In a move that will no doubt piss off Xbox 360 gamers world-wide, Official Xbox Magazine has a playable demo of F.E.A.R. bundled with it’s October issue. Since magazines for whatever reason, publish their issues a couple months in advance – you can get your hands on it now! The only downer (aside from the fact that you can’t just download it from the Marketplace) is the price of the magazine – which cost me nearly $15 CDN. But, it’s F.E.A.R. and I just couldn’t let it pass me by. After all, the PC version of F.E.A.R. is still my highest rated game to date.

F.E.A.R. Xbox 360 Demo

Gameplay Video (12:03)

I’ve heard lots of good things about the 360 version. Not only is it not scaled back from the PC predecessor – it brings higher resolution textures to the table. I’m not going to go into great detail here. Instead, I’ll wait for the full game to really dissect the game. In the mean time, you can watch the entire Xbox 360 demo and see if you can notice any subtle differences. One thing that definitely stood out to me were the background noises. Clicks and clanks seem louder than the PC version. I noticed this immediately when the dude starts typing on his laptop before you leave the car.

Aiming is a little tough at first seeing how it’s so precise in F.E.A.R. – you can see every bullet’s path and impact thanks to the bullet time mode, but it does make things pretty challenging with the controller. You’ll notice my lousy aim in the video, no doubt.

And speaking of (the video), I’ve up’d the resolution to 640×360. This is a pretty noticeable jump from the previous 500×281 size I’ve been sticking with for Xbox 360 videos, so please let me know what you think. Bigger is better, right? I’ve kept the video bitrate the same (700kbps) but downgraded the audio to 96kbps from 128kbps. If you have any problems with the size, how I’m presenting it or streaming, please drop a comment and let me know. I’m on a 5mbps connection and it starts fast and plays smooth, but I’d like to hear from others on this front.


Comments

Good to see F.E.A.R looking good on the 360. It really is one of my favourite games of all time.

Regarding the video. If you upped the resolution why didn’t you up the bitrate? Surely that would have helped the quality, rather than degrading it? But it’s good either way.

I’m in 3.5mbps in NZ and it loads fine 🙂

Video played fine for me, the only thing I noticed is it didn’t overlay the page like in your Flickr. The video loaded on a white page in the current window. I’m using a nightly version of Firefox 2.0 for Mac if that helps for debugging purposes.

The game looks great – if I get a 360 I’ll definatly check it out.

As far as the video is concerned, it steams perfectly on my high speed lite connection (5x faster than dial up.. usually pretty damn slow). And yes, bigger is better. 🙂

Video played great on my 2Mb connection – Firefox, Mac. FEAR looks great on the XBox, can’t wait until the demo is on Live.

The UK OXM will have it on the demo disc with the next issue, out friday for anyone who wants to join the fun!

How long is the demo? The problem I had with the PC version was that it stopped after a really short level which bugged the hell outta me.

Aw cool, I saw you playing it the other day and couldn’t figure out where it was on the marketplace.

What a bone headed move, sure they might make some money selling it with the magazine but they’ll get a fraction of the exposure. Then again they’ll probably release a demo in a month or something on marketplace.

Anyway, great review video – would you have started over if you missed that last rat?:)

@Ben: The quality hasn’t been degraded. It’s exactly the same, only bigger. I capture at 640×360 and used to scale down to 500×281, but now I’m just leaving it at the original size. 700kbps is pretty insane for streaming – don’t think I’ve seen anyone doing higher than that.

@Ronald: If you’ve been here before, you might be caching an old version of the header. Try holding shift when you hit refresh. Otherwise, if it’s a Firefox 2.0 thing, you’ll have to wait until it’s released to the masses before I troubleshoot it.

@Stewart: That’s the entire demo from start to finish. So, roughly 12 minutes. I think it’s a good length – better than most of the single player demos that are out for the 360.

@Andrew: Hah, funny you asked that (about the rat) – I actually wasn’t planning on using that run through. I was testing my new capture settings and only meant to play a bit of the level. Ended up playing the whole thing so I just went with it.

@Luke L: Indeed, which is why I was sure to get that in there. F.E.A.R. on the PC is pretty damn good looking. So I knew that would raise some eyebrows.

Oh BTW, thanks to those that left feedback – the browser stats and connection speeds gives me a good idea of how this is working across the board. Stoked that the streaming works so well, even on lower speeds. You really can’t beat Flash video for streaming.

Just so you know, in Firefox 1.5.0.6, there is not a pop up for the video, it takes me to a blank white page and then plays the video. Works fine in IE 6.

BTW, the game looks awesome, can’t wait till it comes out. I’m looking forward to your complete review then.

@Matt

Ah, my mistake, I was under the impression you were capturing it at a lower resolution and upping the size 😉

My mistake.

@Matt…

Can I ask how do you convert your game videos to flash format? Do you stil ledit with virtual dub, does that allow for a final flash format for a video or are you using another program to convert the video in to flash?

Also are you using this embedded flash player –
http://www.jeroenwijering.com/?item=Flash_Video_P

if so how did you change the colour of the player from the silvery white to the gun metal grey your using in your videos?

@roraz: I only use VirtualDub for capturing. I do all my editing in Adobe Premiere Pro, then save as a raw AVI. From there, I convert to Flash 8 using the Flash Video Encoder.

Yes, I’m using that Flash player. If you add the wmode parameter you can make it transparent. I wanted it on black, but you lose the button faces as they’re black as well. I could manually edit the FLA, but that would simply take too long.

<code><param name="wmode" value="transparent" /></code>

Console ports are always â€â€ÂÂ? ALWAYS dumbed down. And strangely, this is not vice versa. I don’t see why a controller and a closed system should an experience limit so much.

Thanks for the review. I must say that I find it hard to believe that FEAR on the 360 could be as good as FEAR on the PC. After all, it was designed for the PC, not the 360.

Nonetheless, you’ve piqued by interest and I’ll give it a shot on the 360.