Fear XBox 360 Review (F.E.A.R) - www.impulsegamer.com -

Gameplay 9.0
Graphics 8.9
Sound 9.0
Value 9.0
Distributor: Vivendi Universal
Classification:
MA15+
Review Date:
November 2006
Reviewer:
Geoff Clark

9.0

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F.E.A.R.

One of the most acclaimed games of 2005 has finally arrived on the XBox 360 that combines two genres (first person shooter and survival/horror) into one powerful and entertaining game entitled F.E.A.R. In the game, the player is transformed into a soldier for a black-op government paranormal investigation team that has the team chasing a former commander called Paxton Fettel who has telepathic control his cloned soldiers. However as you slowly progress through F.E.A.R, you soon discover that there may be more than just telepathy involved as you witness the supernatural on more than just one occasion.

Although in its essence, F.E.A.R. is your traditional first person shooter, the developers have added a variety of changes to the genre to really set itself from its competitors with your characters special ability such as hand-to-hand combat (even scissor kicks) and your ultra-fast reflexes that are more akin to bullet-time from the Matrix. Needless to say, when used in conjunction, it is a very impressive feat that will leave you gob smacked from the moment you lay eyes on these super moves. Needless to say, the bullet-time in F.E.A.R is amazing and when you engage in it, time slows down and you can virtually see every shell fired as they leave steams within the air.

The artificial intelligence of F.E.A.R. is brilliant and also dastardly frustrating as the A.I. almost works like real players who will do a variety of manoeuvres such as flanking your character, covering their colleagues and even alerting their fellow-soldiers of your whereabouts. With that said, the gamer just cannot run around like Arnold Schwarzenegger from Commando as you really need to use your strafe ability and also a touch of stealth as your interact with the gaming environment. As the A.I. can be quite tough, the developers have ensured that there are a variety of health packs and armour scattered around the levels to ensure that this title doesn't become too annoying but rather a constant yet beatable challenge.

As with all good console games, the 360 version of F.E.A.R. does not allow the gamer to save at anytime, rather the game is dictated by set checkpoints in the game and fortunately there are quite a few of these points. Although it does become a little annoying on the more difficult levels, providing what difficulty level you have set.

This omnipresent tension combined with the outstanding combat make F.E.A.R. an immersive game, even if it leaves you a bit emotionally exhausted after a while that is definitely open for a sequel and with the title heavily based on Japanese horror movies, there are enough scares and good story telling to really have you immersed to your television screen for hours upon hours. It should take the more experienced gamer around 10 to 15 hours to successfully complete  and fortunately the XBox 360 version comes with a "bonus" mission that extends the gameplay of the title, although too briefly. For those that are looking for more, F.E.A.R. offers a great multiplayer mode on Xbox Live that is as fast-paced and furious as the bullets can fly.

Graphically, the XBox 360 version looks almost identical to the PC version with extremely detailed background environments and highly detailed characters with a sturdy frame rate. Although after seeing both the PC version and the XBox 360 version, the later version looks more polished and appears to feature more special effects and lighting effects. The title also sports an immersive soundtrack with all the sounds, screams and noises of battle with professional voice acting and some really scary sounds from a little girl that keeps popping up here and there.

In conclusion, F.E.A.R. is easily one of the better first person shooters on the XBox 360 that contains one of the best storylines, sturdy gameplay engines that is a mixture of horror and action. A touch of multiplayer via XBox Live and a bonus mission are the bonuses that come with the XBox 360 version that I would recommend to anyone who hasn't played the original PC game. Highly Recommended!






 
 



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