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    dkirschner's F.E.A.R. (PC)

    [July 6, 2010 04:20:44 AM]
    F.E.A.R. I was playing about the same time as Manhunt 2. I only bought FEAR because I heard it "redefined shooter horror" or something and, enjoying horror and shooter games, ate it up. I was disconcerted by the tag though (I've faced many disappointments and am critical of horror) and by the fact that Alma looks like the girl from The Ring.

    My initial impressions were of a standard shooter. The cut scenes with Alma and Paxton Fettel weren't that exciting, and the story was too mysterious for me to care. Personally, I dislike super mysterious stories, especially ones that propose to be cleverer than they are. Give me something to care about besides the girl from The Ring. I saw that movie already. Make me think this game is doing something different than copy-catting Japanese horror remakes. I pressed on.

    The most creepy aspect of the game turned out to be the environments, which was mostly miles and miles of office buildings. This is because I never knew when I would see Alma. See, she wasn't scary at the beginning, but she turns into a real presence. You see her in these slo-mo controllable cut scenes where she sets hallways ablaze as you run. You also see her victims scattered and lifeless throughout the levels, hear her speaking to you, etc. I could make decent guesses as to when the scary parts would happen, like when you get into an enclosed area or tight space, with lots of pipes. Even though the offices were massive, the more I saw of Alma and her fury, the more a sense of dread fell upon me playing, just knowing she was going to show up again. I'm not quite sure why she spooked me so much, but I know the more I saw her, the less I wanted to see her. And back to the larger environments, the lighting was nice and dim, the offices had a nice number of corpses and ransacked desks, and you usually heard enemies before you saw them.

    About the AI, I'd heard all this and that, it was so advanced, they use group tactics, blah blah. I will say I think it's cool that they take cover, will flip desks, attempt to flank you, call out when you are flanking them, call for help, etc. I will also say that they posed a challenge to me. They posed a challenge to me until I discovered the total game-winning benefits of slo-mo. In FEAR, you have a superhuman power to slow down time. When you use this power, an energy bar slowly drains, and more slowly refills as you rest. In slo-mo, everything slows to a crawl, you included. I think this was ideally put in the game to help with difficult encounters, but it's easily usable for all encounters, and I had a blast popping out of my own cover to nail enemies. They could take cover and be clever all they wanted, but all I had to do was slo-mo, catch them with their heads up or moving, and they died. It was no contest. So I would have liked some middle ground, probably where I wasn't able to make such gratuitous use of slo-mo, which would have made the game a bit more challenging. Without slo-mo, the pace is frenetic and there are some serious firefights. I very much enjoyed the action.

    99% of enemies are just soldiers with various types of gun. Special enemies are extremely rare until the very end of the game when those shadow creatures come after you. There were some of these wall-crawling guys, but maybe 5 in the whole game. I would have enjoyed more diversity. Level after office building level of army drones got a bit repetitive. So, by the end of the game, I realized I had enjoyed my experience, but even though there is obviously a expansions and a sequel (or 2?), I don't think I want to play anymore FEAR. I just don't care enough about the thin, thin story, my character's past and ties to Alma, or anything else in the game besides slo-mo.

    And one final note, the phone messages that reveal story line are absolutely pointless. They don't reveal anything important or even interesting. I'm reminded of Doom 3 where the phone messages played a larger role in immersing you in the story of what happened. Other games have done it much better, and I feel these messages were tacked on in FEAR. The end.
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    dkirschner's F.E.A.R. (PC)

    Current Status: Finished playing

    GameLog started on: Monday 31 May, 2010

    GameLog closed on: Sunday 6 June, 2010

    dkirschner's opinion and rating for this game

    Pretty good, better than I thought it would be. Alma looks like the girl from The Ring. Slo-mo was cool, but once I figured out to use it all the time, it was like shooting ducks in a barrel, very fun to play around with.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstar

    Related Links

    See dkirschner's page

    See info on F.E.A.R.

    More GameLogs
    other GameLogs for this Game
    1 : F.E.A.R. (PC) by Schua (rating: 5)
    2 : F.E.A.R. (PC) by sergey_bond (rating: 5)
    3 : F.E.A.R. (PC) by Zinn (rating: 4)


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