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'F.E.A.R' (PS3) - Developer Interview

by Rainier on March 30, 2007 @ 4:20 a.m. PDT

F.E.A.R. is a paranormal action thriller presented entirely in first person. It is an unprecedented adrenaline rush of close-quarters combat seamlessly melded with the spine-tingling, shocking intensity of the unknown. Rob Loftus, Sierra Entertainment's Senior Producer Rob Loftus gives us more details ...

Q: So what new elements can we expect from FEAR when it arrives on PS3?

RL: We added a new game mode called Instant Action, which is an arcade style shootout that scores the player on their ability to contend with a ramping up of the FEAR enemy units and their AI evasion routines. We’ve also added a new weapon and a bonus mission that lets the player jump into the shoes of the Special Force Operational Detachment (SFOD) soldiers that investigated the original Armacham disturbance – basically the incident that was the trigger for the events of FEAR.

Q: Are these new elements going to affect the traditional plotline in any way?

RL: We won’t be changing the plotline, but we’ll certainly be adding to it with the bonus mission. You’ll get to see what happened to the SFOD squad that the FEAR team is trying to locate in the original storyline.

Q: There’s talk of a similar level of online capability as the 360 version. So, will there be full 16 player deathmatch action from launch?

RL: Yes. You’ll be able to play 16 player deathmatch at launch.

Q: Will any of the elements of FEAR Combat make it over into the game’s multiplayer mode?

RL: We’d love to bring some of those elements over but haven’t announced any plans to do so as yet.

Q: Also, considering the PS3’s online capabilities, can we expect to see downloadable content for the game post launch? Possibly Extraction Point for the console market?

RL: Stay tuned. It all depends on the demand. If people want some more FEAR on the PS3, we’ll certainly look at ways to make that happen.

Q: How does Sony’s new controller help to heighten the tension and adrenaline bursts of FEAR considering it no longer supports a rumble function?

RL: I think it’s more about the content of the game providing that tension rather than the controller. Rumble is nice, but the tension in FEAR comes from the fast paced combat on screen.

Q: Leading on from this, are there any elements that take advantage of the controllers directional tilt function – possibly with the central character’s leaning skills?

RL: We don’t support SixAxis in this current iteration of FEAR.

Q: The AI of the Armacham operatives has always been impressive. Has it been tweaked at all for the port to PS3?

RL: We didn’t want to mess with a good thing! We wanted to bring an experience to the PS3 that was representative of the original.

Q: Do you think that with a new console that there is a substantial enough audience that hasn’t played FEAR on another format previously?

RL: We certainly do and we’re looking to broaden the audience for FEAR within the console community. As a game, it lends itself very much to console players in much a similar way that it did on the PC. Obviously, there are some pluses to the console experience - playing FEAR on an HDTV with full surround sound is quite an experience.

Q: Previous PlayStation architecture was criticised for being made up of lots of powerful elements that had difficulty communicating with each other. How has Day One found working with the PS3

RL: Day 1 have been great partners for bringing this product to new platforms. Developing on a new platform can be difficult at times as there is not a lot of fresh experiences with the hardware to contend with. There is a very deep level of engineering expertise that Day 1 brings to the product, and they’ve done wonders ensuring that the transition of FEAR to PS3 has been as painless as possible.

Q: The particle effects have always been a thing of beauty – especially in the slo-mo mode. How have these fared in the port?

RL: You’ll be happy to know the particle effects are still a thing of beauty on the PS3. They fared just fine.

Q: There’s obviously more than a bit of The Ring about Alma. How has she been received by the Japanese market so far? And do you think that the port to PS3 will strengthen her position in the Asian market?

RL: We released FEAR in Japan and, regrettably, we didn’t break any records for sales there. We did okay, but I think we have a lot to learn about really breaking into that market with North American content. I’d love for the PS3 version to be released there and do well.

Q: Sony have previously pushed the interconnectivity of the PS3 with the PSP. Will there be any interaction between the two devices in FEAR?

RL: There won’t be any interaction between FEAR PS3 and the PSP.

Q: Finally, if you (or any of the dev team) could employ slo-mo/adrenaline boost in any real world situations, what would they be? We’re thinking along the lines of catching dropped toast, avoiding stepping in dog turds etc…

RL: Thinking of my commute home, I’d love to use some slo-mo weaving through traffic.

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