PS3 Reviews: F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin Review

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

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Graphics:

 

7.5

Gameplay:

 

7.9

Sound:

 

8.0

Control:

 

8.0

Replay Value:

 

7.5

Online Gameplay:

 

7.0

Overall Rating:       7.7

 

 

Publisher:

Warner Bros. Interactive

Developer:

Monolith Productions

Number Of Players:

1 Player (2-16 Online)

Genre:

FPS

Release Date:

February 10, 2009

I'll be candid and blunt when I preface this review by stating that I'm growing tired of all the horror-FPS games like Condemned, Jericho, and FEAR. They all feel largely the same, and generally play out similarly. They're also not that scary, and worst of all, the gameplay mechanics are never done well, either. I addressed a lot of complaints with the original F.E.A.R. port for the PlayStation 3 in 2007, but I honestly doubt I'd have like the game either way if it weren't for those issues. So when it came down to playing F.E.A.R. 2 (I'll refer to it as FEAR2, from this moment on), my expectations were low.

But my feelings quickly changed from feeling like I'm doing a chore, to being surprised. The story picks up from where the first game left off, and Alma is still the central figure of the game's plot. Paranormal activity is still all around you, and it continues to directly have an effect on your player. So FEAR2 continues to employ the one trait that made its predecessor so successful, but now it's got an additional quality to it that I found rather solid.

After playing Killzone 2, I've come to realize that very few first-person shooters are going to live up to its standard, for me anyways. One of my looked-for aspects in an FPS is how satisfying each bullet shot feels - this is usually done with a mixture of a boomy sound effect, slight in-game recoil, and the controller's force feedback. I find that the better the shooting feels, the more it adds to the game. FEAR2 accomplishes this aspect very well, as it may very well boast some of the best, most satisfying shooting in an FPS game, making it really fun to engage in combat.

Overall, the gameplay is more action than horror now, with more enemies on screen, complete with enemy A.I. that are much smarter than I expected them to be. Enemies will almost never stay in the same place, and will often run to find other areas to use as cover. Additionally, your opponents can even flip furniture to use as cover, which I found impressive. The A.I. definitely gives you the feel that they're being controlled by something other than just pre-determined routes and paths.

A complaint I had addressed with the previous FEAR was that it felt too confined and claustrophobic. Monolith has remedied this by offering larger and more expansive areas...more specifically of the outdoor variety. Also, the progression doesn't feel as linear as the first game, either, and thanks to this and the larger environments, you finally get to feel that missing sense of freedom the last game lacked. These new environments are also fully interactive, too. But the twist here is that not only can you take advantage of this environmental interaction, but so can the enemies. So just like you, enemies will also use walls or obstacles as a means of protection. But they can also prevent you from taking cover, by destroying the object. Like I said earlier on, the A.I. has been infused with an all new shot of intelligence from developer Monolith, as there are more aspects to their enhancements that remain to be witnessed in person.

Now, while FEAR2 is certainly head and shoulders a better game than its predecessor, it still has a few problems worth addressing. First, the headbobbing, which is both a visual issue and gameplay issue - it's a little out of control here, and not having an option to turn it off really sucks. I couldn't go on very long during each play session, as I was forced to take a break so that the motion sickness wears off. I hate headbobbing in FPS games, it may be "realistic" but it is extremely nauseating - and my game monitor isn't even that large or close enough to have caused this. The other flaw here is that the hand-to-hand combat still isn't great, and perhaps the series would be better off without it (like most FPS games). Additionally, while online modes and options are plenty, the overall experience is nowhere near the caliber of Killzone 2 or Resistance 2, so this isn't a game you buy to experience online.

As far as the visuals go, FEAR2 has made great strides over its original counterpart. First off, the framerate is smooth and solid, albeit not perfect, with the occasional hiccups noticeably present. The game makes use of some really nice lighting touches, but beyond that the overall visual quality isn't very exciting. Texture work is very flat and average in many areas, which creates a sort of dull look. Additionally, there seems to be some sort of visual filter that gives the game a hazy, Vaseline-like look. Honestly, the graphics engine simply isn't spectacular, but it's not ugly. The textures aren't grainy or low-res, either, just flat and lacking any real depth. There are some nice animations to be seen, your teammates look pretty nice in the cut-scenes, and picture quality is acceptable, but otherwise, the overall look seems a bit dull.

If you have a problem with dialogue that contains a lot of profanity you won't like FEAR2. Me, personally, I couldn't possibly care. And if you're reading this review, then chances are you don't either. The voice acting is pretty good for the most part, as timing and delivery is well done. But my favorite aspect is one that I mentioned much earlier on, and that would be the sound of gunfire booming through your speakers. Monolith has done a great job in that regard, and it helps, what is otherwise passable audio, earn a higher score.

All in all, if you were a fan of the first FEAR game, then chances are you've already copy of FEAR2 in your hands. But, if the first FEAR game left a sour taste in your mouth, the second one may sweeten that up a bit. FEAR2 makes use of some really good gameplay mechanics, such as very satisfying shooting and terrific A.I. that help make the game fairly enjoyable. On the other hand, the deal breakers could be the excessive headbobbing, the average multiplayer experience, and dull visuals. As a single-player experience FEAR2 is worth the playthrough, but beyond that you may not care about it once you're done. This one would make for a good rental.

3/1/2009 Arnold Katayev

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Comments (27 posts)

dillonthebunny
Sunday, March 01, 2009 @ 5:19:47 PM
Reply

its a shame online was such a none hit for me... so close yet so fat.

though if they fix multiplayer so you can have a decent game with your mates, I might consider rebuying this.

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LegendaryWolfeh
Sunday, March 01, 2009 @ 8:32:40 PM

yet so fat? lol

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Banky A
Sunday, March 01, 2009 @ 11:00:17 PM

[Head nods] Yet so fat..

;)

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mikeyp323
Tuesday, March 03, 2009 @ 1:22:54 PM

LOL at Banky A =D

Last edited by mikeyp323 on 3/3/2009 1:23:27 PM

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Neurotoxiny
Sunday, March 01, 2009 @ 5:53:32 PM
Reply

I thought that FEAR 2 was pretty good, i'd give it a 7.8 instead of a 7.7 :b

Just kidding, good review!

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Geobaldi
Sunday, March 01, 2009 @ 6:00:32 PM
Reply

I liked the first FEAR and had high hopes for this one, but after playing the demo my excitement turned to disappointment. This one had a lot of potential.

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Sunday, March 01, 2009 @ 10:04:17 PM

Don't they say "This is a work in progress and is not to be judged as a final product?" in the demos?

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Geobaldi
Sunday, March 01, 2009 @ 11:58:35 PM

Yeah but for the most part, most demos aren't much different from the final game. And this was no different since the demo came out less than a month from the final release.

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Xplicit
Sunday, March 01, 2009 @ 6:11:00 PM
Reply

i would give this game a 10 only because it makes my sisters and my Girlfriend jump like hell!!!!!

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dillonthebunny
Sunday, March 01, 2009 @ 6:18:38 PM
Reply

I just wish there was a bit less shooting bad guys and more horror.

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cLoudou
Sunday, March 01, 2009 @ 8:35:02 PM

totally agree with Dillon there.
I became a fan because of the horror.In the original I hated dealing with the bad guys just to get to the scary parts, it felt like a chore.

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ArnoldK PSXE [Administrator]
Sunday, March 01, 2009 @ 6:22:01 PM
Reply

I actually quite like the action. Leave the spooky horror stuff to Silent Hill and 3rd person games.

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Karosso
Sunday, March 01, 2009 @ 6:42:08 PM
Reply

After Playing Killzone2, I don't think I can try another FPS anytime soon... :-)
I played the demo and it just looks so plain, can't compare to KZ2.
I'm going back to it right now, and try and beat it on "Elite" mode... so far it looks like a really tough fight, not sure if I can finish it :-(

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pyrobomber70
Sunday, March 01, 2009 @ 9:00:39 PM
Reply

PS3 60GB Console, (1) Dualshock3 controller, all original equipment, cables, and all the manuals that come with it in the original box. Includes (5) Blu-ray movies-American Psycho, The Prestige, Species, Full Metal Jacket, The Patriot and your choice of (1) game. Contact me and I will give you a list of games. I will even throw in a PS2 memory card. The console was adult owned in a non-smoking house and only used on weekends because of very busy work schedule. $400 anyone need one?

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Sunday, March 01, 2009 @ 10:06:17 PM

try ebay you will get a lot more money! i got $200 for my broken 20gb ps3!

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ArnoldK PSXE [Administrator]
Sunday, March 01, 2009 @ 9:57:46 PM
Reply

No. And don't spam in random comments sections for a sale. This is not your personal marketplace.

Last and final warning.

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Mole
Sunday, March 01, 2009 @ 10:04:12 PM
Reply

I rented Fear 2 for the Xbox since I bought K2 for the PS3. I must say it was alot of fun to play, I even rented it two days after the due date *whistling*. I will re-rent it again, provided it is available, i almost have it beaten. Course it'll be AFTER I finish Star Ocean...

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ZubraZap
Sunday, March 01, 2009 @ 10:52:12 PM
Reply

Fear 2 can thank Killzone 2 and Street Fighter IV for me skipping over it this month. That doesn't mean I won't be planning on getting this gem eventually. Not even gonna comment on your weak score PSXE...

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Tim Speed24
Monday, March 02, 2009 @ 7:30:13 AM

Me too. I plan on getting FEAR2 when I'm good and done with Killzone 2. Hopefully, the price will drop also in a month or two.

That was alot of 2's in that comment:)

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dirdiggler
Monday, March 02, 2009 @ 9:41:29 AM
Reply

F.E.A.R.2 is a better game then Killzone 2, the graphics for kz2 are better but the overall game play sucks, if its the future wtf are we using sights that take up the whole screen? All the guns in kz2 suck, flamethrower that kills no-one, all you end up doing is running the mike martz offense an chuck gernades all over the place hoping to kill someone cause headshots don't even kill ppl. FEAR2 far better game, maybe not online but overall game yes..

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Frenchy17
Monday, March 02, 2009 @ 9:59:04 AM

LMAO!!!

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NULL
Monday, March 02, 2009 @ 10:53:27 AM

Seriously go and play COD4 its obivious its what you want to play GG didn't make killzone 2 to be COD4.

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kidgrid
Monday, March 02, 2009 @ 10:02:10 AM
Reply

I agree with ben, its not scary. I was more on edge playing fallout 3

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Fabi
Monday, March 02, 2009 @ 11:25:02 AM
Reply

I wanna play this in a few months, if it wasn't for KZ2, I would probably be playing it now.

Why would you decide to come out in the middle of KZ2 and SF4?

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tlpn99
Monday, March 02, 2009 @ 12:46:57 PM
Reply

I had this clocked it within a week. I traded it back in the following week.

While it was a good game and I enjoyed it, it didn't shock me as much as the 1st one.

Good review Arnold. Very true after completing it. I wouldnt care for it again so hence me trading it in for KZ2 funds.

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slayerkillemall
Thursday, March 05, 2009 @ 1:43:06 PM
Reply

i may be flamed for my comment but, i dont agree with the review score, as this game is easily a 9., am i the only one who thought killzone was/is way overhyped? especially with no co-op and the $60 tag...

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cadpig
Thursday, March 05, 2009 @ 6:20:40 PM
Reply

Fear 2 is awesome, I would give it and 8 on the scale of 1 thru 10. It's bigger badder and better than part 1.

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