Thursday, March 12, 2009

F.E.A.R. (2005)

Since way back when I got Shogo, I've enjoyed Monolith's stuff, especially NOLF1/2 and Tron2.0. I had never got around to playing F.E.A.R. as my vid card at the time couldn't run it well in the demo and I'd heard it was good combat but lacking in environments. Retried the demo since I had upgraded my vid card since then and it ran well enough so I picked up the game. I went for the OG version for $7 as I never read that the expansions were that great. So I figure I could just replay the OG game if I want more of the same.

I did enjoy the game more than I thought I would. As others have all said, the combat is really good. While not tactical in the GR/RS or OFP/ArmA way, it still had good AI that would move around the environment, used its weapons well, and tried to flank me. I think this might also be the reason for the sameness of levels to allow for better AI. For a run and gun FPS, it was enjoyable combat. I replayed a few battles just to see different outcomes and these were not even boss battles just basic ones. I did get bored late into the game with always being in an office/warehouse but would forget about it once the combat started back up.

The bullet time was fun to use but I often forgot to use it except during tough battles. I do remember smacking around the guys in the parking lot quickly using it though, as otherwise they would have had me surrounded. Storyline was OK but I didn't think anything was really spooky. A few gotcha moments but any FPS would have those when you run around a corner not expecting someone to be there. I think my favorite parts were the levels where the building was blowing up around you for one reason or another.

I did like setting up ambushes for the enemy. I'd place landmines behind me or on the second route to my position and toss another in front of me. Get their attention and run back to hide. Wait a few seconds and they would be taken out. Main annoyance besides the environment sameness was that it would go from combat to a stretch of just walking. While its a nice way to sometimes add tension it was too formulaic here. You also knew when a big battle was about to occur because you would come across a vest and weapon cache. These offices sure were packing some heat.

It is worthy of a play through and while I could feel it was a Monolith game it didn't have the punch of there other games. Think I really miss the RPG aspects of their previous games and this one steps back to a more straight forward FPS. I was happy the player could lean though as FPS without this feature bug me a bit, though I will still play them.