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F.E.A.R. Review





Developer: Monolith Productions Publisher: Sierra
Release Date: October 31, 2006 Also On: PC

At the time of its release on the PC, FEAR was an outstanding horror shooter that was enjoyed by many gamers. It offered a freakishly entertaining story that left goose bumps on your skin. With its arrival on home consoles, including PlayStation 3 sometime in 2007, a new set of gamers are able to sink their teeth into this plot. While not offering anything new to the equation (besides achievements), FEAR is still a solid title for the Xbox 360. Not only is it good looking, but it plays well on a console controller.

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Without a doubt, FEAR looks fantastic. While it is not Tier 1 visually like Gears of War, FEAR is on par with the likes of Ghost Recon and Rainbow Six, only darker. Light and shadow effects play out extremely well, delivering the whole story in a more fitting setting. The repetitive environments are a tad bit annoying, however, and you may find yourself lost. Explosions take the cake as particles fly out of the bursting flames, even sometimes injuring you in the process. Freak outs actually distort your HUD display, showing the realism of what a camera display would look like, almost as though the image in front of you had been tampered with. Character models and environments are well detailed and give a real feel to the whole storyline.

As in any movie or game portraying a horror theme, you would expect sound to play a huge role in the presentation. FEAR is no exception to this generalization by setting the mood of each level through great ambient sound. You will know how to feel in each scene and what to expect coming in. You will have an itchy trigger finger trying to realize what is real and what are hallucinations.

I am not going to lie, FEAR is tough. Not as tough as Rainbow Six/Ghost Recon, but a decent challenge nevertheless. You will find yourself bogged down in a few areas trying to figure out how to pass all the enemies. FEAR can be played as a straight up shooter, or you can factor in some stealth elements as well. In a big firefight, you will get roughed up rather quickly. Covertly taking out key enemies can be crucial to survival. There are different types of soldiers that require different strategies to take down. Some need you to slow time with focus mode, while others may need to be fragged with a rocket launcher. Either way, you’ll be on your toes the whole game.

The best way to describe FEAR would be a Half-Life, mixed with Resident Evil and a dash of Condemned. You are dealing with a clone army while trying to explain recent paranormal activity as a new member of FEAR’s elite unit. There are trips where you witness paranormal activity of events that happened already, or something that is currently happening to you. FEAR is not revolutionary, but plays out extremely well.

Multiplayer options do need some work. Compared to the PC version, console gamers can only stay in a room for a game at a time; no post-game lobby ranked or unranked. This makes keeping a good group of friends together a chore rather than fun. Some of the maps are very large which makes it difficult to find people. Besides these things, the multiplayer is fantastic. There are plenty of tweaking options for the host, which include running speed, weapon restrictions, and point rewards/penalties. With that said, FEAR is a great game that most shooter fans will enjoy. However, if you have it on PC, there is no reason to pick it up here as it is better on its original platform.

Graphics: 8.5
Sound: 9.5
Gameplay: 9
Creativity: 7
Replay Value/Game Length: 8.5
Final: 8.5
Written by Shawn Review Guide