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FEAR 2: Project Origin
on 16 June 2009
I would like to start with the main installation of the game before anything else, I will admit that installing FEAR 2 was extraordinarily irritating, but for the sake of the review I will not let that effect my overall view of the game.
To install the game, you must first install steam and create a new account, after that you must insert the serial of the game then let it install, for the overall size of the game (11GB) the install took longer than it should of. Each time you start the game you must enable Steam, this ends up taking even more CPU. The overall process is very tedious and inefficient since multiplayer is account based using GameSpy. I would assume that the protection was introduced by Warner Brothers, since none of the previous games were published by WB and none of them required such absurd validation methods. Also, FEAR 1 multiplayer is given out for free by Monolith.
FEAR 2 takes place after the first game so if you haven't played the first game, then the story will make little sense. The story in FEAR 2, as mentioned, takes place after the first game but instead of adding to the story, it mainly twists things we learnt in FEAR 1. Although some readers may think this would make the game intriguing, it doesn't. There were a lot of unexpected twists within the first game which worked brilliantly and adding more twists when we felt accomplished would just cause you to give up on trying to understand. To make the frustration more understandable, imagine yourself piecing together a 5,000 piece jigsaw with no visual guide to what the final product is, you're halfway through and on the verge of knowing what the image is, then someone suddenly comes in and dismantles it all. You'd be unhappy, annoyed and you'd most likely give up.
I then enjoyed the game for what it is, a first person shooter. There is an immense amount of action in the game and the enemies are really satisfying to kill. The only advancement from FEAR 1 is that you have the ability to move some of the objects in the environment and use them for cover or to reveal a doorway. You still have the ability to slow down time, do jump-kicks and drop-kicks, although the melee attacks don't feel as easy or as necessary to execute. There are also a few quick time events, which feel forced in and do not flow well with the game. If you complete them the first time, you'd think it was cool. If you fail, it'd just get annoying.
The horror factor of the FEAR games is absent. There will be multiple occasions where you'll literally walk past something that was supposed to scare you and the `scary' parts are `in your face'. FEAR 1 wasn't about scaring you but about creeping you out and making you feel cautious and vulnerable wherever you go. FEAR 2 on the other hand will try the scare you and most of the time it'll fail, you'll find yourself knowing something `scary' is about to happen and it doesn't surprise you when it does.
The controls of the game are the standard FPS controls and I have no need to elaborate on that.
The AI in the game is pretty smart and do use some of the tactics you use such as moving furniture, which makes the game more challenging. But this is no advancement from FEAR 1. I wouldn't be surprised if it was the same AI.
Overall, FEAR 2 is a decent game and is a good FPS, the story was a huge disappointment and it was the story that compelled me to actually buy the game. Without the story, all it makes is a decent `run of the mill' FPS.
If you're interested in buying FEAR 2 but haven't played the first games, I'd recommend buying the FEAR platinum pack, which includes FEAR and both expansion packs. You'll have more enjoyment and satisfaction for money and it's cheaper too.