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F.E.A.R slow-mo multiplayer revealed

We'll have full impressions later this week, but here's a quick rundown on what to expect. Well, a slow rundown. That's kind of the point.

Dark blue icons of video game controllers on a light blue background
Image credit: Eurogamer

Vivendi-Universal Games and developer Monolith revealed the multiplayer component of hugely impressive first-person shooter F.E.A.R for the first time in Paris yesterday, featuring a slow-motion power-up and all that entails.

We wouldn't normally dedicate a news item to something as mundane as an FPS multiplayer mode's unveiling, but in this case it was anything but mundane. Think of the impact that the gravity gun (however short-lived) had on Half-Life 2's deathmatch. It's that sort of awe-inspiring shift in dynamic.

The key to its success is the slow-motion aspect. Along with the fact that the game boasts an absolutely unprecedented level of incidental detail - misty clouds of blood, shattering windows, deep bullet holes and all the rest - which we'll be discussing in more depth later this week, the slow-mo first-person gunfights are a joy.

The idea is that one player on one team has the power-up, and when charged and activated it slows the game down for everyone (obviously doing it for just one side would be quite literally impossible) but gives the team with the power-up a higher rate of fire.

Cue people leaping cinematically off balconies using melee roundhouse and sliding kicks and plucking people out of the air and literally nailing them to the wall in slow motion with the finest nailgun since the days of the original Quake. And an awful lot of the people sat at the PCs themselves slowly leaning back on their chairs and going into full-on Spaced S2E5/Gone "Shhhiiiiiiiiiiiii-BOOM!" dramatics.

It's such a simple idea, but it turns out that coupled with the pace, good looks and meaty weaponry of Monolith's latest PC FPS, it fully lives up to the game's core concept of "a first-person shooter that wants to be an action movie".

Top fun. We'll have fuller impressions of that and the single-player game (which, much to our surprise, seems like it could be genuinely deserving of the Ringu comparison Vivendi heaped upon it in early press literature) later in the week, amongst other things to do with the game.

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