and over again. Doing something fun repeatedly can still lead to a good game (see Viva Piñata of Gears of War) however, F.E.A.R is just bland. (2 out of 5)
Finally an area which F.E.A.R stands out from the crowd. The sound effects and music are genuinely eerie and add a lot to an otherwise quite sterile experience. The quality is high throughout, especially if you play the game in surround sound. You will be able to use the clone marines conversations to get a track of where they are in the room. I would give this element the full 5 if it were not for the fact that Condemned has slightly better use of sound effects to instil fear. (4 out of 5)
This is in no way a bad game, just one that lacks any magic to make it more than a strictly average experience. The physics, shooting, gameplay and graphics are all perfectly adequate without being outstanding. The one element that does stand out is the sound, but that has already been surpassed by the makers of F.E.A.R themselves in the superior Condemned. The one element that was supposed to make this game a must have is the fear factor. However, I can not find a game scary that allows you to pack so much heat. If you see this game for £15 or less I think it would be a good buy, until then why not buy Condemned instead which is already reduced and is a far scarier game?
Maker: Monolith Productions RRP £50
Amazon uk £29.98
Fierce Enemies - Squads of tactical teams use coordinated attacks and flanking manoeuvres to pin you down and take you out. High tech assassins cling to walls and ceilings and ambush you from the shadows. Heavy armour units that soldiers will advance behind and use for cover. Spectacular Situations - Experience a catastrophic helicopter crash entirely in-game and then fight off waves of enemy special forces. Ride shotgun in a high speed car chase, pursued by assassins on motorcycles and enemy attack helicopters.