Average SciFi/Horror FPS (more SciFi than horror) that makes an OK bargain bin purchase

User Rating: 7 | F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin PS3
FEAR 2 is a linear first person run and gun shooter set in a sci fi/horror world with an emphasis on the sci-fi part and very little horror thrown in.

You will spend most of the game battling super soldiers in burnt out buildings, bombed streets, factories, and secret underground facilities. Most of the super soldiers use conventional weapons, but some use more sci fi tech like lasers, camo suits, power suits, and mechs. In other words you have mostly sci fi type opponents.

Your character is also a super soldier and you will have the opportunity to use the conventional and scifi weapons( and even pilot a mech and operate a gun turret in a sequence of two) as you fight against the other super soldiers during the course of the game.

Note: there are also a few experiment gone wrong grunt types similar to fast zombies and a miniboss that possesses dead bodies, but the horror type characters are very few and far between – as I said this is mostly a scifi shooter rather than a horror game.

The AI is competent. They will try to flank you sometimes, but they also tend to just run at you, and if you flank them they don't seem able to adjust. I've seen worse AI, but I've also seen better. They put up an OK fight.

The controls in this game are awkward, but not broken. The developers mapped the controls in an unusual way (for example: L1 call up weapons wheel, L2 scope, R1 grenade, R2 shoot) so it takes awhile to get used to the controls. But once you get used to them, they are OK. You can hold 4 types of guns and 4 types of grenades at one time and choosing which one you want to use involves flipping through a weapons wheel for the guns and using the directional pad for the grenades. Your character can also jump, crouch, sprint, and has the ability to slow down time.

The slow down time ability is controlled by a special power bar – it drains as you use your power and refills over time. You can find hidden power ups to make your bar longer. The slow down time mechanic works better in FEAR 2 than it did in FEAR 1. In FEAR 1 your character seemed to move just as slow as the enemies when he used his power. But in FEAR 2 he definitely feels like he is moving faster than the enemies when he uses his power so it is much more fun and useful in the second game.

The story is an average tale of evil scientists/corporations engaging in immoral experiments leading to disaster. Your character has to clean up the mess. The backstory is told mostly through the collection of intel (text only) which is hidden throughout the game.

For a game with the word FEAR in its title, it is surprisingly lacking in scary moments. Part of the problem has to do with the fact that the main character has no voice or personality . Your character doesn't get any dialogue in this game. The only thing we know about him is that he is a super soldier, he's good at killing everything that moves, and he follows orders. It's hard to feel scared when your character is a super soldier who is a weapons expert, never has a problem finding plenty of ammo, armor, and health packs, has a special power that makes him faster than his enemies, and never acts scared or put out by the situation.

The atmosphere is more about sci fi battlefield (burnt out ruins, blood stains, and mutilated bodies in corridors) than horror. The bodies aren't even mutilated in cool horror ways – they just tend to look like burnt up corpses. Certainly nothing you couldn't find in any typical WWII shooter that includes a flamethrower. There are occasionally scary noises and the lights flicker every now and then.

The main horror element seems to be the appearance of Alma ("scary" little girl from the first game who mostly appears as an adult in this game). You will catch a glimpse of Alma out of the corner of your eye every now and then and occasionally she will jump out at you and mess with your mind in lame ways (for example, she will make you see an image of a bunt out swing set.)

This game was OK. There was nothing horrible about the gameplay or story, but there was nothing special about it either. Note, this game includes multi player maps (deathmatch etc) too. But, like the single player campaign, the multiplayer components are thoroughly average. This game will mostly appeal to FPS fans who have run out of other things to play.

I paid $15.00 for my game and I feel I got my money's worth. I wouldn't suggest paying much more than that because FEAR 2 has a very short campaign (less than 8 hours) and it doesn't even have any real boss fights. At the most, it has 3 fights that would qualify as miniboss fights in most other games. Even the final boss is not really any harder to defeat than a roomful of super soldier grunts.

The reason to buy FEAR 2 instead of some other bargain bin game is that it is a competent game and there is definitely some fun to be had. It's not a broken game, it is just an average game. It shouldn't be your first choice for a game to play, but if you have run out of the better games to play and you can find it cheap enough, you will get some fun out of it.