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
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!