Some spoilers ahead.
Just finished this game. It was rather short, but frustrating enough to still give a feeling of length. Without the Vita (revitalization) chambers I would have abandoned the game for the following reasons:
- You die, and die, and die, and die, often a few seconds after leaving the Vita chamber. In the beginning of the game I almost gave it up due to this, but I took a chill pill, and just accepted that it's close to impossible (read: really impossible) to play this game without the Vita chambers or constant reloading.
- The attack effects are sometimes so startling that it's almost impossible to see where attacks are coming from and at all seeing anything to shoot at. Also, audio gives few cues as to where attacks are coming from. Seems like a real design flaw.
- After I had saved the game maybe 20 times, opening the menu and the Load screen took forever, almost a minute for each, so I had to exit the game and move away older save games to be able to continue.
- The constant chattering from the splicers made playing confusing, as it was completely irrelevant to the game play. If I compare with F.E.A.R. 2 I played right before, everything said was relevant somehow.
- The AI sucks, as splicers just attack as soon as you are seen. No tactics what-so-ever.
It is especially frustrating at the beginning, when you are almost powerless, but it improves, and at the end I could start using tactics to have enemies fight each other, blow them to smithereens etc.
Luckily the idiotic and malplaced boss fight at the end of Bioshock is gone, and instead the ending is very fulfilling, leaving a noticeable mark.
Don't give it up too early, you'll be rewarded for staying put, yet don't think it's anything other than a shooter with a few perks.
Before entering a room, always equip the weapon you want to go in with and then equip the camera. By taking photos of every foe you'll get very important benefits. After taking a photo the game falls back to the previously chosen weapon, so then it's just to fire away.
I didn't listen to any of the tapes or read any of the notes, except when there was a door code in there, knowing how irrelevant the tapes and notes were in Bioshock. Rather I went for a speed run through the game, so I would finish it in roughly a day.
So is it better than F.E.A.R. 2? No way in hell.