How does one of the better FPS games for the PC stack up on the 360? Take a look!
GAMEPLAY (9) - Since I bought the 360 I've been trying to get used to FPS games after many years with the mouse and keyboard setup of the PC. I'm happy to say the FEAR does a great job with using the controller. Probably the best aspect is that the aiming just feels very tight and the response is just right. In the past I've played FPS games on the console and it felt like my aim was going all over the place because the stick was just too loose. FEAR isn't quite up to using a mouse on the PC but definitely one of the best on a console. You'll have an impressive list of weapons available, including some futuristic ones, and they all feel very distinctive. Using the assault rifle will feel much more satisfying than a machine pistol, though most of the weapons will have their moments when they will be the most useful. The enemy AI was also impressive as the soldiers will use cover, grenades and flanking to try to bring you down. This game uses the "bullet time" effect and it becomes very useful as you will eventually get into some battles against a large number of enemies. Almost all of the gameplay consisted of fighting, the only puzzle element involved occassionally having to try to figure out how to get past a locked door. This was OK by me because the battles were a lot of fun.
GRAPHICS (7) - Probably the weakest part of this game. The graphics were adequate, but certainly not impressive. In most cases I would say that they really were not much above what you would see in a good PS2 game. The character models of the soldiers were done well, even though they all looked exactly alike. The models of civilians were not very good, again on the level of a PS2 game. In fact the graphics reminded me a lot of Splinter Cell on the PS2. There are a lot of repeating environments. It seems like an endless stream of either warehouses or dark empty office buildings. This is not a game you'd use to show off what the 360 can do.
SOUND (9) - What it lacks in graphics it makes up for in sound. Going back to the weapons, not only do they all feel distinctive but they all sound very unique as well, and the sound effects were great. This game takes great advantage of surround sound speakers, and if you don't have that use headphones! Music does not play a large part, though at times it was appropriately spooky.
VALUE (7) - The value always gets a bit changed for me since I almost never buy a game when it first comes out at full price. If I had bought this game for $60 I would have wanted a bit more, but seeing as I spent $27 it wasn't too bad. I'm not sure exactly how long it took me to complete this game but I'm guessing it was around 10-12 hours, about average for a FPS. Of course it also offers multiplayer, which I hear is quite good but I have not yet tried it.
SUMMARY - Despite the creepy cover this game will probably not frighten you that much. It does involve an interesting story that earns its "M" rating and will occasionally gave you a jump. Unfortunately the story mostly plays out by listening to phone messages as opposed to seeing actual cut scenes, but you'll probably be enjoying the battles too much for that to bother you. Recommended for FPS fans.