I never really got around to this DLC and I was not missing out on anything. The DLC is about 1 hour long and you play as a Replica soldier who gets called to Paxton Fettel (I’m not sure if it’s a prison cell or just his soul in the epicenter of the nuclear blast from the first game) and have to blow through your own kind to get to him.
The game mainly consists of the large firefights that are actually quite tough (I died a few times here) with tons of enemies, mechs, and even a turret sequence thrown in. The game starts you out in a mech and you go from there. It’s a short rollercoaster of every element created for F.E.A.R. 2 and it’s fun while it lasts, but a disappointing DLC as it adds nothing new to the game, even playing as a Replica doesn’t change the gameplay one bit.
As it stands, play this just for the heck of it because you own it, but otherwise you can pass if you missed out all these years.
I remember when F.E.A.R. 2 was first announced and it blew up the gaming world. It was a long anticipated sequel to one of the best FPS games on PC, and surprisingly it was also coming to current consoles which I felt held the game back some, and this infuriated some longtime fans. You continue where the first game left off and must go back into the destruction that the nuke caused and try and stop Alma once and for all.
The story and characters are worse than the first game and make absolutely zero sense. I still don’t know why Alma wants to kill everyone and who Beckett really is (your main character). The game focuses more on action over atmosphere and scares, unlike the first game. There are some really creepy scenes with the elementary school being by far the best with poltergeists chasing you in dark hallways. It’s sad that the horror element took a back seat and the game just doesn’t feel as good as the first game.
The shooting, however, has improved a lot with more responsive controls, faster paced gunplay and a slightly higher variety of weapons. The enemies are still generic soldiers called Replicas that are just bullet sponges and don’t offer anything interesting to the game. There are two mech sequences added to the game where you can crawl inside one and devastate foes. Outside of feeling powerful, these scenes felt more like filler than anything else. Another continuing issue is the level design. The game is full of generic desolate city streets, hallways, metal and concrete buildings with catwalks and industrial decor. It’s the same as before just with more detail and better visuals.
Slo-mo does make a return here, but I didn’t need to use it as often as the first game as this game is much easier. Instead of hoarding 10 medkits you get up to 3 and body armor to help absorb damage. You can still upgrade your Reflex meter by finding syringes and data pads are scattered everywhere for story tidbits. I have to say I miss the answering machines and Alienware laptops scattered around as it felt more organic and required less reading in such a fast-paced game.
The game looks really good even today. Larger environments, higher resolution textures, better models, physics, and overall lighting effects really stand out and this game looks far from ugly, just boring and generic. The game tried to switch up the setting with more outdoor environments and less indoor, but it doesn’t really matter as the game is still highly linear. It just doesn’t feel like F.E.A.R. did and that’s a shame as you can tell there was a careful placement of each scare and less focus on action.
Overall, F.E.A.R. 2 is a great sequel and worth your time for a weekend playthrough. It isn’t memorable, there’s nothing special, but the occasional scare and interesting horror elements, as well as fantastic shooting, make for a good game.
Well, I finally did it. I finished F.E.A.R., and that may seem silly to you, but I’ve started this game so many times, and just never got around to finishing it. I remember when it first released and tried out the demo that murdered my PC. The game wouldn’t even start most of the time and when it did it chugged at single frames on the lowest settings. As time went on I tried it on more powerful PCs over the years, and even on Xbox 360, and just somehow never managed to finish. As a kid this game bored me to death, yeah that’s right. I never understood the story, the gameplay was boring, and the game is brutally difficult even on the easiest setting. There’s a lot here to like despite the game’s age and flaws.
You play as a member of F.E.A.R. or First Encounter Assault Recon. They are a special forces unit that deals with the paranormal and you’re assignment is to investigate a girl named Alma who is part of a government experiment that has gone wrong. While the Alma is a very famous video game character, the story of F.E.A.R. is not very deep or all that special. The game tells its story a lot like Half-Life 2 does with in-game cut-scenes and various pieces of the story gathered elsewhere. Listening to answering machines and finding Alienware (yeah they left them in there all this time) laptops will give you insight into the story that becomes quite interesting as the game unfolds.
Outside of the story is the combat and that’s what made F.E.A.R. famous. The game is extremely difficult if you aren’t on your toes and use your Reflex at every encounter. This slows down time and allows you to accurately aim and dodge bullets almost like Bullet Time in Max Payne. Without it, the game would be impossible to beat as the enemies can kill you in a couple of hits. You can save up health kits and find body armor lying around that helps, but I just remember how incredibly hard this game was if you didn’t really utilize quick saves and the Reflex ability.
The game has great shooting mechanics that feel good, but with some generic weapons. Shotgun, pistol, rocket launcher, machine gun, sub-machine gun, and a few unique weapons thrown in the mix makes the arsenal a little stale, but doable. The game does get rather scary with many dark hallways, scripted events, and jump scares that make me eerie to this day. Part of what makes F.E.A.R. so enjoyable today is how the game stands the test of time. This game supports ultrawide displays, large resolutions, and looks really good even today. Sure, the textures are dated and the models are somewhat low-resolution, but the game just looks sharp and runs very well on modern systems. The lighting effects are still impressive and everything about this game felt only a few years old.
The level design is probably my biggest gripe as you run through generic hallways of brick and steel and every level is a confusing maze and messy. Part of why I never finished the game years ago was the awful level design that just screams boring. Never was there an interesting area that stood out to me as they all blend together as generic linear hallways. You tend to forget about this as the game is so intense and you’re white-knuckling around every corner. The scare factor still holds up and so does the intense action.
And maybe that’s all we really need with F.E.A.R. We don’t need cerebral stories, memorable characters, or wacky guns, but a solid high-octane challenging shooter experience that you can only get on PC. As it stands, F.E.A.R. should be played by every PC gamer as it helped drive the genre forward and push GPUs to their limits.