LOS ANGELES--In preparation for E3, we got our hands on the Xbox 360 version of F.E.A.R., which is being ported over to the console by Day 1 Studios, the developer of MechAssault. Apparently, the team's goal is to deliver a "pixel perfect" translation of the action-packed, horror-themed shooter to the console, and from what we've seen, things seem to be going well so far. Note: this preview may contain spoilers about F.E.A.R. for players who haven't played the original PC game.
We were able to only see and play the Xbox 360's brand-new and exclusive "instant action" single-player mode, which seems vaguely reminiscent of "The Mercenaries" mode from Resident Evil 4. These single-player sessions take place in maps that are modeled after memorable parts of the single-player game, such as the first warehouse courtyard in the PC single-player game which featured enemies that would swarm you on all sides. However, like in The Mercenaries, F.E.A.R.'s instant action levels take place in modified versions of F.E.A.R. maps that may have certain areas sealed off, and other sealed-off areas opening up into all-new locations. We tried out a round of instant action in the courtyard against successive waves of normal soldiers, followed by more heavily armored soldiers, and finally one of the missile-firing armored mech suits that appear later on in the single-player game. Senior producer Rob Loftus explains that these levels will have varying content and pacing; some will offer successive waves of tougher and tougher enemies, while others may be focused around a single (or a handful of) boss fight(s). In all cases, you'll continually pick up armor and health kits (which must be activated manually, like in the PC game) as you unlock new areas in each instant action level, and you'll also pick up scattered weapons or snatch them from the bodies of your enemies.
In all cases, your character's exceptional abilities will help you gain an edge. The Xbox 360 version of F.E.A.R. will include the melee attacks of the PC game, including smashing an enemy's face with the butt of your gun, as well as the game's spectacular leaping kicks and the sliding scissors kick you execute while crouching. And just like in the PC game, you'll also be able to briefly slow time, which will cause the world around you to move in slow motion and let you better draw a bead on your foes. However, it's up to the developer (and publisher Vivendi Games, which is lending production assistance) to ensure that the control scheme works on the Xbox 360 controller. Because F.E.A.R. has so many specific functions (jumping, melee, crouching, tossing grenades, weapon switching, slowing time, using health packs, zooming in