Here comes the F.E.A.R., an action game from Vivendi Universal Games and developer Monolith. F.E.A.R. is a shooter that is sensational in being wild and creepy like no other game before it, and it's an incredible, kinetic, almost exhausting experience from start to finish. More than that, though, is the fact that it's also one of the most atmospheric and creepy games ever made, as well as one of the most intense shooters that you'll play this year.
You play as the newest member of the First Encounter Assault Recon, military's secret squad for paranormal activities. A military commander named Paxton goes mad and takes control of army cloned soldiers which are somehow telepathically linked to him. They go in nondescript American city and they appear to search for something. Your mission and mission of your foes "Delta" unit is to find what they are looking for and of course to stop them. F.E.A.R. is great because it elevates cinematics and combats to a new levels. And while you already seen games with movie-quality combat before, you've never seen anything quite like this. Bullets chunks of concrete and walls, dust, bodies are torn and that creepy deathly silence after fights.
Weapons you have feel powerful, like real weapons. In other games sometimes you feel like some of them are useless but here virtually every gun can tear up the place. Standard weapons are pistols, submachine guns, shotgun, assault rifle and an incredible waepon that tears the flesh. Combat simply looks and feels spectacular, because the environment looks like it's flying apart due to all the bullets. One of the coolest things is the bullet-time effect. Everything slows down for a few seconds and you can see vortexes in the air created by bullets. You can only activate this for a short period, but it recharges at a decent rate, so you generally can have it at your disposal in most fights. This slow-motion ability is almost essential for surviving some of the tougher battles.
An AI is the smartest I've ever seen. They move from corner to corner, they communicate with each other and they also react if they see you or if they notice any sound.These are the smartest, most aggressive, most tactically oriented AI opponents that we've ever encountered in a shooter.
F.E.A.R. uses a combination of checkpoints, quick saves, and auto saves to keep track of your progress, and you can automatically reload at the last save point in just a matter of seconds, or go back to an earlier save to try something different. It's a good system, but our only complaint is that there are only 10 save slots, which is a bit limiting since you'll want to save a lot. After a while you will get used to the opponents and kill them without problems because mostly there are all the same enemies from start to end. The environment can be repetitive also. A deserted industrial area, a deserted office complex, and a deserted and rundown urban place...
Maybe you will notice some influence by Japanese horror movies, split second appearance of ghosts etc. The designers are smart enough to realize that less is more when it comes to building tension. Sometimes nothing happens and you are just searching abandoned buildings and it's quite unsettling. The single-player story should take you a good 10 hours to get through, which is on par with most other shooters. When you're done with the single-player, you can tackle the generally excellent multiplayer game. F.E.A.R. features all the standard multiplayer modes that you'd expect, including deathmatch, team deathmatch, and capture the flag.
Throughout F.E.A.R., the graphics, the particle effects, the physics, and the sound effects combine to create the sense that all hell is breaking loose. The good news, at least, is that F.E.A.R. ran solidly without a single crash, which is impressive for such a technically complex game.
Meanwhile, the audio in F.E.A.R. is outstanding, and the sounds go a long way to establishing the mood. In a game that's all about making you afraid of the dark, it's often the little noises that can send you spinning around, ready to blast whatever it is that created the sound.
F.E.A.R. is quite easily one of the most intense and atmospheric games that you'll play, and it's a spectacular blend of horror and action. I finished almost all F.E.A.R games except Reborn. There is also expasion for F.E.A.R. called extraction point and perseus mandate.