By Sam Coles:
F.E.A.R was released back in 2005 on Microsoft Windows and on the Xbox 360 and PS3 a year later and is probably one of the last traditional first person shooters for the time as games like Halo and Call of Duty started to take over. It blends Japanese horror with high octane action you would see in the Matrix or a John Woo movie and is a great game you should play.
You play as member of the titular F.E.A.R which stands for First Encounter Assault Recon and you’re after an escape convicted named Paxton Fettel who has linked his mind with the Armacham soldiers and you must stop him. There is also a ghostly girl named Alma who has a special interest in you as she stalks you during the quieter moments when you’re exploring for med kits and ammo etc. The story is interesting to keep you playing with some great moments and twists which will keep you hooked.
The gameplay is a first person shooter where you go into an area then start gunning down anything that moves with various weapons. The unique selling point with the gameplay is the reflex mode where you can go into slow motion for a limited time which will give you an advantage in a fight because you might be able to takedown five guys in one swoop. The gunfights are exciting with details such as chunks coming off walls, paper flying off desks, enemies exploding with a well-placed headshot and dust emerging when you shoot walls the detail is high in the shootouts.
You have a variety weapons which are all satisfying to use like the SMG, the Penetrator which can stick enemies to walls, the multi rocket launcher and of course the all mighty shotgun which if you don’t have it in one of your weapon slots then you’re not playing the game correctly.
The A.I is smart in this game because unlike most first person shooters where they operate in waves, they instead act as a squad so they will assess the situation so they will spot your torch and call it out to their allies or they will retreat if they can’t handle the situation it keeps you on your toes. Even the subtle things like when they have a heavy unit with them the normal soldiers will stay behind cover and supress you as the heavy walks towards you.
Graphically the game still looks pretty good in places with great particle effects during the slow motion fights especially when you throw a grenade. The slow motion effects really steal the show with the visuals because you see each individual bullet or shotgun pellets fly through the air. It’s a shame that other parts of the game don’t hold visually like the character models and some of the textures are bland and blurry. It has some great dynamic lighting as well during some of the darker moments as lights start to flicker where it builds a tense atmosphere.
F.E.A.R is a great game with a tense atmosphere with exciting gunfights where you see blood and dust fly everywhere as you unload your Spaz 12 shotgun. If you haven’t played this game pick it up! It’s easy to find on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC.