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F.E.A.R. is a half-hearted port of an award winning game. For those who have played it before, avoid it. For those that haven't and own a PS3, rent it.
- A.I are extremely smart and ingenious
- Sound quality is solid
- Multiplayer is fun, when people are playing
- Load times are unforgivable
- Storyline "bottoms out." Running around will become repetitious
- Framerate drops, glitches, etc show how bad of a port F.E.A.R. is
Originally an impressive first person shooter title for the PC, and the Xbox 360 a year later, F.E.A.R. now blasts its way onto the PlayStation 3. Unfortunately for PS3 owners, the apple has strayed far from the tree.
F.E.A.R. hit the top of most PC gaming charts when it originally launched in the Fall of 2005 as one of the most graphically impressing titles for its time. The amount of detail that Sierra put into lighting, soft shadows, anti-aliasing and textures was stunning to say the least. Two years down the road, many would expect the graphics to have been enhanced on the PS3. However, that simply isn’t the case.
F.E.A.R. for the PS3 seems to have been a half-hearted attempt at porting the game from the PC to the PS3. The graphics are lackluster to say the least. A simple comparison of the PC and PS3 versions would show that the console version has reduced texture detail, reduced AA (anti-aliasing), reduced lighting and soft shadows, bogus background detail, and a variety of other issues as well. The game still offers some decent particle effects. However, there have been a couple cases where your muzzle fire wouldn’t match up with your gun. It’s nothing crucial to the game, but it’s just one more example of how Sierra rushed this port. So while the graphics are still nice, they aren’t anything close to the level they could be.
It’s go time! Wait for it…wait for it…
One of the largest critiques about F.E.A.R. is the title’s load times. To say it bluntly, they’re unforgivable. You will finish an interval (level) and be hyped up and ready for the next, but standing in your way is a 30 to 60 second load time. Put it this way, after finishing an interval you’ll have time to go to the bathroom, wash your hands, get a drink and come back only to see the game still loading. While players have come to understand load times for the PC, console gamers are use to being able to play long gaming sessions with very little interruptions. Not to mention that load times for the PC only usually take 5 to 20 seconds depending upon your hardware specifications. Games like Resistance: Fall of Man, which contain much larger and highly detailed levels, would only take 5 to 10 seconds to load. So one must ask the question, was Sierra even trying on this port?
Two for the money…three for the show
F.E.A.R. sports three gameplay modes which cater to different FPS players. For the player who likes a story, campaign mode offers a decent horror plot. As a F.E.A.R. operative with “off the chart reflexes,” it becomes your mission to track down Paxton Fettel, a psychotic/telepathic serial killer. Fettel takes telepathic control over an Elite clone army, the enemy you’ll be fighting throughout the entire game, and uses it to try and stop you from capturing him. Along the way you’ll encounter strange occurrences. One instance you may be wading through a hallway filled with blood, the next you’ll be running from a little girl in a red dress as everything explodes behind you. So while your mission may be to track down Fettel, you’re on your own personal mission to find out who, or even what, you really are.
While much of this sounds entertaining, the storyline “bottomed out” after the first hour or so. In other words, after the game establishes the storyline and your mission, you’ll find things becoming very repetitious as it doesn’t add anything new to the storyline, other then a some weapons and a couple of enemies. While this may be forgivable if the game was non-stop action, you'll often find yourself simply running around. When the action does happen, however, it will take you by surprise and will usually be quite chaotic, with gunfire and grenades destroying everything in your path.
Multiplayer mode is perhaps the title’s saving grace, as it is pretty fun running around the dark levels, with 15 other players, trying to kill all in your way. F.E.A.R. supports the classic FPS modes, such as Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, and Capture the Flag. Yet also supports a unique mode called ... (continued on next page)