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Platform(s): PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Genre: Action
Publisher: Vivendi
Developer: Monolith

About Rainier

PC gamer, WorthPlaying EIC, globe-trotting couch potato, patriot, '80s headbanger, movie watcher, music lover, foodie and man in black -- squirrel!


11. 'F.E.A.R.' (PC)

by Rainier on Feb. 13, 2005 @ 12:30 a.m. PST

The story begins as an unidentified paramilitary force infiltrates a multi-billion dollar aerospace compound. The government responds by sending in Special Forces, but loses contact as an eerie signal interrupts radio communications. When the interference subsides moments later, the team has been literally torn apart. As part of a classified strike team created to deal with threats no one else can handle, your mission is simple: Eliminate the intruders at any cost. Determine the origin of the signal. And contain this crisis before it spirals out of control.

Tim "Rabbit" Mithee: Monolith emerged a few years back as the crown kings of the themed shooter. No One Lives Forever cemented that position, something maintained even through the well-designed but poorly implemented Blood series. Heck, even Die Hard: Nakatomi Plaza hasn't shaken my faith in them, and now: they're back again, with the biggest bullet-fest of them all. F.E.A.R. looks to be loud -- a screaming, massive gun party, with enemies from all sides and amazingly destructable environments. It's like Serious Sam, only far more claustrophobic. Take a handful of psychic powers, some supernatural intrigue, and a whole lot of gore, and you've got a game that under no circumstances can I possibly ignore. There aren't many games I've wanted to play since I first heard about them, but this is one of the few.

Gordy "XyzzySqrl" Wheeler: Monolith have been singlehandedly defining the term "criminally underrated developer" for years now. You'd think that after games like Shogo: Mobile Armor Division, No One Lives Forever, and Tron 2.0 that they'd be getting a little more love from the gaming community, but it seems like you hardly hear about what they're working on until it's released and taking everyone by surprise. Such is the case with F.E.A.R., which was way below my radar, but after some research, it's become one of my top wants for 2005.

Admittedly, F.E.A.R. could be compared to, say, Doom 3. Military setting, things go Horribly Wrong™, there appear to be hideous monsters everywhere, and the effects of battle can take a bit of a toll on your sanity. The thing is that F.E.A.R. looks to be Doom 3 done right, with a scaled-up detail level, better physics, a modern day setting, and brightly lit rooms filled with icky messy remains of conflicts that happened before you got there. There's the prerequisite FPS 'gimmick' in the ability to slow down time, but I'm actually more excited about playing a fast-paced shooter with some decent melee attacks for a change. F.E.A.R. just plain looks like a treat, a detailed FPS with a supernatural edge and the ability to shoot people in the head in any number of exciting ways. I'm psyched about this one.

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