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

Key events

F.E.A.R. 2 Reborn DLC priced

New story for seven quid.

Warner Bros. has announced that the Reborn DLC for F.E.A.R. 2 will cost 800 Microsoft Points (£6.80/€9.60) when released on 3rd September for Xbox 360. PC and PS3 versions show-up on the same day, incidentally, and will be priced accordingly.

F.E.A.R. 2: Reborn demo released

PSN and Xbox Live DLC sampler.

Warner Bros. and Monolith have announced the release of a playable demo of F.E.A.R. 2: Reborn, the upcoming story-based premium download for its multiformat first-person shooter.

PSN update: Smash Cars, Battle Tanks

PSN update: Smash Cars, Battle Tanks

Plus Buzz! Home space and loads of DLC.

The PS3 Store refresher boasts new games, demos and DLC aplenty, while PlayStation Home opens a new Events Space for Buzz!

Get questions right and a tomato will be lobbed at a rotating Buzz statue. Get 10 questions right in a row and you will unlock a tomato head to put on your Home avatar.

Smash Cars and Battle Tanks are the low-key PSN additions, although their price - £12 and £8 respectively - is steep. Conversely, Crash Commando has had a price-cut to promote new content added today.

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Free F.E.A.R. 2 content in April

Toy Soldiers pack out next month.

Warner Bros. has announced that F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin will receive an infusion of free, tongue-in-cheek multiplayer DLC in April.

F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin Triple-Format Face-Off

Digital FoundryF.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin Triple-Format Face-Off

Things that go bump-mapping in the night.

With the blood barely dry on the walls surrounding last week's F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin review, it's time to return to Monolith's F.E.A.R. 2 with more critical comment, combined with a technical analysis on all available versions of the game.

But first, let's remind ourselves briefly of Kieron Gillen's conclusions about the game itself, partly to refresh memories, and partly to dodge the inevitable lower-page battle between that stupid sticky-out advert and the full-width video just over the horizon:

"It's a checklist of genre-tropes, well performed. If you're just looking for more well-polished shooting, this will while away the hours pleasantly enough. If you've never played a first-person shooter before, you'll probably be in love - this is as archetypal a corridor-shooter as has ever been made, and there's a reason why it works. But for anyone who's been running down corridors with shotguns for most of their adult life, this is so uninspired that you worry for the spark of Monolith's soul. You guys made No One Lives Forever, remember? You're smart. You're better than this." FEAR 2 isn't terrible. That's the most terrible thing of all. Is mere competency enough to garner gamers' love? I don't know. But it's the one thing I really do fear.

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F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin

F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin

There's nothing to fear.

A robot suit and quick-time events.

If you grabbed me in a bar and asked me what was memorably new in FEAR 2 (I'm not using the bloody full stops), that's all I'd be able to come up with. While it's a rock-solid corridor shooter, the lasting impression is one of a woeful lack of inspiration. There's plenty of stuff to talk about but nothing that demands to be discussed over a drink with friends. The most interesting thing about FEAR 2 is the history of its development - Monolith's split with Vivendi, leaving the former without the name, working on a game with the key cast, propagating another title ("Project Origin"), buying the name back when it seemed Vivendi didn't want to make a sequel after all and... Oh, it's quite the epic, exciting saga. Unlike this.

With the two semi-sequels to the first game, made by other developers, removed from continuity, FEAR 2 itself picks up slightly before Monolith left off. You explore an alternate part of the world as another FEAR team, and see the conclusion of the first (a big old explosion) from a distance. In theory, it's a clever method of setting up the devastated city and getting the new gamer up to speed. In practice, it's not totally effective.

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F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin

It's rude to Point Man.

The last time we saw Project Origin was in Monolith's Seattle headquarters early last year. What was on display then was two scenes from very different levels. The first showed you fighting against Abominations - Armacham's failed attempts at creating a psychic army. They couldn't stand up straight, but what they lacked in spinal integrity they made up for in the ability to grease around the walls and pop up for a quick nibble on your face. They could flip themselves up the walls like over-perky pancakes, and fold over themselves in a slightly nauseating and undignified display. It was righteously grim.

F.E.A.R. sequel named

F.E.A.R. sequel named

Monolith picks a winner.

Monolith Productions has announced that the name of its F.E.A.R. sequel will be Project Origin.

It was the winning entry in the Name Your Fear competition, which the developer ran during the summer months to help it come up with a title for its new game. You might remember that it couldn't just call it F.E.A.R. 2, because it doesn't actually own the rights to the name - old pal Warner Bros does.

Project Origin was picked above other (and much better) finalists Dark Signal and Dead Echo. But our real favourite was the unrecognised and punchy "THE GIRL IN THE KETCHUP STAINED DRESS".

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Name the sequel to F.E.A.R.

Monolith has been trying to think up a new name for F.E.A.R. for so long that it's given up and decided to enlist the help of its American fanbase.

The Name Your Fear contest runs between now and 22nd June for over-18s in "the contiguous 48 U.S. and the District of Columbia".

Why not just call it F.E.A.R. 2? Because, as those with long memories will recall, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment bought up Monolith in 2004, giving it the rights to build on F.E.A.R. in all but name - that name resting with former publisher Vivendi, which has gone on to exploit it with a PC expansion pack and a pair of excellent console releases ported by Day 1 Studios.

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