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aelita Blog

My review of F.E.A.R.

Well, since Gamespot only allows "members in good standing" to post game reviews, and for some unfathomable reason I'm not considered in "good standing", I just want to leave a brief review of the F.E.A.R. game here. There is one reviewer in the official review section for that game who gave it 7.0 while many others gave 9.0 or something like that. I pretty much concur with that person's reasoning -- the game must have felt at least somewhat dated when it first came out, and now it just feel like really, really dated. The game was released at approximately same time as "Far Cry", and it can't hold a candle to it. Where Far Cry gives you huge open air playing levels with tons of different ways to accomplish the objective, FEAR tends to follow a boring mix of warehouses and abandoned labs. It takes pages from the book of all the great games that preceded it, but does it in a uniquely uninspired way. I just don't see it as a huge improvement (or maybe no improvement at all) over Deux Ex or the Max Payne franchise. FEAR is still quite playable, and expertly put together, but there is just not enough creative spirit invested in that game. And when it comes to the atmosphere, well apparently it's supposed to be gothic and scary, but it ends up being sort of goofy. If you are looking for dark ambience and gloom, you might as well check out "Jerico", which I think is way underrated. Besides, it features much more interesting characters on both sides. Annoying specifics: - a lot of the game takes place in dark spaces. The flashlight has an annoyingly short-lasting battery. You would think Special Forces are better equipped than that. And the dark places (in office buildings, for example) are almost unnaturally dark, even being not far from a well lit space. The contrast in lighting is just unrealistic. - environments are way to repetitive. You keep going from one warehouse room to another, from one office cubicle to another, and there is just so much sameness. - yes, elevators can malfunction, but please, here they do it all the time! - same goes for helicopters, sure they can come under enemy fire, but it get boring when this happens almost every time