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

fear 2 screenshot 1 20090211.jpg

Monolith has a history of crafting really solid shooters - Blood, Shogo, No One Lives Forever, Tron 2.0 and now F.E.A.R. - that just manage to fall short of greatness. Will F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin suffer the same fate?


Comments

    Ohhhhh...your 'impressions' are a review! Why didn't you just come right out and say so, David? Oh....the suspense. I get it...Fear....yeah. ;-) Nice review btw. I loved using the mech suit in the demo.

    Thank god the regen system wasn't implemented. It's horrible. It destroys any difficulty balance and requires you to wilfully soak up damage while blindly emptying a clip, duck behind cover and stare at a wall for 20 seconds, rinse, repeat. Shocking gameplay mechanic that I will be glad to see the back of.

    The medkit system isn't ideal, but it's the best we have and has been for some time. Don't gush over Valve design choices and then criticise something that they (thankfully)also stubbornly refuse to change.

    @ El Phantasmogoro

    It's something I found irritating, rather than a major flaw. Personally I prefer a regen system, particularly since it complements a cover system so well. With a health or shield regen, ducking behind cover actually has a positive effect - your health or shield is replenished. In FEAR 2 it simply denies a negative effect: you don't take any additional damage. Positive effects tend to make for more enjoyable and interesting experiences. The player is more likely to utilise cover when it provides a quantifiable benefit.

    In terms of difficulty balancing, I think a game designer would tell say it's harder to balance a game with health/shield pick-ups because it adds more variables. The designer doesn't know at any point how many medikits the player has or whether they've picked up any armour. Sure, in FEAR 2, you are limited to a maximum of 3 medikits and 1 armour, but this only alleviates matters, it doesn't eliminate the variables. With regen, working with those fixed elements makes it a lot easier to balance an encounter.

    I should add that I didn't find FEAR 2 unbalanced as a result. There are more than enough health and armour packs around the place that you'd only have yourself to blame if you miss them. Generally speaking though, I'd prefer a regen system.

    Interesting...

    My initial reaction to these comments is this – having a regen system doesn't make me value my life as much. It doesn't create that sense of urgency in me, like, "Oh shit, I only have a medium sized kit left in my inventory and I can 'sense' this area has an arena-style, gladiator battle about to happen in it." Take Dead Space - relying on kits makes me feel compelled to stock my rig at the designated store. It makes me feel like a real 'soldier' preparing for battle. Checking gear is, after all, part of the immersion factor I think.

    Having a regenerating shield certainly does force me to take cover and play tactically to an extent, but my thought pattern doesn't extend beyond just that. I don't feel like it enhances the experience really, it's just there. But were the game designs wanting me to think about it? Probably not…

    So, I guess it depends on the game ultimately.....It would be a pain in the ass to have to rely on kits in Halo or Gears of War. Those games are so damn fast-paced there's not time to really think about fiddling with an inventory screen. So it makes sense in the context of the above, I think.

    Looking at it from a different perspective, the slo-mo option in FEAR acts like a shield of sorts that regenerates.

    Tension? Bah! this game has no atmosphere unlike the first, so far ive been jumped by Alma twice with her coming out of nowhere and i didnt even feel a shock let alone tense or scared. Keep in mind i was playing at 3am in an empty house to try and make it more atmospheric.

Join the discussion!