By Sam Coles:
I don’t know what it is about sequels sometimes that are people split down the middle, but it seems to be the case with certain games it’s mainly with third instalments but in this case it’s the second game. When I was reading about Fear 2 I noticed a lot of negative attention towards it and I don’t know why? The main comment I kept seeing was a weak one which was the fact that they toned down the damage of the shotgun which was an over powered weapon in the first game. So they’re getting flak for rebalancing a game to make it more challenging. I for one like this game it has great pacing with fast pace action to slow and tense situations.
The story takes places after the first game where the psychotic child named Alma has been released and has totalled the area surrounding the institute she was being held in. You play as Beckett a soldier who is part of the First Encounter Assault Recon or F.E.A.R for short probably one of the worst acronyms I’ve ever heard. Alma takes a special interest in Beckett as she manifests in his thoughts as he experiences hallucinations with nightmarish imagery. It truly is a trippy experience in some parts of the games when you get to the quieter moments.
The gameplay is the true star of the show here mixed with traditional shooter mechanics like med-kits and fast paced combat, but the stand out is the slow motion mode where you can take down squads of soldiers as you see bits of debris and blood flying everywhere. It’s not all fast paced action; the game will happily switch gears and slow down to embrace the horror atmosphere when Alma will start to stalk you. These situations can get really tense especially the level where you’re going through a school this level is very slow and tense and you don’t engage in combat that much in this level it’s all about the atmosphere which is extremely creepy with school lockers flying open to the creaking floorboards.
You can carry four weapons at a time which these can range from your standard fair like pistols, sub machineguns, assault rifles and shotguns to the more exotic like the penetrator which will shot nails and stick enemies into walls. There all nice and varied and pack a punch.
The visuals are fantastic and considering that this game came out in 2009 the detail is nothing short of amazing. When you go into slow motion and throw a grenade it’s amazing to look at because you see bits of shrapnel and body parts flying everywhere! Did I mention that this game is very violent? Well this game is very gory and it is so satisfying to blow chunks out of enemies especially with the shotgun as they explode or their arm flies across the room.
The only problem in this game is the hit detection is pretty bad with melee attacks because it won’t always register it even when you’re aiming at them. Another problem is there are segments where there are ghosts assaulting you and you lose health when you they hit you and this very annoying because your view is obscured and it can be very frustrating on higher difficulties.
Fear 2 is a fantastic mix of Japanese horror and fast paced John Woo action and is a must play if you still have your Xbox 360 or PS3 kicking about or PC if you want. It’s very cheap and easy to find so go and get it!