Welcome to Open Carnage

A resource for Halo 1 modding and tech, with unique means of rewarding individual content creation and support. Have a wander to see why we're worth the time! EST. 2012

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Tiamat

F.E.A.R.

HVve0bm.jpg

No spoilers!  Even though it's quite old now.

 

F.E.A.R., which I am going to simply refer to as FEAR for simplicity, is a first-person shooter game released in October 2005 that blends elements of horror with a first-person shooter genre.  You are the Point Man(yes, that is the canonical reference to him), a newly-inducted member of the First Encounter Assault Recon(FEAR) team.  A DoD-funded program to create a battalion of experimental soldiers psychically linked to their commander has gone bad; the commander has somehow broken out of his cell and has activated the dormant battalion of soldiers, and is now seeking something.

 

This review will cover both the game, and its expansion packs, Extraction Point and Perseus Mandate.  EP and PM are standalone games, but are included for free with the USD $9.99 Steam copy.

 

First, an overview of the game's general qualities; then I'll split up a review of its FPS gameplay, and its horror element.

 

Overview

 

As a first note, the multiplayer is nonfunctional now.  Gamespy's death took it down, just as it almost took Halo: Combat Evolved.  So if you're thinking of getting the game, it's purely for singleplayer, which still has quite a lot to recommend it.

 

The story, though a bit realistically impossible, makes sense after you have all the pieces and is well thought-out; there really aren't many plot holes, and the few I've noticed are rather small, nothing glaring.

 

Like most games of the era, the campaign is quite lengthy and rather straightforward to play in most cases.  This game does not feature any puzzles(though in certain areas figuring out where you need to go next, since the game never prompts you and it may not be visually obvious, can be an intriguing problem.)  It is quite long, especially so if you play both of the expansion packs, Extraction Point and Perseus Mandate, which are included for free with the Steam version, so you're definitely getting the bang for your buck.

 

As far as the graphical quality goes- well, the game is from 2005.  Don't expect mindblowingly awesome graphics and excellent physics.  For its era, however, the game does have very good graphics- in fact, I personally think they hold up well even now- and its physics engine, while... occasionally questionable... is usually quite nice.

 

And I would like to make a HUGE note about the AI quality in this game.  The enemies in this game are very, very intelligent.  They will attempt to flank you frequently, regroup and press you when you retreat, flush you out with grenades, and often will not run blindly into landmines or choke points, forcing you to either try to draw them out or come out of your hidey-hole.  They run away from thrown grenades if given the opportunity.  They are capable of detecting you if you make pretty much any noise except footsteps, and unlike many games, can see your flashlight.  The enemies are also accurate, but not stupidly accurate. (Unless you're playing a higher difficulty.)  The enemy chatter is often very intelligent and quite realistic in most cases.  (The few cases when it's not realistic are quite hilarious- e.g., soldier shouts Can you see him?! and one of his comrades replies Shut the fuck up!)  Overall, if you're looking for a challenge in the AI, this game will definitely give you one; I find that the AI's intelligence far surpasses almost any other game I've played, certainly better than any more modern FPS, which is sad, but we'll move on from that.

 

There is not a lot of enemy variety in the game.  There's several different infantry enemies, but most of them are just reskinned enemies with a slight health boost as you get further in the game.  There are four heavier enemies that you may face, ranging from a regular up-armored trooper to a GIANT FUCKING MECH, but they appear infrequently.

 

And now, for...

 

Gameplay

 

axsjwIA.jpg

 

First, weapons.  The weapon variety in this game isn't staggeringly huge, like Call of Duty or Battlefield, but it is just enough to make you cry in depression as you're forced to choose between one weapon you just need and another you really want late in the game.  There's a weapon for any possible tactical situation you could find yourself in in the game, and the game will generally give you heavy weapons when they're needed(but not excessively; it's up to you to judiciously use the ammo).  The weapon variety increases in both expansion packs, to the point where if you weren't crying over weapon choices before, you are now.  You can carry three weapons at a time, which isn't completely unreasonable(bar carrying an insane combination like minigun, grenade launcher, and rocket launcher), but is plenty enough to let you keep a weapon for every tactical situation.

 

As far as the game's movement goes, it feels very naturally paced.  You move at a decent speed, not too fast or too slow, though the mouse sensitivity tends to be jacked up by default(but easy to lower).  You have the ability to lean left or right around corners, but note that this does slightly expose you to enemy fire- you aren't magically invisible when leaning around corners.

 

Map layout, I know, is very important to many people here.  The game does have a set of corridors that you must traverse to reach Point B; however, many rooms and areas(almost all, in fact) have more than one way you can progress, offering flanking opportunities, tactical choices, and overall some variety in your approach to each hostile situation.  You can choose to throw a proximity mine and try to lure the enemy in, or flank them with a shotgun and blow them away, or lean out from cover and pot their heads from across the room.

 

I'd like to make a note about melee combat.  The game has a basic rifle-bash melee that's very fast and easy to do.  Enemies fall very quickly in melee combat, but they can also hit back for a lot of damage.  For some tactical variety(and cool factor) you are capable of performing a flying kick, a jump-kick, and a sliding kick, while jumping/moving/meleeing, jumping/meleeing, and crouching/moving/meleeing, respectively.  Any one of these will instantly kill enemies.  Note, however, that if you are close to enemies, their weapons will do commensurately more damage, and if you're being shot at and slapped in the face by a rifle butt simultaneously it won't end well.  Melee is thus profitable, but risky.

 

A strong note about grenades.  The base game has three grenade varieties- basic, proximity landmine, and remote detonation- and the expansion packs add a couple of shiny extra ones that are rare as hell.  The basic grenade explodes on contact, and any grenade that's thrown will explode when shot, including proximity and remote detonation ones(this can hurt you, so it can be annoying if an enemy trips a landmine close to you.)  The grenade throwing is very odd; instead of going to your crosshair, the grenade will be thrown somewhat to the left, as you throw with your left hand.  This can, and has, often resulted in me throwing a grenade at a wall I was standing beside rather than down a corridor and killing myself.

 

And one final note for the gameplay- there is a slow-motion mechanic.  As the Point Man, your reflexes are insanely fine-tuned; as a result, enemies seem to stand still for you.  This is manifested in a SlowMo mode, which is a toggleable ability(with a finite bar that runs out after some time and must recharge) that makes all enemies move at about 0.2x speed and you move at 3x speed, as well as significantly slowing down the entire game.  You can find boosters for SlowMo bar length lying around in semi-hidden areas that will slightly increase the length of your bar.  (There's also health boosters lying around that serve the same purpose for your health.)

 

And next, we come to...

 

The Horror Element

 

oHfDSBs.jpg

 

FEAR's storyline, though it has a very robust FPS experience, is ultimately a bit of a horror story.  There's a lot of jumpscares, augmented by the occasional psychologically-twisted experience that is absolutely creepy as hell.  If you like horror and you like shooters, it's a good blend.

 

On the other hand, the horror element obviously loses a lot of its horror on the second playthrough.  Jumpscares aren't surprising anymore, and the weird psycho-sequences make sense, and aren't as confusing, though they may still be creepy.

 

I would also like to note that FEAR Extraction Point and FEAR Perseus Mandate have much stronger horror experiences than the base game does; while the original FEAR only got me a couple times, I cringed numerous times playing those games.

 

And now, for a lovely...

 

Conclusion

 

FEAR and its expansion packs overall have a very robust, lengthy first-person shooter campaign.  There's a few flaws in the physics engine that are odd but don't really interfere with gameplay, and there's a few issues with grenades, but other than that, the shooter experience is very strong.  I haven't had this much fun with a singleplayer campaign since I played the first Halo game, way back when.

 

Though enemy variety is lacking, the enemy intelligence is very, very strong. This is one of the first games where the enemy outsmarted me a few times!

 

I'll wrap it up with some pros, and some cons to the game.

 

The Pros

 

-Game's singleplayer campaign has a lot to offer in terms of length

 

-Truly intelligent AI!

 

-Frenetic, tactical combat

 

-Story that makes sense and can actually feel creepy and somewhat scary

 

-Weapon variety has meaningful tactical choices

 

The Cons

 

-Old game, old graphics, old physics

 

-Absurd representation of blood

 

-Scares are occasionally predictable

 

-Awkward grenade usage

 

-No multiplayer support

 

I'm not going to bother with an ambiguous number rating, but I'd like to finish with a TL;DR buy this game and play it now if you haven't already.


ZFkXnuW.png External link

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Members of Open Carnage never see off-site ads.

There is a work around for multiplayer since gamespy shut down.But of course it involves work to get it done, but it's there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is a work around for multiplayer since gamespy shut down.But of course it involves work to get it done, but it's there.

 

What is it?  GameRanger?


ZFkXnuW.png External link

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What is it?  GameRanger?

It could work.

 

But you can use softare like Tunngle to emulate a lan network, have your community join the same network channel and you will be able to connect to the server. Of course the server has to be running tunngle too. This means you can't rent a game server. You will need to rent a VPS (virtual private server), install tunngle on it and then run the server. But Windows servers are a little costly because getting a Windows license is pretty expensive. All in all you're better off hosting it from your own computer and inviting a few friends, unless you want to spend around $20-$30 a month.

Edited by reaply

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It could work.

 

But you can use softare like Tunngle to emulate a lan network, have your community join the same network channel and you will be able to connect to the server.

 

Ah, yeah.  I already knew about that but didn't mention it primarily because that's hardly a general-purpose solution.  You'd have to organize a whole party first.


ZFkXnuW.png External link

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ah, yeah.  I already knew about that but didn't mention it primarily because that's hardly a general-purpose solution.  You'd have to organize a whole party first.

That comes with any master server shutting down so you should have known before asking :).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That comes with any master server shutting down so you should have known before asking :).

Not really. He was probably assuming you meant a real fix. Using any kind of personal private network is not exactly what I would call an actual multi-player fix. Unless this is a troll post?

Edited by Kvasir
Tiamat likes this

Doldrums.png

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.