F.E.AR is a Horror Themed FPS that while fun, overstays it's welcome

User Rating: 8 | F.E.A.R. PC
F.E.A.R Is one o those games that it's hard to say whether i liked it or not. I enjoyed parts of it very much, the creepy atmosphere, the Slow-mo mechanics/effects, The surprisingly intelligent A.I, and the powerful weapons, but F.E.A.R is too much of a good thing, as the game can really drag at times as you do the same thing for hours on end.
The Story is very vague, you play as Point-Man, the newest Recruit in the First Encounter Assault Recon squad (or F.E.A.R). You are called in to Stop Paxton Fettel, A psychic cannibal who escapes from his holding facility and takes command of an army of cloned soldiers, from then on you follow him to various locations, all the while seeing Bizarre visions of a creepy little girl who appears to have some connection with Fettel (and maybe even you). This is one of F.E.A.R's best aspects, the atmosphere feels right out of a creepy film such as "The Ring" or "The Grudge", and it works well, i was never "Scared" presay but there where many times where the game sent a chill down my spine.
The Meat of F.E.A.R though is the shooting, and it great. The guns (though not many of them) all feel unique and have punch to them, even the pistol, and ESPECIALLY the Shot-Gun which can blast enemies to pieces. What makes F.E.A.R stand out is the Slow-Mo mechanic, at any point in the game you can press a button and slow down time, the effect when this happens is amazing and i found myself doing it often. Unlike in other Slow-Mo games such as Max Payne, where by going into Bullet time you become an unstoppable death machine, in F.E.A.R it's very easy to get killed, and that brings me to the Enemy A.I. The A.I in this game is really outstanding, your enemies will try to flank you, find cover, communicate with one another, and even interact with the environment. This intelligence means that F.E.A.R is damn hard, and you will probably die a lot, but i was rarely frustrated by it.
But now we get to my biggest problem with F.E.A.R, it's too much off a good thing, the shooting may be great, and the game may be creepy, but when that's ALL there is, it can get repetitive and boring quite fast. The level design doesn't help much either as F.E.A.R mostly takes place in generic and bland looking facilities and office buildings, there are also few set pieces to break up said tedium, and at around 10 to 12 hours, it can be hard to keep playing.
F.E.A.R's graphics are hard to comment on, for 2005 i'm sure they where mind blowing, but in 2012, they look quite dated, but that doesn't mean they're bad. The Shadows/Lighting are a standout in particular.
So overall F.E.A.R is a very good FPS with a horror theme that dips into tedium at about the midpoint. I would recommend it to just about anyone looking for a good FPS with some heavy atmosphere, and since it's older it can be purchased fairly cheaply nowadays, and can run on just about anything.

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