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Ya'ver drink Brazilian bold from fkn dunkn donuts!
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
F.E.A.R 2: Project Origin (360,PC,PS3)

F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin

Who turned out the lights?


The horror shooter that was F.E.A.R has been widely accepted by fans as a fantastic first person shooter with virtues along the lines of visceral combat, nicely tuned slow motion, adult story and lovely, lovely violence. Despite the repetitive enemies and locales (each level felt like a literal day at the office) the horror element surely added a wanting layer to the gameplay with the spiritual antagonist providing many effed up flashbacks and asides for the main protagonist. Overall it was a fine shooter, despite its flaws and now Monolith and Warner Brothers have returned to have another take on the horror shooter starring yet another unvoiced hero with time slowing super powers.

Tasked with taking into custody one of the participants in the Project Origin experiment we find ourselves as part of a special task force, specialized with various levels of telekinetic prowess. It’s not long before the clone soldiers of the first game come along with the sole purpose of disposing of any trace of the project, including any of the directors and scientists. Naturally we must kill everything in sight that comes between us and the mission and before you know it a nuclear bomb has gone off in the heart of the city and everything goes pear shaped. A mysterious man by the name of Snakefist comes to our aid as the team is separated and Alma makes a dastardly appearance and is once again making merry with the blood spilling.

It is evident from the start that F.E.A.R. 2 follows the similar path as its predecessor in terms of combat, design and story-telling. At will, we can slow time to a crawl giving us the perfect opportunity to pick off the clone soldiers one by one with relevant ease and the same health system. Having to manually apply medi packs may seem like an archaic method for healing but in a world where hiding behind a corner for a few seconds before we are miraculously fully healed it is a welcome return to not blindly running through firefights, guns blazing without care for self damage. Instead we can rely on the slow motion to do that for us.


Scooby-Doo: The Later Years

Shotgun enema

Taking the cautious approach with regards to combat tactics doesn’t seem to have that negative effect on progression. Except for the hard difficulty, we can engage the slow mo, run head strong into the crowd, throw a grenade or two and revel in the carnage that lies before us. On the harder difficulty things are a little different, but even on the normal level, this bull headed approach will result in success every time. If you manage to rely on this tactic however and your slow mo bar is depleted simply apply the tactic as you would regenerative health and everything should be fine. Seems like progression is not intended to be this way, it is just too easy to exploit the slow mo feature.

The level design however has seen a good overhaul in the latter half of the game, with progression through the charred and demolished city a grim but fantastic standout. Bodies stand still in the streets in protective stances from trying to avoid the nuclear blast and make a disheartening sound as their ashes are blown into the wind. This section also lays bare to a new method of combat: the power suit. Something along the lines of a mech warrior suit, jumping inside and starting her up sees us controlling a destructive unit with two unrelenting machine guns and a volley of rockets at the disposal. After having to fight many of these mongrels in the first game having the ability to deliver some retribution is a fine feeling. As the machine takes damage, the readout on the screen begins to flash and the video feed that gives you vision begins to distort as warning messages blare away as you are busy gunning down that one remaining rocket launching bad guy. The tense nature of these fire fights, combined with the break from the same method of combat gives level progression a lovely change that refreshes your appreciation of what this game has to offer. These mechs also give reminiscent flashes of the final scenes in the Matrix and just begs to be modded with a recreation of the defending the dock scene.

The biggest draw card of the F.E.A.R franchise is the horror itself and I for one was a tad disappointed with what was on offer. Most of the scares that are put forward come in the form of Alma lunging at you and getting in your face, the first time it makes you jump, but the predictable nature of when she strikes again makes her appearance more of an annoyance than for scares. All the tools are there to incite fear and horror, it’s just a pity that the methods adopted feel a little tired and predictable.


Herman loved jam buns.

Fear of the dark

F.E.A.R. 2 does manage to trump the first game in terms of visual prowess with many thanks going to ambient occlusion technology and a blurring method similar to that from Condemned 2 which similar to the fellow horror FPS gives a level of cinematography and flare to the scene as it covers up many untidy loose ends and generally makes everything seem a bit more gritty and engaging. The lighting is likewise dark and foreboding and makes using the flashlight a necessary element, rather than a taped on feature, and the external levels, with a reddened ashy sky gives the feeling of defeat and an urgency to finish the mission at hand. The biggest standout however is the spirits, who seem to flicker in and out of focus as they disperse around the landscape, and the inability to focus properly on them make these spooks look truly fantastic, especially when they dissolve into the air as they come face to face with a shotgun. What is most surprising is how well the game runs with the PC, as my humble 9600GT Mobile and Core 2 Duo 7350 had no problem running this game at full tilt, with everything set on “pretty” and it never stumbled or spat on itself.

Audio is likewise a good step up with lovely crisp sound on offer when blasting away at the bad guys and the subtle music track and ambient sounds combined with the static when the spirits appear or when Alma gets crabby adds a great deal of atmosphere. The voice acting is consistent and fans of the Halo franchise will be hear some familiar voices and they do their best to add feeling to the characters, which in the end seems like a fruitless exercise.

You call that scary?

Which are the biggest problem with F.E.A.R 2 and most games in general really, is that there is no real care for what happens to the other characters in the game. Upon first starting the game you are instantly thrown into this crack team with no real explanation of how or why you are there (a fact that is later explained through collectibles) and throughout the whole process of the game you are never really given the opportunity to bond or form a connection with any of the team, which just makes the ending of the game even more sad. Monoliths Condemned 2 achieved a level of care for the other characters by giving the protagonist a voice and by having him directly interact with other characters in the story. In Project Origin, the main character never opens his mouth and there is never the same level of interaction with other characters that might show some level of respect or give any insight into his stance with the outcome of events. Half Life 2 managed to achieve this with a mute character, however this is only one game in a sea of FPS’s that managed to achieve success with this type of character interaction. As a result, you never ever give that much of a toss when one of your team is eviscerated in front of you and the reactions of the other characters don’t incite any favorable emotions as well.


Your typical PC gamer

I am afraid I have been pretty harsh of F.E.A.R 2, but by no means does this make the game bad. On the contrary it is very accomplished and a very fine game in its own rights and makes the original F.E.A.R look terribly outdated, and not just visually. It is just as games are evolving some important elements such as story telling are becoming second fiddle to the action, and in most cases hurts the game more than it helps. Sure the set pieces are very nice, some of the more tortured enemies quite freaky but the poor character interaction and the main characters lack of identity leave the whole experience feeling rather hollow and archaic, but by no means any less fun than the original.

Gameplay – 87
Visuals – 89
Audio – 85
Overall – 87


Great action, brilliant Mechs, improved levels, marred by poor character development.

Game experience on PC with HP dvt-1050tx with 2 channel headphones.
 

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Great review :thumb:

Love the game myself, it's the only FPS on the PC I play at least once a week.

The great thing about F.E.A.R. series is how it gets slightly better then the previous one. But at the same time keep all the things that made the previous title so great.
 

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There were some real serious bugs with the PC version of F.E.A.R 2, the demo crashed my system. It took hours to get the demo to work, so they'll be lucky if they get me to spend over $19.99 for it.
 

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Ya'ver drink Brazilian bold from fkn dunkn donuts!
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
You shouldn't have to worry as the full retail game was bug free, no crashes, or any game breaking glitches and if you did somehow manage to get stuck, the slow mo sort of acts as a get out of a stuck position free card.
 

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Great review as always :)

So is this similar to Left 4 Dead in that you have a team beside you at all times fighting along-side you? Also, how would you compare the fear factor in this game, to STALKER or Left 4 Dead?

I've been on the look-out for a good FPS game for a long time now. The poor gameplay of L4D, FC2 and CoD5 has really charred my image of FPS games and I'm looking to get a good title to rejuvenate my interest in that genre.
 

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Ya'ver drink Brazilian bold from fkn dunkn donuts!
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
You are always by yourself, just as the first game, on occasion you meet up with your team and might go into a firefight, but it is not often and not a heavy feature. As for the horror, well for me it was rather shoehorned and never really delivered any good scares.
 

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Ya'ver drink Brazilian bold from fkn dunkn donuts!
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
playing on and off, bout half to an hour a day, it took me good part of a week (plus a few longer sessions on the weekend) to get through, so I guess about 8-10 hours would be in the ball park. If you stop to take in the scenery and collect all the intel there could be an extra hour or two. Generally longer than most games I have found recently.
 

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I picked it up on a Gamestop Sale, it is $10 off this week but it only shows that on the Weekend specials, not on the game online?

I installed it from Steam, it actually took the serial code and started downloading the game. With the various patches added since it's release, I figured downloading it was better than installing and then having to download the patches one by one.

I haven't played it yet, it seems different than the demo at the beginning, but I haven't played it that much yet.
 

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Well.....I'm half-way through, very good FPS I must say. One small thing which I don't like about it is that ammo doesn't remain in storage i.e. when I replace a shot-gun with a sniper rifle I also drop all its ammo so if, at any later stage I want to go back to the shot-gun I'll have to start gathering ammo all over again. In other games you normally only loose the number of bullets remaining in the cartridge and the rest stay with you, not so much here.

The scare factor also decreases as you advance, level 3-4 was somewhat frightening with the dark underground facility and the weird monster, but now that I'm above ground, it doesn't seem much different from a CoD game.

Still give it a 9/10 though =D
 
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