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Gaming Evolution
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Gaming Evolution
Gaming Evolution
Published By: Warner Bros. Interactive
Developed By: Monolith Productions
Genre: Fist-Person Shooter
Players: 1-16 (online)
Rated: M (Mature)
Release Date: February 10, 2009
Screenshots: Link
Amazon: Buy Now!
Written By: Matthew Prunty

March 31, 2009 - F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origins isnít your typical sequel in the sense that it the game picks up right after F.E.A.R. ends. Instead of providing a new engaging story that continues from the surprise ending with the first installment, you are given a different point of view of the first title within F.E.A.R. 2. Within F.E.A.R. 2, you play the role of Michael Becket, a member of a military squad sent to take a corporate executive into custody. Before the job could be completed, Michael is involved in a series of events, which test his abilities, while also making you wonder about his sanity. From strange visions, to ghostly figures and individuals seemingly melting within your presence, F.E.A.R. 2 looks to throw everything you experience within the first installment, but with a whole new twist.

The pacing of the game starts our relatively slow, and as the game presses on, various events speeds up the pacing, which keeps the player on their toes for ugly-ass creatures and the occasional running into Alma. The pacing is also affected by the Michaelís quick reflexes to pull of Matrix-style bullet shooting. Though this canít be used all the time, it is an effective tool when it tight situations. Another ability of Michaels is creating cover within the middle of a fire fight. Whether itís a gurney or a table, he can turn it on its side and duck behind to minimize damage. The sad part about this ability is that the enemy can utilize this ability as well and they can actually pull it off much better than you, making some fights last longer than you expect. Another aspect about the cover system is that Michael doesnít cling to it like a character in Killzone 2 or Gears of War, which can result in you taking bullet fire from the enemy.

Since Monolith decided to go with an alternative perspective of the first title, itís nice to see that the gameís experience has been diversified from the straight-forward gun battles within the first installment. While there are still gun battles in F.E.A.R. 2, they are spread apart by vehicle sequences and the occasional gun turret sequences where you have to push back waves of enemies coming at you all at once. Coupled with these new gameplay ventures are several new types of enemies to fight with. To go along with the clones and ninjas are a broader range of paranormal pests and mercenaries that will test your limits.

Though I predominantly played the PlayStation 3 versions of F.E.A.R. 2: project Origin, I can honestly say there really isnít that much of a graphical difference between it and the Xbox 360 versions. Both games provide high resolution landscapes and character models. The lighting and special effects make this game stand out when compared to tittles like Dead Space and Resident Evil. The lighting aids in setting the mood and/or situation you are about to be presented with, while also aiding and hindering you in easily telling the difference between what is real and what is a ghost. In terms of special effects, this game is one trippy experience. For the most part, the game provided a fluid experience with no real framerate issues to speak of.

Just like the visual presentation, the sound helps carry the story and set up interesting sequences as the game plays out. The musical score at times gives off a sense of fear and looming danger within the player, while there are other tunes that mimics the intense chaos thatís ranging on during your battles. In regards to the voiceover work, everything is pretty solid. The deliverance of dialog is on point and is, at times, full of emotion which helps the player feel whatís transpiring visually. Gamers who have played the first installment will instantly recognize a voice or two from that title present in F.E.A.R. 2.

Having a solid online multiplayer experience is a key ingredient to a successful first-person shooter. Killzone 2, Gears of War 2 and even Metal Gear Solid 4 all provide outstanding examples of an intuitive online experience. Unfortunately, while F.E.A.R. 2 provides a solid multiplayer experience, some things are left to the imagination. Players can do battle in any of six distinct multiplayer modes, both ranked and unranked, with up to 15 other players. For those are looking to beef up their trophy collection will look toward spending more time within the online multiplayer modes. One thing I did notice about the online experience, when comparing it to when the game first came out, is that more and more gamers are going online, making it much easier to find people to play with on a consistent basis. I experienced a few framerate issues while playing online, but it was nothing to interfere with the overall satisfaction of the experience.

F.E.A.R. 2 provides a quality gaming experience, both online and offline, which will have gamer owners coming back for of Alma and the crazy situations surrounding her. With intuitive gameplay mechanics, solid A.I. and an engaging story element, F.E.A.R. 2 is one a few games that is more enticing when playing at night and within the dark. When everything is said and done, this title is a proper successor to the events of F.E.A.R. and should be played for those interested in a first-person shooter with a solid story.


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