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Retro Reviews - F.E.A.R

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F.E.A.R Pack Retro-review

It is no secret I like to shoot things. Guns and bombs are a welcome addition to any game in my opinion. F.E.A.R is a game where you will shoot, and shoot, and shoot. In fact, if thatís all you want in a game, this is your baby. Sadly, for me, it came off as a one trick pony. The intense combat scenes can be boiled down to a cover by corridor scenario, and the few open field shoot outs have this nasty problem where your shots are stopped by objects and cover, but your enemies arenít. I can't count
how many times an auto turret clipped me from behind full cover. The bullet time feature is cool,in as much as it can be lengthened by hypo-guns scattered in random locations,and is essential to your survival. My main issue with this game, is that like many others it uses lack of lighting to set an ambient sense of foreboding and tension. This atmospheric touch, actually hinders your ability to play the game.



Often times your flashlight, the saving grace of the dark corridor shooter has totally artificial battery length and will shine into a vast nothingness instead of illuminating the corner your pointing it at. The enemies have super natural aim and while you often hear them saying things like"he's flanking" or "shut the F&$k up", really are as intelligent as a well mounted soap dish. Also, the game's designers use a oh-so-clever clone storyline to explain why you essentially shoot the exact same dude a million times. In many ways, the scariest thing about the game is that the auto save feature only activates at a checkpoint, so your quick saves have to be made every so many steps. The two expansions add some varied weapons types, and a few more enemies to pew-pew at,
but don't fix or change any of the first iterations problems, in fact, they try to capitalize on them. You run into enemies who carry one shot kill rifles and blindly chuck grenades into, as far as they should be aware, empty hallways.



I did enjoy parts of this game. The enemies, while dumb, do understand things like over lapping fields of fire. The weapons are interesting enough to keep you blowing through bad guys, and bullet timing a grenade into someoneís face to auto detonate on impact doesn't ever get old for me. One of the good things about the scavenger aspect of the game is that most times, supplies are readily available and easy to locate. There were few times I actually had to look for ammo or health. Also, the body damage does deliver some rewarding visuals, like shot-gunning a man in half, or liquefying someone with a trip mine tossed beneath them in bullet time. I really enjoyed the combat aspect, it was mostly the flickery lights and storyline spooks that honestly felt out of place. The little girl is creepy as sin, and got a jump out of me a few times, but that was really it. It felt like a game that tried for full on horror show, and at best, got something akin to B movie gestalt. It seems this is a game with a hell of a lot of potential, but the first series of installments miss the mark.

7 out of 10.

Josh Wright
Contributing Writer

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Updated 06-09-10 at 07:00 by SteveSawyer

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Comments

  1. Dhalamar's Avatar
    I actually liked the overall atmosphere of this particular game. Pretty much everything about the game in single player awesome except for the parts where you actually fight the drones. Goddamn Alma still creeps me out. lol

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