835th played so far

Genre: First-Person Shooter
Platform: PC/Playstation 3/Xbox 360
Year of Release: 2009
Developer: Monolith Productions
Publisher: Warner Bros. Games

Bringing in another sequel, we return to the world of F.E.A.R., an FPS with a horror-based story that we played about a year ago that was effective in its story telling, but didn’t have much to show for its shooting – it was very average and yet ate up too much time playing. I’ll be honest, I’m not sure I expect that to be too different in the sequel, so we’ll see how that goes.

Our Thoughts

There’s something especially effective about horror in a first-person context. You’re much more in the moment and in the area, and so when something happens it feels that bit scarier. There’s a bit where this is especially effective early in the game, where you need to escape a hospital that has been attacked by others. There are lots of dead bodies around, some in mysterious places, and since you are unarmed you feel vulnerable. You end up sneaking past some guards and while I’m sure it’s safe enough, it feels really tense.

By that time, you’ve already completed a different mission with more of your weapons. During that you have a bunch of creepy things happen – following a creepy girl in a vision or dream sequence, you get your vision shifting and weird things showing up in the levels as you play. Every time you enter an empty room, you are on your toes.

There are still plenty of fights, but they feel slightly more focused – you’re spending less time running around large areas until you’ve gotten all of them. It’s a fine cover shooter – certainly better than Kill Switch – and while I enjoy it enough it was never my highlight of the game. The game has a pretty good physics set up too – a lot of it feels dynamic, with you flipping tables and using everything in the environment to add to the firefights.

Final Thoughts

F.E.A.R. 2 is a good sequel. The combat feels better than before, although the real interesting part is the exploration of the areas, experiencing the stories and finding the goodies around the level. The balance might have been a bit off on the amount of battles, but overall it felt like an improvement.