F.E.A.R is the definitive answer to all of us FPS fans who are not "pro" enough to play every generic FPS out
I cannot claim to be a hardcore gamer, but that's probably because I don't really have enough time to play as much as I want. However, my first serious step into gaming, my first gaming fascination, and my first-love game was Doom II. So there's a first-person-shooter in me that is always eagerly waiting for a worthy FPS game to entice me enough. Through the years, I can remember the benchmarks, the FPSes that really fascinated me: Doom II, Duke Nukem, Quake II, Half-Life, then...then I don't know...yeah, some great FPSes came after that, like Medal of Honor, Call of Duty, Return to Castle Wolfenstein, FarCry, Unreal series, Halo, maybe Doom III, etc...but none of those really fascinated me as much as the ones I mentioned first. None of them were like an unputdownable book, so to speak. I hardly got myself to beat those great games, and I didn't even beat a few of them. However, the first 4 FPSes I mentioned, followed by F.E.A.R were unputdownable for me. Why?
I think that the main point for me has almost always been a mix of a "compelling idea" and an "intriguing story". Of course, back in the days of Doom there was not much of a story, but the very idea of an FPS in those days was by itself compelling enough. Today, the opposite is happening. As more and more ideas are mass produced, the element of the story starts to be more and more important. F.E.A.R. managed to pull off both elements magnificently, a compelling psychological thriller idea (and although it was not new to motion picture at all, it was new to the gaming scene and was done extremely well in the game), and an intriguing story that keeps you interested enough to beat the game.
I gave Gameplay a score of 8 out of 10 because unfortunately I played & beat the game on my Xbox 360, as I need a major upgrade or basically to buy a new PC; and I'm one of the fanatics who firmly believe that FPS are to be played using a keyboard & mouse, and I didn't say on the PC because Playstation 3 fortunately supports a keyboard & mouse. So the K&B control scheme is not exclusive to the PC anymore today. And to summarize this point, Gameplay is not as enjoyable using a console controller, and I found that playing on harder difficulties was frustrating for me as I could not be fast enough moving the cursor with the controller instead of using a mouse.
A score of 9 for Graphics because I'm sure that the game can look much, much better and more satisfying on a high-end PC.
10 for Sound because the voice acting was great all around, sound effects immersive, and music was just awesome...I even fell in love with some parts that had Middle Eastern tunes mixed with motivating drum tunes. I called some of the pieces simply "genius".
9 for Value because there is little replayability in the single-player campaign, and I wouldn't give it a lower score because the game is more than worthy to be added to a gamer's collection. I personally consider it a classic.
10 for Reviewer's Tilt for hopefully obvious reasons. I really really love this game, and only hope that the industry doesn't make me wait for years and years just to play something like F.E.A.R. again. Maybe Crytek's upcoming Crysis will set new standards and will be a classic, but I'm not too sure about the story...I really hope that the story will have enough surprises to make it intriguing enough.