So, I’ve spent the last couple of weeks working my way through F.E.A.R. and its two expansion packs: Extraction Point and Perseus Mandate. I think this was Monolith’s immediate follow-up to their near-perfect No One Lives Forever games. Just about everything that was so great about NOLF is missing here. There’s no humor, no variety in game play and the storyline is blah.
Still, F.E.A.R.managed to keep me somewhat engaged with it’s genuinely spine-tingling moments of horror. The other big horror games I have played lately, Dead Space and Doom 3, were only good at the occasional jump-scares. F.E.A.R. excels at just keeping it creepy by allowing the “monsters” appear in your peripheral vision or on snowy TV monitors. Sure, they are just ripping off the style of J-Horror movies like The Ring, but it’s very effective.
The ghostly imagery isn’t quite enough to carry the game. 90% of the game is repetitive gunfights against your typical video game super-soldiers. These battles are solid and use a nice bullet-time slo-mo mechanic, but after about the 30th encounter you will be longing for a good old-fashioned lava level or anything to add a little variety.