SYSTEM
PSX

PRICE
$39.99

DEVELOPER
Kronos

PUBLISHER
Eidos

RELEASE
02/00

Fear Effect Review

By: John Doe


It's easy to like this dark, gritty adventure title that plays like a cross between Resident Evil and Dragon's Lair. It features an ambitious and twisting adult story line, fantastic FMV backgrounds, a cool, sexy heroine (what an idea!) and a loading screen that you'll be spending hours looking at.


Highs:
Lows:

Fear Effect has a lot of balls. You'll notice this almost instantly. I have to say it's quite refreshing to play a game that doesn't insult your intelligence. The story line involves three mercenaries out to rescue a kidnapped girl so they can ransom her off to her father: Hong Kong's most powerful man. Throughout the adventure you'll play as all three mercenaries, Hana, Glas and Deke as you try and outwit and outgun the thugs holding your precious meal ticket. The only thing between success and failure is your fear; or rather your fear meter. If you remain calm, you'll survive. If you panic, it's game over.

Fear Effect involves Resident Evil style gameplay (find this item here and use it over there) as well as some decent puzzles while placing you into short executed game scenarios; much like a more interactive version of Dragon's Lair. I compare it to Dragon's Lair because often times you'll find yourself repeating the same small scenario over and over again until you happen to find the right solution. Once you do, you'll be treated to a cutscene and usually a save game area will appear. Weapons, ammo and items can all be picked up and luckily there is no limit to the amount of items you can carry at one time. The item inventory can be quickly cycled through using the circle and square buttons, making selections fast and relatively painless.

Graphically the game is top notch. Kronos, the development team for Fear Effect, did an amazing job, especially on the backgrounds. The game features FMV (Full Motion Video) backgrounds which not only looks like impressive but adds some cool new gameplay twists later in the game when you have to fight enemies that are actually part of the FMV! Very innovative and cool! The look of the game along with the bizarre story makes Fear Effect a heavily anime influenced work of art. This game has to be seen to be appreciated. I have no doubt that many of Fear Effects visual elements will be copied for years to come.

A game that relies this heavily on story has to feature top notch music and voice acting and I'm happy to report that Fear Effect doesn't disappoint. The lip synching is also very well done, which maybe a minor issue to some, but I have to have those lips moving at the right time for maximum enjoyment. I used to have a teacher who moved his lips when he was between words or sentences and it used to drive me nuts! It was like being educated in a bad Kung Fu movie. I just wanted to grab those shaky little dry lips of his and... Uhhh, I'm getting off track here.

Complaint Dept. Unfortunately, for all it's glitz and glamour, Fear Effect falls short due to the long load times that you must endure every time you die; and in this game, you'll die a helluva lot. It takes a good twenty + seconds to reload a scenario and when you die within seconds of replay, well, I dare say "It's Controller Bitin' Time!" Many times I threw my controller down in disgust and other times I paced the floor like a zoo animal waiting for the game to load. Because I kept enduring those load times is a testament to how good this game really is. Some other minor complaints are the control issues mostly due to camera angle changes and the easy puzzles but we live with them in Resident Evil, so what are you gonna do?

I haven't played a game with this much artistic vision since Metal Gear Solid. I love the cinematic style and the execution, I just hate the constant dying and load times. If you can live with that, and you should because this game is amazing, then spend some time with Deke, Glas and most importantly, Hana and her wet towel. Highly recommended!

OVERALL
8.5

GRAPHICS
8.5

CONTROL
7.0

MUSIC/FX
9.0

FRUSTRATION
9.0

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