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

It’s been over 2 years since I played and loved the original F.E.A.R.. Since then, there have been a couple expansion packs which were handled by a different developer which never really lived up to the first game. The console ports of the original game also seemed to fall short and admittedly, this contributed to my lack of enthusiasm towards F.E.A.R. 2 leading up to its release. Once it was released and I had read some solid reviews from writers that had played through the original game, I quickly became excited about this sequel. When I started playing through this continuation of the tale of Alma, I was reminded just how much I loved the first game and had a hard time putting the controller down between chapters.

Picking Up Where We Left Off

F.E.A.R. 2 begins about half an hour before the original game ends. This time, from a different perspective as you play as an entirely different character. When I realized what was going on, and that the city hadn’t been nuked yet, I immediately became immersed in the story as I knew what was about to go down. Having said that, I don’t think it’s fully required that one plays the original game in order to follow the story in F.E.A.R. 2. The game does a good job of bringing you up to speed and filling in back story through cut-scenes and collectible intelligence.

The Tragedy of Alma

Speaking of back story, we learn an awful lot about Alma this time around. And by the end of the game, I was actually feeling remorse. She’s a very tragic character, and it’s difficult to condemn her for the things she’s done knowing where she came from and how she got to be the way she is. Through-out the game, you run into Alma quite a bit. Mostly during hallucinations which drape her world over yours. These scenes are pretty incredible to witness, as the visual effects are not something you often see in video games. Especially the cinematic death scenes, where an Allie or unsuspecting rogue enemy soldier will end up being puréed right before your eyes.

F.E.A.R. 2

Hey, Other First Person Shooters – Pay Attention!

Think back to when the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 were first unveiled. Remember the demo videos we were shown and how first person shooters looked completely different? Not in terms of graphic capabilities, but the fluid camera movements and lighting effects that you swore had to be pre-rendered. That’s what F.E.A.R. 2 reminded me of. There haven’t been many games that have truly revolutionized a genre, and I’m not saying that F.E.A.R. 2 has done that. But it’s definitely taken a step away from the typical tank-like controls of modern first person shooters. It feels much more natural and authentic. Add to that, environmental damage that throws off your aim or knocks you back a few feet. Along with objects that can be interacted with to create cover. F.E.A.R. 2 really is a unique experience from this angle.

You Go That-a-Way

Where the game does fall short, is in its level design. It feels a bit dated, with corridor after corridor of flickering lights and merely a single path to follow. Which leads to you to whip through the campaign pretty quickly. I actually didn’t mind this so much, as the pace is kept at maximum almost the entire way through. It may be a linear experience, but it’s extremely fun and satisfying from the get-go.

Glorious Arsenal

F.E.A.R. 2

The weapon load out in F.E.A.R. 2 is top notch. You have everything from a standard issue pistol and assault rifle, to a high powered sniper rifle and automatic shotgun, to the napalm cannon, plasma gun, and laser. Let’s not forget my personal favourite, the Hammerhead – which shoots large metal steaks that impale your victims and pin them to nearby objects. You can carry any 4 weapons at a time, plus 4 types of grenades. So you have plenty of variety at your disposal at all times and ammo is plentiful. There’s also a huge mechanized suit that you hop into a couple times during the campaign which lead to some pretty awesome moments.

Top Notch Entertainment

As you would expect, F.E.A.R. 2 looks and sounds amazing. The atmosphere that’s created by some of horror effects is perfectly executed. All the while, the game never once struggled to maintain its frame rate.

F.E.A.R. 2

There is a multiplayer end of F.E.A.R. 2, but I didn’t even bother trying it out. I’m not much of a multiplayer gamer when it comes to first person shooters, and from what I’ve read, this isn’t exactly F.E.A.R. 2’s strongest point. I picked it up solely for the single player experience, and I definitely got what I came for.

Rating: 4/5

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

9 Responses to “F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin”

  1. Interesting. I played F.E.A.R. on the 360 because I was looking for something scary, but I couldn't even bring myself to finish it (and that never happens to me!). Not because it was scary, but because – and I'm really struggling to explain this – it felt too much like I was playing on a PC. I doubt that will make sense to anyone but myself, but it felt completely different to all other shooters I had played, therefore I never made it past the second chapter. It's one of those games I want to play, and want to enjoy, but it didn't feel quite right. Having said that, this was years ago before I really got into gaming in a big way. Maybe things would be different now.

    • I think I know what you mean, and it would make sense since the first game was developed primarily for PC. FEAR 2 feels quite different, though. And as I said, different from every other shooter, not just the previous FEAR game.

      Check out the demo and see what you think. It's a good taste of what the whole game has to offer, as it's a collection of sliced out parts from nearly every chapter.

  2. I really loved the first FEAR game so have been looking forward to this for a while.

    I downloaded the demo and gave it a crack and it seemed to cross off everything on my checklist plus more. So seeing you give it a positive review and watching your experiences on twitter has made me even more excited.

    Will definitely pick it up soon then. Can't wait to stay up late and turn off all the lights…

    • That's the only way to play! My wife laughed at me when I turned off the lamps in the living as I fired up the game.

      But yeah, it's very true to the original game. It immediately feels like FEAR, but at the same time has a feeling of its own.

  3. I never really played the first FEAR much, in fact I probably gave it about an hour of my time but knowing what its reputation was like I gave the 360 demo ago as soon as I could.

    Stupid me for playing it in the dark with no-one in the house! Creeped the hell outta me.

    Way busy playing Left4Dead with Jen at the moment so it'll probably come after that.

    • I believe you're the only other person I've seen on my friends list playing this game. It's a shame more people haven't picked it up.

      Have you finished it yet? The ending was pretty abrupt and I wasn't thrilled at first. But when I started thinking about it, I liked the direction the took. Definitely left the door wide open for another sequel.

  4. I have only played the demo for FEAR 2, but I own FEAR and played it constantly. My biggest complaint though were the levels were nothing but a sea of cubicles. Sounding from what you have described, that has changed only to not be cubicles this time around. A friend told me the game played through very quickly, he finished quicker than expected. I do hope to pick the game up eventually.

  5. I recently rented FEAR 2. I'm somewhat liking it, but for some reason I don't feel the need to get through it. Maybe it's just me, but I don't feel the sense of "I have to finish this level".

  6. i just wanted to say i absolutely loved fear 1, but it was somewhat confusing for me to follow the story, and i got lost alot playing it. but that could be becouse my spacial awareness sucks, any who, i am just starting fear 2,i am on like ch 5, and i like the graphics, but somehow i liked fear 1 alot, better, but in fear 2 i like all of the scary stuff running around especially the zombie like doctors jumping out at you keeps you on your toes. the game is intresting, but it seems like im flying through the levels. will have to see how it ends.