Review: F.E.A.R 2 – Project Origin
"Fear Alma again."
- Worth The Time?Yes
- Things LovedBalanced multiplayer, relatively intelligent AI, a great return for fans.
- Things HatedLack of balance in gameplay, game is too short.
- RecommendationIf you're a fan, buy it. If you're not a fan you might feel like you're missing out but this is still a good game.
- Name: F.E.A.R 2 - Project Origin
- Genre: FPS
- Players: 1-12
- Multiplayer: Online
- Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, PC
- Developer: Monolith Studios
- Publisher: Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment
- Price: R350 (PC), R700 (PS3, Xbox 360)
- Reviewed On: Xbox 360
This game kicks off few minutes after the last one meaning that if you missed any off the expansion packs which apparently weren’t that good you have nothing to worry about. Though if you did not play the first game, you might feel it lacking in certain places.
When I first got hold of the single player demo was I blown away. In this one they managed to keep the original F.E.A.R factor from the first game and add onto it. They got all the small twists in all the right places. You play as a member of another team and not as the original player.
Ok first things first the requirements on this game is not so bad meaning that they should get lot people buying it, yet it still has pretty good graphics. It runs with DirectX 9 which goes to say at least you won’t have to upgrade (or in the case of Vista downgrade) to Vista to use the DirectX 10 engine.
From the first intro movie you realize that this time round you will not be chasing someone, but rather be digging into her past and living some of those moments. I am still undecided on the new HUD system. It feels like they took the concept from Deus Ex 2. I was confused as to why they went down this route because they are picking up like just minute after F.E.A.R 1 and in the first one with the main guy we did not have this awesome H.U.D. The most important thing about this H.U.D is that it highlights objects (guns, health boosters, med packs) when you near to them. Thus making it a whole lot easier to find those guns with that ammo you need. I also really preferred how they set the Slow-Mo bar in the center by the crosshair, versus the old system at the bottom where you constantly have to look down and check that it’s not used up.
In this game they compound on the thing that made them famous the Slow-Mo. You don’t start off with it but they show that through an operation you are actually made faster and thus allowed access to the slow-mo option. In the same way F.E.A.R 1 allowed you to improve the amount of Slow-Mo time you have access to by hunting through the levels and finding boosters, the sequel allows you that ability though I warn you on average you could find 7 of the 14 boosters.
Anyways I noticed some really good and bad differences between the two games (First and second). For example in the old game 3 weapons limit seemed to I feel balance it out, now you got 4 slots so you end up packing quite a small arsenal. Ok there is lot more new guns in this one meaning you need to choose which ones to swap out (drop) for which situations, though certain guns you end up keeping as a standard load out. Though if you played the first one just takes little getting used to the new names. They have introduced new weapons and removed old ones. The shotgun is now off two types 1 automatic and 1 combat. They also now allow you to choose what type of firing mode you want, single shot vs. full auto your choice.
Next up is a really awesome thing that they added into this game. It is the Powered Armour which is essentially a mech warrior (: D). These things are awesome against normal soldiers you decimate but take care of those sneaky rockets they tend to launch at you. But against other mechs you might take a beating if you not careful, which I am happy to see as it must be part of the improved AI. As generally most games don’t match you up properly and you just walk through the enemy. Apparently this was taken from one of their project’s which was shelved.
They also have made the AI more intelligent they tend to kick up tables a lot (you can also kick tables for cover – is that awesome or what) they tend to flank and surround you more in this one, thus herding you like a sheep. Though, on more serious note their continuous use of cover makes hard to hit not impossible. Regarding enemies they introduced only two fairly new enemies. One being the ghosts which are hard to see as they are transparent and although they take only a few shots to die, they are damn irritating especially when they are in groups and in dark places. The second enemy is these people that were experimented on they are just fast and tend to jump out from a corner, but it’s nothing slow mo and shotgun couldn’t handle.
The multiplayer has really been balanced, especially for online play. Compared to games like Call Of Duty 4 and 5 where if I got a level 50 account I got better gear then you, thus it’s more about items and less skill. In F.E.A.R2 they set up a weight system. You can only carry a max of say 50 points (Kilograms). Maybe you want heavy armour so you can tank, well that will cost you maybe 30 points. So now you got 20 points to choose a gun and/or grenades. Though you can’t get all the guns from load-out you get about 90%. The remaining weapons that you want are level dependent. Meaning you want a laser maybe it’s only in level A and D, you want pulse rifle maybe only level B and C.
A first for PC games is the achievements system from Xbox. For performing certain feats, finding all of the Intel documents, completing it on hard difficulty, etc. Though the satisfaction you get from Xbox is obviously different as you get points which are connected in a unified system. It was done pretty well and I hope to see this in many more games to come.
I like the way they took this game and when I finish played the full game I was thoroughly satisfied. The one thing I think they lacked in was game play length. The game play time ranges from roughly 6- 10 hours. With replayability to try and get all the achievements you could get some extra time out of it.
[Credit to teamxbox for screenshots]