F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin - Reborn Review

Reborn is a solid add-on pack, but it's too expensive for what you get.

F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin's creepy-little-telekinetic-girl story raised more questions than it answered, due to a shocking final image likely to leave your head spinning. Reborn, the latest downloadable scenario for this horror-themed first-person shooter, occurs alongside the events of the main game and adds a cliff-hanger of its own rather than shedding much light on the events of Project Origin. F.E.A.R. 2: Reborn's apparent purpose is to further set the stage for the inevitable sequel, and to this end, this new content succeeds. Nevertheless, 800 Microsoft points ($10) is a bit much to ask for 90 minutes of the same solid but unspectacular gunplay.

If you stay in your armored suit, you can finish the first of four missions in about ten minutes.

In Reborn, you play as Replicant soldier Foxtrot 813, fighting alongside your cloned squadmates--until a mental intrusion causes you to go rogue. It seems that the stringy-haired Alma isn't the only one with nefarious plans, though sharing too much about the source and purpose of this telepathic mutiny would risk spoiling important plot points. Suffice it to say that considering the DLC's short length, Reborn's storytelling is surprisingly effective; even the mission descriptions are eerily vague, which is a small but poignant way of furthering the creepy atmosphere for which the series is known. The plot itself is straightforward and doesn't provide any real creep-outs, but Reborn delivers a tense final battle and a true climax that will have you pining for a sequel, which is in pleasant contrast to F.E.A.R. 2's final "huh?" moment, which probably left you more confused than fulfilled.

The action itself is far from ambitious, relying on the same weapons and enemies as in the original release but stuffing them into a tight package that focuses on giving each foe a few minutes of face time. Facing off against most of the usual suspects makes for varied combat, but this kitchen-sink approach leads to a stilted pace that doesn't suit the slow-burn atmosphere draped around it. F.E.A.R. 2's best battles pitted you against multiple enemies, letting you use your slow-motion skills to fill the air with splatters of blood and flesh. Reborn offers a few such enjoyable sequences, along with a fun armored-suit opening scenario and some splendid encounters with lanky-limbed abominations. But by retreading so much ground in such a short time, there's too much emphasis on less thrilling aspects. Escaping a claustrophobic office maze while under assault from multiple armored units isn't much fun, and a moment when jumping down to a platform beneath may result in death one time and success another makes what should be a haunting jaunt through a topsy-turvy building unnecessarily frustrating.

There's nothing more frightening than a dangling semi.

In spite of its inconsistency, the action is held together by F.E.A.R. 2's competent arsenal of weapons; you'll certainly make good use of your missile launcher in this go-round. Yet while the story provides a more gratifying bridge to the all-but-certain sequel, Reborn fits comfortably into the franchise but doesn't reenergize it. F.E.A.R. 2: Reborn is a pleasant way to extend your Project Origin experience, but it's not a must-play, which makes the price tag a tough pill to swallow.

The Good
Good story that runs parallel to the main game
Some great enemy encounters
The Bad
Too short to justify the price
A few uneven sequences
Condensed design leads to pacing issues
6
Fair
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Discussion

2 comments
Renoo27
Renoo27

Is this canon to the series?

NTM23
NTM23

 @Renoo27 This is old, but I thought I'd reply anyways. Yes, this is canon. It takes place while Becket is under Alma's custody. Personally, I liked it when I played it. I ran through it all, so very little mech gameplay for me as I remember, and it made it longer, which was nice. I liked the presentation in this one, certainly how they present the Replica forces. Alright, probably doesn't even matter anymore :P.

F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin More Info

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  • First Released
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    The sequel to F.E.A.R. continues the supernatural suspense story of an escalating paranormal crisis that threatens to destroy a major American city.
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    Developed by:
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