FEAR 2: Project Origin - Reborn • Page 2

In fine Fettel?

As such, Reborn is essentially a checklist of recognisable F.E.A.R. 2 tropes played out in interestingly designed, if thematically familiar, locations. Half-wrecked buildings, dank sewers, sniper-pocked streets… all that malarkey. The stand-out highlight of Reborn is a building that's fallen on its side; there's no combat in it, but as you leap from office cube to office cube it brilliantly messes with your sense of direction in the classic 'Which way is up?' fashion of Descent.

Yes, we're still trekking though many non-descript underground areas. Yes, we're still in corridor country. But Reborn genuinely sees Monolith knuckling down and squeezing some goodness out of the systems it has created, with various multi-avenue rooms really showing off the AI, and natty moments such as when you're nervously waving proximity mines in a plywood maze alongside a group of nailgun-toting and board-splintering heavies.

As for the villains you'll blast, apart from a few changes in character model, the whole gang is here. Flippy-jumpy Abominations, those weird puppeteer chaps, the invisi-leaping men, the machine who can't walk down stairs in Robocop… all present and correct. Alma has come along for the ride as well, despite the fact that she's presumably more occupied vying for the affections of your alter-ego in the concurrent original game. She's not there in a frightening capacity; Monolith has clearly decided to give the scare factor the heave-ho, but she still has more than enough time to hurl furniture at 813's head. The two-timing Jezebel.

Even without Reborn, there's little doubt that F.E.A.R. 2 has a second wind to wave in your direction, if you're willing to breathe it in. There's the recent free update that provided the slo-mo deathmatch that was so lacking in the original release, for example. Plus there's the fascinatingly designed Toy Soldiers map pack that saw Monolith picking up the 'tiny players in a big room' baton that was dropped by Ritual after the demise of the SiN franchise (essentially Micro Machines deathmatch). I would also add that the full campaign is well worth a replay on the perfectly-pitched hard difficulty setting if you're spoiling for a challenge.

3
When in doubt, head towards the big psychic whirlwind/explosion thing. This isn't real science any more, is it?

But is Reborn itself worth 800 Microsoft points? Yes - but only just. F.E.A.R. 2 can't stop being a simple, meaty and visceral pleasure to play, and the levels on offer in Reborn are certainly of a high standard. The problem is that you'll complete it in two hours, the story never goes beyond adding bloody exclamation marks to the phrase 'He's back!', and the content is entirely recycled gameplay concepts in faintly familiar environments. You're honestly not missing out on anything if you don't play it, but it you'll have two hours of enjoyable and uninterrupted bloody shenanigans if you do.

As corridors go, this is a short one that takes you to somewhere you didn't really need to go. It's the gaming equivalent of walking from your bedroom to the kitchen, opening a cupboard and eating a sneaky between-meals biscuit. It's totally unnecessary and not entirely satisfying. But it does taste quite nice.

6 /10

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About the author

Will Porter

Will Porter

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Will ‘Velvet Owl’ Porter is a roaming freelance writer who most recently worked with The Creative Assembly on Alien: Isolation. You can find out how cold/hungry he is by following @Batsphinx on Twitter.

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