F.E.A.R. Online

Platform(s): PC
Genre: Online Multiplayer
Publisher: Aeria Games
Developer: Inplay Interactive
Release Date: Oct. 17, 2014

About Tony "OUberLord" Mitera

I've been entrenched in the world of game reviews for almost a decade, and I've been playing them for even longer. I'm primarily a PC gamer, though I own and play pretty much all modern platforms. When I'm not shooting up the place in the online arena, I can be found working in the IT field, which has just as many computers but far less shooting. Usually.


PC Preview - 'F.E.A.R. Online'

by Tony "OUberLord" Mitera on Oct. 7, 2014 @ 2:00 a.m. PDT

F.E.A.R. Online is a free-to-play multiplayer shooter that will deliver hardcore action while furthering the dark and ominous story surrounding Alma Wade.

The F.E.A.R. series has been around for some time now, and most people remember it as the creepy series of games involving heavily armed paramilitary groups, a supernatural woman, and creepy hallucinations. We've checked out the beta for the upcoming F.E.A.R. Online, which is an MMOFPS that takes place in the game's universe. In its current state, it feels like there is a lot of content missing, but we got our feet wet with both the cooperative and competitive modes.

F.E.A.R. Online doesn't cement itself in a particular time line of the game's mythos — at least not from the standpoint of the current beta. You create a profile that starts with basic gear and a rank of Private. Participating in either Player versus Environment or Player versus Player grants your character experience that increases your rank, which allows you to purchase more capable weapons and gear. In PvE, you play as a member of the ATC, a paramilitary group sent in to deal with lassified threats both normal and paranormal. Meanwhile, in PvP, you play as either the ATC or a competing group as you fight it out on one of the multiplayer maps.

The PvE gameplay is four player co-op, with the current available mission starting off as your squad survives a helicopter crash. As you make your way through a subway station and sewer system, you fend off squads of enemy military forces, and then awful crawling creatures attack en masse. When downed, players are still alive for a period of time, during which other players can revive them. Doing so while a pack of frenzied creatures are running amok is quite difficult, and it ends up being a lot less of an easy crutch than it is in other games with the feature.

For the most part, these waves of enemies aren't incredibly taxing to a coordinated group. Enemy soldiers are dispatched easily enough by using cover and trading fire, but the creatures' ability to overwhelm is another matter entirely. Get far enough into the mission's four "episodes," and you'll fight the boss creature. The boss resembles the same creatures as before, but it overwhelmed every group I attempted it with. If nothing else, the game's PvE is certainly no walk in the park.

The PvP modes, on the other hand, have no such learning curve and are essentially what you'd expect. The Deathmatch mode is team-based, with each team trying to kill members of the other team to score more points before the time limit elapses. There are also the Demolitions and Knife Fight modes, but we were unable to check those modes out due to low player counts in the closed beta. While playing in the PvP modes, you gain experience for kills, head shots, revenge kills, and killing someone very quickly after bringing up your weapon's sights. It seems to reward skilled players in more ways than one, making the system seem more layered and finesse-based than just, "Kill X players until you level up."

There is an in-game store with a decent selection, and this is where you can spend credits to buy new weapons and other gear. The ability to customize the look of your character is also possible, but we didn't get the chance to play around with that. You can also equip psionic abilities for your character in either the PvE or PvP modes, but this is more toward negating fall damage or other such buffs.

Given our experience in the closed beta, it's tough to know much about F.E.A.R. Online. Only a small number of players were available in the beta community, and our gameplay depended heavily on their presence. While the PvP gameplay seems solid enough, the bigger star seems to be the PvE cooperative gameplay. We won't know how much content there will be until the game launches later this month. In the meantime, the open beta launches shortly, so everyone can check out what the game has to offer.

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