This outstanding shooter combines creepy horror with kinetic and visceral action, and it elevates the genre to a whole new level of intensity.
- FEAR elevates gun battles to a cinematic level
- Creepy and atmospheric
- Visually amazing--you will smell the smoke
- Sounds incredible
- Wild and fast-paced multiplayer.
- The game is a system hog
- Some environments and enemies recycled a bit too much
- Some loose ends in the plot don't tie up as well as they could.
When you get down to it, the gun is the heart and soul of a first-person shooter. Even the genre's name alludes to this fact. Yet while shooters have been around for more than a decade, very few of them have actually captured the visceral experience of firing a gun. It's an intense and violent act, not to mention loud. Enter F.E.A.R., the highly anticipated action game from Vivendi Universal Games and developer Monolith. F.E.A.R. is a shooter that captures the sensation of being in wild and desperate firefights like no other game before it, and it's an incredible, kinetic, almost exhausting experience from start to finish. More than that, though, is the fact that it's also one of the most atmospheric and creepy games ever made, as well as one of the most intense shooters that you'll play this year.
The challenge in describing F.E.A.R. is trying to avoid any spoilers, because this is definitely a game that you want to experience unspoiled. What we can tell you is that you play as the newest member of the First Encounter Assault Recon, the military's top-secret task force assigned to deal with paranormal situations. And the mission in F.E.A.R. certainly counts as above and beyond the regular call of duty. As explained in the opening cinematic (which is also game's only third-person cutscene), a military commander named Paxton Fettel goes insane and takes command of a secret army of cloned soldiers that are telepathically linked to him. Fettel and the battalion of elite soldiers then go on the rampage in a nondescript American city. They appear to be searching for something, though their objective is a mystery. It's up to you and the rest of the F.E.A.R. team, along with units of Delta Force, to find out what it is they're looking for and stop them.
F.E.A.R. works because it elevates first-person shooter combat to cinematic levels. And while we've certainly seen games with movie-quality combat before, you've never seen anything quite like this. Playing F.E.A.R. is like battling through a John Woo movie like Face/Off, because when firefights happen in this game, they're downright glorious to behold. Bullets tear chunks out of concrete and wood; blinding clouds of dust and debris fill the air; bodies are torn apart or slump on the ground; and the deathly silence of the aftermath contrasts so sharply with the sheer chaos that erupted only moments before. Gunfights in F.E.A.R. just feel right.
Part of the reason for that is because the weapons that you have in the game feel powerful, like weapons should. You have the standard fare of guns to play around with, including a pistol, submachine gun, assault rifle, shotgun, and rocket launcher. There's also a scoped, burst-firing rifle that's a dead ringer for the Master Chief's battle rifle in Halo 2; an incredibly nasty particle weapon that sears the flesh off of opponents; and a few other special toys. All of these weapons, even the pistols, pack an incredibly satisfying punch and are capable of putting down opponents quickly (you can even dual-wield the pistols, for that extra John Woo-style gunfight action). This goes against the genre's convention, since most shooters usually scale weapons on a curve, with the smaller and lighter ones being next to useless later on in the game. That's not the case in F.E.A.R., and virtually every gun you use can tear up the place.
You can't run around like a pack rat carrying every weapon, though, because F.E.A.R. limits you to only three weapons at a time. This is a familiar gameplay mechanic, but it's a good one, as you have to weigh the pros and cons of each weapon. Obviously, you'd like to have a close-range weapon, a decent long-range weapon, and a heavy weapon for those special encounters, but it's tempting when the game offers you a rocket launcher or a repeating cannon that you weren't expecting. At that point, something has to be sacrificed. In addition to guns, you also have grenades in your arsenal. And unlike most shooters, in which you have to equip grenades separately prior to using them, the grenades in F.E.A.R. can be readily thrown at the press of a button. This eliminates the need to fumble around with your inventory, and it opens up your tactical playbook, as you can toss a grenade without a moment's hesitation and force the enemy to react.
- Player Reviews: 1,516
- Game Universe:
- F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin (PS3, X360, PC),
- F.E.A.R. (PS3, PC, X360),
- F.E.A.R. Perseus Mandate (PC),
- F.E.A.R. 3 (PC, PS3, X360),
- F.E.A.R. 2: Reborn (X360, PS3, PC),
- F.E.A.R. Files (X360),
- F.E.A.R. Platinum Collection (PC),
- F.E.A.R. Gold Edition (PC),
- F.E.A.R. Extraction Point (PC),
- F.E.A.R. Combat (PC)
- Online Modes:
Competitive, Cooperative, Team Oriented
- Number of Players:
- Number of Online Players:
16 Players Online