Poised with horror cliches and unresponsive controls, FEAR is truly a nightmare experience
FEAR is not a new game, in fact it has been ported over from the PC version years ago before heading over to the 360 and finally the PS3. A great game shall always be great, however a great game that's destroyed because of a horrible port will shamefully be a terrible game. The 360 version is the PC perfect port while the PS3 has troubles playing FEAR. Lets see what went wrong.
Firstly, playing this on the Six-Axis controller is unintuitive and idiotic. Whoever mapped the controls needs a new job, both the right trigger buttons are used to fire a weapon while the other swaps weapon. Many times I've found myself in the heat of battle and mistakenly switched weapons in the middle of combat and got destroyed on the spot. The AI is tough, they'll always backpedal and hide behind boxes to get at you. Actually, that's all they do, after getting killed so many times from observing the enemy AI, it appears that all they do is back pedal and shoot. They are also great at pincer moves, leaving you in the middle of crossfire. But I began to notice as I played, are they really surrounding me? After clearing an entire hallway, bullets still sprayed through walls and hit me through the back. I found out it was a glitch after tracing my steps through 1o identical halls back and finding a lone soldier hiding behind a desk.
Secondly, the graphics are absolutely ugly. It looks like a possible PS2 port before switching up last second. The lightings are inconsistent and shadows are nonexistent. Hallways all look alike and every stage feels exactly the same. Why does FEAR feel like a game of cat and mouse? You chase soldiers around repetitive hallways over and over and before the chapter ends, you'll encounter Alma.
Third, the Loading times are absolutely unforgivable. Game takes anywhere from 3-4 minutes to load a stage. This wasn't apparent on the PC version, let alone in an online match. There's nothing special about the stages that forces the game to load so long. It's definitely a problem when your playing a FPS, a genre that's pick up and play. Fast-paced action combine with sloppy load times don't work well together. You won't be able to tell when and why you die either cause the game cuts straight to the loading screen when your health hits zero.
Onto the game itself, FEAR is definitely a game rich in atmosphere. The background theme fits really well with the creepy story. You'll hear little girls laughing here and there, you'll feel suffocated and alone. It's absolutely remarkable and well fitting, only dragged down by uninspired graphics. The weapons all sound very satisfying and have devastating results upon contact. It's a plus when your able to accurately plant a mine or a well-placed grenade that launches your opponent's torso through a wall. Rag-doll effects are very detailed and humorous, albeit glitches in a good way. The gunfire needs does lock up for some reason, it takes repeated attempts to actually fire a weapon, and repeated attempts to stop firing a weapon. A strange delay between button sequences, it'll definitely cost you a couple of 5 minute load screen, and by that I mean death.
What doesn't work real well are the scare scenes that are supposed to make me jump or give me nightmares. When your controlling a guy who carries a shotgun and has the ability to slow down time, will you be scared of ghost? No, not really. When these ghost do make their appearance, they always have a sharp screeching sound that gets old really quick. I have never been scared by any of the ghost because they are way too uninteresting and pixilated to make any sense. Alma's character do liven up the mood a bit, but saying she's scarier than The Ring is jumping a bit too far. There was a moment where she walked down a hallway burning everything in her path and the game started to lag like dial-up. Not very cinematic when you can't see what the heck is going on because of the lag and blurry graphics.
What could be better than having some of the most cliché pop-up scares in a FPS? Throwing in stealth camouflage ninjas of course! It makes no sense why this game would have clone soldiers, a supernatural girl, and ninjas all in the same game. These ninjas are extremely annoying to battle. They move extremely fast on their feet, they are very short, they do great damage, and they have stealth camouflage. Imagine yourself battling 5 stealth ninjas in the very same hallway. The sudden spike in difficulty doesn't make sense, and the fact that these ninjas constantly hit you and run a mile away from you doesn't make any sense either.
There will be times where you'll need to pick up the phone and get tips of how to tackle your objective. The codec will also provide you with verbal tips. The problem is, they talk so darn quiet you'll have to mute the background to hear it.
FEAR for the PS3 is a disastrous port, a broken game, a lagged-up ugly experience that should've never been made. If your expecting nightmares and responsive game play, you'll be sorely disappointed. Why do weapons lock-up? How can a PC port be downgraded on the PS3? Who in the world puts the weapon swap button next to the Fire trigger? FEAR is an excellent example of a game that doesn't want you to play from the get-go. Poised with the most cliché and predictable attempts at cheap horror, FEAR has absolutely no originality and a weak story that is too bland to be taken seriously. Gamers shouldn't have to battle with their controllers when playing video games, and a controller should never lock up on a gamer, especially if it's the Trigger button.