F.E.A.R. Reader Review
F.E.A.R (First Encounter Assault Recon) is developed by Monolith who also made Condemned which was released on the Xbox 360 during its launch period. F.E.A.R comes over from the PC where it had most of its success. Can F.E.A.R make the transition with no hitches from PC to the Xbox 360? Read on to find out.
F.E.A.R is a first person shooter that takes a different approach in not just being an average FPS but trying to blend psychological horror into the game as well. You are an operative dealing with the supernatural being called into action at the start of the game. The mystery surrounds clone soldiers and a girl called Alma and as you progress through the campaign more will be revealed although not in the best way. Throughout the story the voice overs of other characters is poor meaning you'll have a hard time hearing what they're are saying making the story even harder to grasp. This doesn't help as the story is already complex to begin with.
F.E.A.R on the Xbox 360 looks good barring a few technical glitches like you popping through walls when you want to peek behind corners. You will have to use cover effectively in this game or you're going to die pretty quickly. The A.I of your enemies is good if a little frustrating as they're happy to toss grenades at you all day so if you don't get out of the way soon enough you're a dead man. The enemies will communicate with each other which is a nice touch so you can be ready for their next move. However the quotes do become repetitive obviously. Throughout F.E.A.R there are irritating difficulty spikes where you will have to play the same section over and over again. The checkpoint system is okay but it would have been a lot better to save the game whenever you wanted as you can get through a difficult section, have little health and therefore die having to repeat it again which is very tiresome.
The sound in F.E.A.R is one of its weak points there really is no kind of orchestral score to unnerve you just the occasional laugh of Alma etc which while unsettling it doesn't being any emotion to the game like a proper soundtrack would have. Instead you get the same repetitive sounds where the tempo is never really raised. Like I've already stated this hurts the story as you have no clue of what's going on. You get phone messages but since you cannot hear them clearly it's pointless.
Just like the PC version the environments are very repetitive and it feels all like one level really. Sadly F.E.A.R as a whole plays like a watered down PC port. The controls are clunky in areas like the annoying flash light that you'll be fumbling around for which is accessed via pressing down on the d-pad. To make it worse your grenades are up on the d-pad, I found myself confused more than once. Added to that there is no satisfying futuristic weapon of death you'd be expecting. You do get a sniper rifle later on which will fry bog standard enemies with one shot but I feel there really is no imagination to any of the weapons as there is nothing new just your standard class in a futuristic setting, a missed opportunity.
Like many games some games are suited better to certain systems and that is the case of F.E.A.R. It plays a lot better on PC than it does on the Xbox 360. While Monolith have done an okay job of converting the controls elsewhere the game just doesn't feel right. From the haphazard way the story is told to no imagination make the game just the same as any other First Person Shooter despite it trying to be different. F.E.A.R is ultimately a game that disappoints, it had so much success on PC yet it's failed to convert that to the Xbox 360. There were some things they weren't going to change like weapons etc but I thought a bit more effort could have been made on the whole. F.E.A.R is nothing new and has tons of horrible difficulty spikes along the way it's a game that will frustrate and disappoint in equal measure and despite it's history on PC it doesn't change it from being a total let-down on the Xbox 360.
6 / 10