F.E.A.R. – It still works five years out
There is a real problem with “scary” games. Most of them rely on cutting edge graphics to scare you(example: Dead Space). Rarely does a scary game come along that is scary, not because its gory or “gross”, but because it genuinely screws with your head. F.E.A.R. is such a game.
F.E.A.R. starts out in predictably hokey scary-game fashion. There is a man with crazy powers commanding an army of clone soldiers that attacks an office building, and only you have the power to stop him. You do this through a butt-load of kick-ass weaponry and the ability to slow down time. Add in some mysterious supernatural happenings and theme of scientific creations run amok that is very reminiscent of Resident Evil and you have a complete package.
F.E.A.R.’s biggest plus is the edge-of-your-seat feeling it causes. The music, voice acting, level design, and lighting all combine to create this constant feeling of brooding tension that only gets worse as you progress through the game. By the time the game reaches its climatic finale moments, I was literally glued to the action in a way that has not happened for many years in a video game. The music is top-notch, and even though the story ends up being fairly predictable, it still throws some nice curve balls your way.
However, it isn’t without its share of problems. While the slow motion abilities in the game are amazing, it pretty much forces you to use them, making it virtually impossible to take on more than one opponent in real time. The biggest problem with this game, though, is that it has a hard time deciding what it wants to be. For the first few levels, it is very much a horror game; ghostly apparitions appear out of nowhere just long enough to scare the bejesus out of you before they vanish into ash, you hear voices in your head, and, most impressively, you frequently encounter scenes where the entire environment transforms in a flash into a horrific scene before flashing back as quick as it came. However, after the first couple of levels, this all abruptly stops, and is replaced by a standard FPS set in an office building. Then, two or three levels after that, the scary returns in full force. It almost feels like the middle third of the game’s story was designed by a different team altogether, so great is the disconnect.
In conclusion, I would definitely pick this game up, especially given how cheap it is currently.
Experience with the Game: Finished entire game on Normal difficulty
Reccomendation: Buy It