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A Small Review On The Action/Horror FPS
Published on October 17, 2005 By mittens In FPS
I got my hands on F.E.A.R. yesterday, and had beaten it by midnight. Overall, I'd say the game has about ten hours of gameplay, which gets pretty action-packed after about forty-five minutes and doesn't let-up until you finish the ending sequence.

I will say that if you're any "good" at FPSs at all, then you should probably play through the game on Hard or, maybe, even Extreme difficulty. The slow-mo in the game makes the enemies pretty damn easy, and after playing through it on hard, I really wish I had up'd the difficulty level to make the single-player portion a bit more intense. Even at hard difficulty (there are: easy, normal, hard, and extreme available from the get-go), the game was just way too easy. Over the course of ten hours, I'd say I only died about four times. Also, once you beat the game once, it'll take a good bit of will to play through it again, it's just not the kind of game that really lends itself to multiple run-throughs; especially with the lengthy "introduction."

As for the story, it's nothing spectacular, but what is there is presented in an incredible way. I had a good deal of fun making my way through the game and picking up a number of vary DOOM 3-esque audio clips that helped to set the mood of the game overall. Towards the end of the game, though, you really have to pay attention. A lot happens in a fairly short time, and some thing in my run through the end left me feeling a bit... Confused. Might've just been the fact that I had people watching the ending sequence while I played it, thus maybe forcing me to miss a key bit of information or two.

Also, disappointingly for me, I just didn't find the game that scary. I only jumped once or twice (compared to DOOM 3 and The Suffering, which made me damn near wet my pants a fair number of times), and the best scares in the game were ruined for me from the single-player demo. Also, if you played the single-player demo, the level you played is split up throughout the course of the third or fourth level, so don't go in expecting to be greatly familiar with a large stretch of gameplay. This is a surprise I was happy to see.

And, Monolith, for the love of God. CALM THE GRATE LOVE. So. Many. Grates. So. Many. Ducts. It hurts.

Overall: 90%+ rating. Despite any qualms I may have about the game, the combat and mood is just absolutely incredible. It's a fucking blast to play through.

Pretties:


Comments
on Oct 17, 2005
And, yeah, I know this is about the smallest review I've ever written, but I think this is all the game really needs. The graphics can be seen in the screenshots, the audio is just fantastic, and so on. If you have any questions, I'll answer them in the comments.
on Oct 18, 2005
So, at $49.99 with 10 hours of gameplay it's about $5/hour to play. That's rather expensive, but about par for the action genre. At least it sounds like it was a good game. 
on Oct 18, 2005
I'm about an hour or two into the game now and there are a few comments I have on it...

1. The mood is excellent. While not overtly scary, it has a very solid creep factor going for it. I feel consistently unnerved by the game.

2. The AI reacts better than in any FPS I've played. While still not challenging, the enemies pretty effectively use cover and obstacles. I just wish they'd stop announcing what they are about to do. They yell "Flanking maneuver!" and I drop back and shift to whatever secondary approach there is to my position. The bullet-time also makes it really easy to just fly in and smack them down with the butt of the gun. Oh, and why does a smack to the head with a gun handle do more damage than half a dozen bullets to the chest, legs and arms?

3. The story is revealed in a very stuttering way. The flashbacks you see at the start of the game make absolutely NO sense and only start to become clear several missions down the line. Maybe the narrative becomes clearer later in the game, but right now it's just disjointed and confusing.

4. Please, please please stop making shooter games that primarily take place in abandoned warehouses. I'm tired of the shelves and crates motif. Why can't scary shit happen in an elementary school? The local mall? A burger king, a housing development etc? FPS games have taught me three things: All crates have goodies in them, all barrels are explosive, and all warehouses are rife with zombies/gangsters/henchmen bent on world domination.
on Oct 18, 2005

So, at $49.99 with 10 hours of gameplay it's about $5/hour to play. That's rather expensive, but about par for the action genre. At least it sounds like it was a good game.


Well if you goto a bad movie its like $4/hr for 2 hours that you want your life back of.
on Oct 18, 2005
Yeah, the game's story is revealed in stutter-step like sequences throughout the game. Then, in the last hour, the final "pieces" of the puzzle are revealed so quickly that you'll suffer information whiplash. Pay attention or you'll get lost fairly easily.

As for the levels, the game is essentially divided into four quarters, with each quarter being a completely different locale. The warehouse was the absolute most boring part of the game. Things picked up fairly quickly after that.
on Jul 26, 2006
Personally I loved the game. When I lived in Seattle I was invited to help a small class that was being taught by a Monolith guy to mod the game. Sad to say that the mod did not go through upstairs and we were forced to scrap it.

However as far as multiplayer goes I love this game a great deal. Really looking forward to the expansion.

Cheers,

Seabass
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