Version tested Xbox 360
Some people hate corridors. They've been through so many of them that they've all blended into one endless route from A to B. They've been to more exotic places, places like fields or car parks, where their wanderings are undisturbed. They've become used to the high life. Should they ever be boxed up in a poxy old corridor they have a right old moan - just as Kieron Gillen did back in Eurogamer's 5/10 review of F.E.A.R. 2.
He's right in what he says, of course - I'm not going to deny it. F.E.A.R. 2 was a rudimentary and linear journey of violent slo-mo decapitation that brought diddly-squat to the table of gaming. If you're from the school of thought that demands originality and the obliteration of all gun emplacement sections in your gaming, then that spot of the old Alma ultra-violence certainly wasn't for you.
Some people don't mind corridors though, as long as they've been tarted up a bit. Personally, I'm a sucker for skirting boards. Trap me in an enclosed oblong for eight hours or so and I'll be happy as Larry, just as long as it feels good to shoot men's legs off in slow motion. If they're shouting 'F********k!' while this process is ongoing then the game's OK by me.
So how about the Reborn DLC? Well it is, of course, more of the same: two hours of new, yet familiar, set-pieces. It's a condensed and distilled F.E.A.R. Experience, a series of gulps of whiskey as opposed to the original game's lengthy pint.
The set-up is that you play as a soldier in one of the game's several (entirely interchangeable) armies of cloned and snarling black leather, at some point after the destruction of the city of Auburn. You're Foxtrot 813, and you've been sent down in a Mech from an orbital drop to land on the top of an unfinished skyscraper and run amok on a destructive tour of roof-tops, lift shafts and building sites. In fact, such is Monolith's ongoing fascination with interrupted construction work you'd almost think that the F.E.A.R. games started life as a coded warning about the imminent global financial meltdown.
Having left many and varied foes in bloody puddles in a sequence closer and more personal than the stompy Mech outings of F.E.A.R. 2, you meet up with your clone allies when everything starts to go wrong. You're psychically contacted by an unknown force (instantly recognisable if you've played the first game, permanently baffling and never really explained if you haven't) who bends you to his will. And his will is for you to go rogue and shoot every bugger in sight. Your mission objectives become mystical murmurs like "Obey" and "Open your eyes" and your own kind (even if every kind in F.E.A.R. is pretty much the same) start hunting you down as you concede to your new master's demands and make your way to the crater that's causing a nuisance downtown.