F.E.A.R. 2 - Project Origin

By Darky, Posted 22 Mar 2009

  Do you remember 2005? I sure do. It was back then when a game called F.E.A.R. was released, a game which also got two expansion packs in the following years & which is, to my mind, one of the best first person shooter games that have ever been created. At first, the game concept looked just like an ordinary FPS game, the only more notable thing was the use of slow-motion in combat, a feature that distinguished it from the other FPS games from the very beggining. Then, further on, one by one, the other elements , like multiple pathways to your objectives, an extraordinarily smart AI, genuine level design and, of course, the horror sequences & the sombre & yet mysterious atmosphere that followed your footsteps troughout the game, got F.E.A.R into the very tops of 2005 & first person shooter/horror games alike.
  Never will I forget the tense battles in those deserted office buildings against the pissed-off Replica soldiers, or when my cold hand shivered on the mouse, walking slowly in a dark corridor for fear that Alma or Paxton Fettel or anything out of the ordinary will show up. That was F.E.A.R. .Extraction Point offered the same thing, even better & with a couple of new things, while Perseus Mandate struggled more on the shooting & less on the horror, but it no doubt had its wonderful parts.
  Then it was said that a sequel to F.E.A.R. woul come out, at first called just Project Origin, then renamed to its actual title, F.E.A.R. 2-Project Origin. As any other true F.E.A.R. fanboy, I tried out the demo the day it came out, & I was impressed. I couldn't wait to get my hands on the full version. Which I did, two weeks later, in a nice Sunday morning. By the evening I was laying with an emty popcorn bowl near me, wathcing the final credits roll. One shot. What does that mean? well let's start with the start.
  You get into action to investigate a queer place ,along with your team. You play as a different character than in the original game/Extraction Point & Perseus Mandate & the events in Project Origin occur in paralell with the ones in the other three games. You'll find yourself exclaiming, at certain moments, "Oh, this happened at the beggining of Extraction Point" or similar associations. It's ok to draw the line between all games, but with its own storyline, Project Origin doesn't do such a decent job. The only clues you will find written in PDA-s scattered troughout the game, so unfortunatelly no more of the classic F.E.A.R. answering machines. Too bad. The story itself might seem like covered in mistery, but else it's just an illogic row of events that occur without any link to each other whatsoever, just for the sake of a more clouded impression. The end is also absolutely stupid, I won't spoil it but trust me ,it is. To sum up, no more scary/mysterious scenes of Alma whispering some pretty interesting details, no more Paxton Fettel treating you like his brother, nothing. Just go from the start to the end of the level because I say so. Not nice at all.
  Now, an impressive thing that you'll remark from the first steps into Project Origin is the graphics. Very, very good. Detailed textures, tons of cool effects, all combined with a nice colour palette (a bit too much a la Bioshock if you ask me, but oh well...) & a pretty good physics engine, & that's what you get. Not nearly the best graphics on the market, but very good all the same. One of the best elements of them all is the blood, very abundent in the game's decor, which has a lot of natural properties implemented correctly into the game, making it a real pleasure to blow an enemy up with your shotgun & watch his blood flow all over & artistically spread on the nearby wall. It's not new, but it definitely is the best use of blood in any game up to date. I should also mention the gore, like limbs or heads flying off, detaching from the actual body, but again, it's nothing new.
  But graphics also means "all those cool & spooky visions (apparent visions) ,interactive cutscenes, call 'em how you wish" from the original F.E.A.R. games, & I really can't forget those. In Project Origin, there are just a bunch of them, poorly realised, not at all horryfying or relealative, hell, not even shivering. Just that bit of red sky which is a nice idea, & then a quick button press to dodge Alma spoils it all. Who the hell designed these? Did I mention that Alma does not sound anymore like the Alma we used to know?
  In Project Origin, Alma sounds not even near to that girl with a low, whispering, scared but determined, evil voice from F.E.A.R & the expansion. The best her voice acting in this game can do is to annoy you a lot. Project Origin was supposed to be scary, combining the visuals with the audio & the game design, but none really does what it's supposed to do. Compared to everything that blended perfectly in F.E.A.R., the elements in Project Origin make nothing more than a mess out of the game's horror part. I got scared just once, & only because I didn't expect to turn & see my shadow on the floor that time, but oh well, that was my fault. Also, I should mention that the flashlight now has infinite battery! What the hell is the point in that? Remember in F.E.A.R., when you struggled to keep your battery alive so that you can just manage to make it past the dark & spooky corridor, withouth some strange creature grabbing you trough the floor? No such moments in F.E.A.R. 2 ...& I can't understand why all these, because they were already implemented in the game, damn it Monolith!
  But fortunatelly I can also talk about positive aspects of Project Origin's audio part. All those gunshots & environmental sounds are really well done, & if you also activate EAX & have a good set of speakers or headphones, you can hear the gunshots, empty shells roll down & echo in the long corridors or offices, which is really good, dare I say even a bit better than in the original game. At least that adds a lot of flavour to the game's action/shooting part. So let's get on to it.
  Here I have almost no complaints, except one big problem (it might be personal or it might not be, I really don't have a clue), but I'll get to that a bit later. As an action game, Project Origin gets its job done magnificent. As i've said before, very good level design, tons of enemies (who, on high difficulty,are the smartest enemies yet,but still don't feel as the Replica soldiers in the original game), the awesome slow-motion (which still ain't better than the one in F.E.A.R. ,it just doesn't feel as right as it did there, but nevermind), & the all-new mech fights. Yeah, you can control a mech, it's pretty easy, two turrets actioned by both mouse buttons, useful against infantry, & a rocket launcher, for use against enemy mechs. These parts are both fun & easy, so you won't have a hard time while wandering in a mech & shooting everything that moves. To get back to the enamies, there are less types of them than there used to be. There are the classy Replica soldiers, randomly armed, then come the Replica Assassins, those annoying & agile guys who are almost invisible, except their bright-red eyes, the big-suit guys, some random anomalies similar to those creatures you encounter in Condemned Criminal Origins & an all-new enemy type. I dunno how they're called ,but I call them controllers (no link to the Half Life controllers whatsoever), because they are very resistent & can ressurect nearby dead bodies & use them against you. It's incredibly dumb, I know, since they won't even attack you themselves. One of these guys was dressed in a suit, as an ordinary random guy, & was calmly playing the piano when I approached him. What am I trying to say here? It's a Bioshock scene rip-off ,& a very bad one. Monolith, that one in Bioshock was genuine, yours is just a cheap copy, so shame on you.
  Now I'll get to that problem I mentioned earlier, & that's the weapons. I immediatly fell in love with some of the weapons in F.E.A.R, such as the "holy" shotgun, the magnificent dual pistols & the very spectacular Type 0 Particle Weapon, which instantly turned an enemy into a dry skeleton. The dual pistols in Project Origin are lame & look horrible, the two shotguns combined can't even get close to the original one's looks & feeling, & the particle gun is just a tuned-up weapon, very imprecise that shoots blue plasma. In other words, very bad. The laser weapon is ok though, the SMG does what it's supposed to, the sniper has no purpose in the game, & the assault rifle is quite ok. The penetrator just changed it's look in a bit more lame, but it reacts the same way as in the original game. Also, the health & reflex boosters are still present, but there are very few of them & are not hidden in interesting places, such as they were in the previous titles.
  Very short (5-6 hours), stripped of a lot of good content & completely lacking the horror scenes that brought F.E.A.R. up to the top, F.E.A.R. 2-Project Origin is still a solid first person shooter that will offer you plenty of satisfactions. But it simply isn't what I expected it to be, & it more than sure isn't a worthy sequel of the superb game F.E.A.R. was.



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  • Great review , very good points in it. I fully agree with everything you said in the review. Keep em coming.

    Posted Mar 22, 2009
  • thanks man :) I will :P

    Posted Mar 22, 2009
  • good length

    Posted Mar 22, 2009
  • Not the best F.E.A.R. 2 review I've read so far, but a good one :)

    Posted Mar 22, 2009
  • Very good one mate, keep up the good work Smile

    Posted Mar 22, 2009
  • EliteEdhe: thanks

    Tanya:thanks :)

    ilias:thank you, i will :)

    Posted Mar 22, 2009
  • Very nice review! I doubt they ripped that directly off of Bioshock, though. :P

    Posted Mar 23, 2009
  • avatar RON

    best part of the review is how you’ve expressed it and the review gives the impression that you have a pretty deep connection with the game. you had certain amount of expectation from the game before you played it; which it couldn’t fulfill. thus the review got a bit biased.

    so, i won’t say a very good review compared to the standard you’ve always delivered. and, the review looks more like a blog on FEAR.

    i’ve read your review twice and thought of just saying it’s a good review but then i decided to give my true opinion on it. i hope you take ‘em positively.

    Posted Mar 23, 2009
  • Din: thanks :D

    ron: i appreciate the critics, it's the way i can get better at writing reviews :P I'lltry another review soon, & I'll give my best in it :)

    Posted Mar 23, 2009
  • avatar RON

    very nice. thanks for being positive :)

    Posted Mar 24, 2009
  • Nice review, it has a nice build up and there is some decent content in there. The only thing i would suggest when writing - and i myself don't claim to be perfect either - is to proof read and then proof read again, because you have some flowing errors. By that i mean some of your sentences don't flow naturally from one to the next, sometimes it feels like a chore. It also doesn't harm to throw it threw a few spell checks aswell, pick up some of those pesky misspellings.

    Keep em' coming!

    Posted Mar 26, 2009
  • allright, thanks for the advice mate, I'll keep that in mind for my next ones :)

    Posted Mar 28, 2009
  • This review needs some edit work. Nonetheless, good review.

    Posted Aug 09, 2009

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