F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin Review
Xbox 360 | PS3 | PC
F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin box art
System: X360, PS3, PC Review Rating Legend
Dev: Monolith Productions 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Warner Bros. 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Feb. 10, 2009 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1-2 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Mature 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

Also, F.E.A.R. 2 does a nice job of changing up the locations within which you'll fight. This is also a vast improvement over the original, which kept you cornered in facilities like a rat in a maze. Starting off in familiar indoor confines, F.E.A.R. 2 will soon progress to some excellent outdoor urban wastelands and a subterranean complex that will test your FPS ability. Because of the varied environments, I never found myself bored or disinterested with the title. Fighting in buildings was fun because I had to deal with tight corridors, bad lighting, columns, locked and barricaded doors, etc. While fighting outside allowed me to take advantage of the environment and foment chaos in a bombed out urban setting - which frequently made for some stunning visuals.

F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin screenshot

In fact, visuals are another one of the game's strong points. The world seems realistic and lived-in, blood flows like wine, and weapon fire looks great. All the battles are frantic and chaotic, but the game rarely seemed to chug along - I loved just how smooth the game plays. Best of all was just how awesome the supernatural effects are. They do a great job of setting the tone of the story. Lighting is phenomenal, the warping of the screen and the static interference when Alma is present is quite creepy, and the ethereal Specters are some of the best ghosts ever portrayed in a video game.

However, slightly marring the graphics is a somewhat fuzzy and grainy filter. I would have liked to have seen far sharper visuals. If you have a true gaming PC, some of the visual hiccups will be smoothed over. Also, while animations and physics seem to be pretty darn good, enemies often fall to the ground in unrealistic ways. Many times I was jerked out of gaming zen by a Replica who somehow stayed perched on their knees after taking several lethal headshots. The death animations definitely could have used some work. These complaints are minor though, and all in all the game looks solid.

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This is also true of the sounds in F.E.A.R. 2. The purposefully disjointed musical themes really work by staying unpredictable. Also, the sound effects are very eerie. It is easy to get sucked into believing what you're seeing because the sounds are there to truly enhance the experience. Finally, the voice over work, while professional, doesn't quite hit the mark. All in all, the actors did a nice job of portraying the dialogue, but occasionally a shiver of embarrassment rippled through me during the delivery.

Perhaps the weakest part of F.E.A.R. 2 is its multiplayer offering. There are six modes of play that encompass classic game types such as Deathmatch, CTF, and strategic point control. Also, players can try their skill at defusing and setting bombs or even battling it out in an EPA mech suit. Unfortunately, the later suffers from the fact there is only one suit per side, which means it struggles with some serious second fiddle issues. Eventually, players will be able to buy new weapons and change and customize their load-outs, including primary, secondary, and armor type. The multiplayer mode is by no means broken or even dull, it just isn't nearly as compelling as the single-player campaign, and it can't hold a candle to the other top shooters out there.

As you can see, F.E.A.R. 2 is a very competent and enjoyable game. As a shooter, I was very impressed with the title. Unfortunately, I never really felt the fear that gave the game its moniker. Certainly the game is disturbing, but it is definitely not frightening. I think it's because there is so much action going on all the time that players actually become numb to the scare factor. As such, you'll want to pick up F.E.A.R. 2 because it is an outstanding FPS with a great ambience, not because it is a horror title that implements shooter mechanics. This is perhaps the biggest complaint I can muster for this title. Even still, I found the single-player compelling enough to recommend its purchase to anyone who likes to blow stuff up with a sense of purpose!

By Jonathan Marx
CCC Editor / News Director

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
4.3
Graphics
The action is smooth, frantic and expertly captured. I also really enjoyed the creepy supernatural effects. The grainy over-filter and frequently unrealistic death animations are unfortunate.
4.5
Control
Controls are incredibly tight and shooter-friendly.
4.3
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The purposefully disjointed musical themes really work, and the sound effects are very eerie. The voice over work, while professional, doesn't quite hit the mark.
4.2
Play Value
As a shooter, this game is an excellent and rewarding experience. Unfortunately, the scare factor doesn't seem to really come through. Also, the online multiplayer is decent but nothing that will hold your attention for too long.
4.2
Overall Rating - Great
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Strategic environmental combat opportunities available to both you and your enemies.
  • Slow time using your character's enhanced reflexes.
  • In your face close-quarter action in a variety of indoor and outdoor environments.
  • Battle all-new enemies that employ advanced combat tactics.
  • Test your nerves and face your FEARS as you battle new characters and unravel a terrifying mystery.
  • Utilize the world interaction enhancements to create instant cover or remove obstacles.
  • Play with and against friends in multiplayer competition.
  • Enhanced graphics engine takes action horror to new heights through enhanced visuals and effects.
  • Enemies behave realistically and use the environment against you through vastly enhanced enemy Artificial Intelligence.


  • Screenshots / Images
    F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin screenshot - click to enlarge F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin screenshot - click to enlarge F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin screenshot - click to enlarge F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin screenshot - click to enlarge F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin screenshot - click to enlarge F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin screenshot - click to enlarge F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin screenshot - click to enlarge F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin screenshot - click to enlarge F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin screenshot - click to enlarge F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin screenshot - click to enlarge F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin screenshot - click to enlarge F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin screenshot - click to enlarge

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