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Review: F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin 217

First-person shooters comprise one of the most well-developed video game genres in existence. The number of high-quality games and franchises practically demands that any new entry must have an interesting concept and a rock-solid engine. Otherwise, it will quickly get buried under an avalanche of award-winning titles. When the original F.E.A.R. came out in 2005, a well-crafted horror theme, the AI, and a few gameplay innovations allowed it to succeed despite direct competition from established franchises, such as Quake 4 and Call of Duty 2, among others. F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin draws on the strengths of its predecessor and adds a few improvements. The question that now remains is whether or not the additions make up for the fact that the game's concept is no longer new and unique. Read on for the rest of my thoughts.
  • Title: F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin
  • Developer: Monolith Productions
  • Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
  • System: Windows, PS3, Xbox 360
  • Reviewer: Soulskill
  • Score: 7/10

The game starts out with a bang; the first act is extremely well designed. You begin in much the same manner as the first game, given little information and left to wonder what, exactly, is going on. You start in a military transport headed to pick up the president of Armachan Technology Corporation — the typical big, evil corporation developing things they really shouldn't. You're introduced to your squad-mates and then quickly separated from them while being taught some of the gameplay basics. The first serious firefight in the game is located within a room filled with antiques, ceramics, and vases stored in huge glass display cases. It's a brilliant choice in setting — priceless decorations shatter and glass flies everywhere. It's almost theatrical; like being a part of a high-budget action flick. As you shoot your way through the increasingly porous living quarters, hallucinations are induced by Alma, the deranged, telepathic, and telekinetic girl from the first game. The act ends when you witness a nuclear explosion far closer than is healthy, and shortly thereafter struggle to remain conscious as the corporation's doctors do something to you.

It's worth saying again — the first level is incredibly cool. Unfortunately, subsequent levels aren't able to match it. I suppose that's to be expected; after all, it's a horror-themed shooter rather than an epic adventure shooter, but the first level does tend to set expectations. For the next few acts, F.E.A.R. 2 treads mostly on familiar ground. You spend a great deal of time escaping an underground hospital/science facility, and wander your way through broken streets with crumbling buildings. That's not to say it's bad, or even unenjoyable ; the settings are still polished and full of detail, and the plot is continually prodded along in an interesting manner. It's just been done before, and often. If you've played a wide variety of first-person shooters, these levels will probably bring a sense of deja vu . Things pick back up after a while, though. You'll navigate your way through a school that was the site of much violence and destruction, go down into the subway, and even further into a high-tech underground tram. The less you know about any given setting, the more easily it lends itself to creepiness, so the more unique environments in F.E.A.R. 2 keep you focused on the horror aspect much better than the stereotypical science labs.

The visual effects that contribute to the horror theme are integrated quite well into the gameplay. The transition from your normal perception to hallucination is often gradual and seamless. Other times, it's sharp and distinct, using the shock of the immediate change to add an ominous vibe. Sometimes your flashlight will start to flicker in a dark area, and you'll begin to hear your character's panicked breathing and rapid heart rate. I'm on the fence about that; it's used to great effect in a few situations, but since fear in the character isn't mirrored by fear in the player, it also tends to serve as an indicator that something surprising is going to happen — thus negating the surprise. Other horror standards come in to play too. Every so often, Alma will flash into existence somewhere near you, and then disappear. Almost too often... but they find ways of keeping it interesting. The music and sound effects are very well done, laying the foundation for tense scenes, the foreshadowing of a terrible discovery, or giving your fight-or-flight reflexes a little boost.

The art team doesn't hesitate to try and scare you with gore, either. The scene I mentioned earlier where you see portions of a medical procedure being performed on yourself is interspersed with hallucinations of zombie doctors tearing out your insides, with gouts of blood flying in every direction. At one point, you sneak up behind a couple of enemy soldiers trying to decipher a huge section of wall that is covered with random words, symbols, and obscenities — all painted with blood. It really does look like something drawn by a psychotic killer, such that I wondered if they contracted the design from a local loony bin. (And presumably, your character feels no cognitive dissonance from gunning down those soldiers, which itself is kind of surreal.) Bloodstains are used liberally, as are all manner of brutal killings. This is definitely not a game for kids or people who faint at the sight of blood. Even aside from the violence and gore, the other artwork is also well done. The attention to detail is refreshing; rooms and objects are correctly proportioned to a greater extent than most shooters. A malfunctioning X-ray machine with throw a series of disjointed X-ray photographs onto a nearby computer monitor. You'll even see T.P.S. reports scattered about an office desk. Everything looks like a real environment, not just an approximation pasted onto an abstract level design.

One of the signature gameplay elements of F.E.A.R. 2 is "reflex time," an ability carried over from the first game. Press a button and, for a short duration, time slows down, giving you a massive advantage over your opponents in a fight. The intention is to make the player feel like an action hero, able to dodge and aim with supernatural speed, and it works. It also makes most fights very easy; I'd recommend going through the game on Normal if it's your first FPS, and on Hard if you have any significant experience. The weapons are another area where F.E.A.R. 2 sets itself apart. There really aren't any bad weapons. They all have their strengths and weaknesses, but you won't spend much time wishing you had a different gun. Even the basic pistol and your melee attack are powerful enough to be interesting. There are definitely some weapons that are more fun, like the missile launcher, the napalm gun, and the laser, but in the end you just wind up switching weapons fairly often as ammo runs out, which does a lot to keep the fights from getting boring.

Another instrument they use to keep the fights interesting is the AI, which, as with the first game, is better than average. Enemies are constantly shifting position, finding new cover, and ducking out from behind an obstacle to shoot at you. It forces you to remain active; camping out behind a barrel will get you killed as enemies advance on you. That's not to say it's without flaws; sometimes a soldier will decide to crawl underneath some hanging metal — a very slow maneuver — while you stand five feet away holding a machine gun. The effectiveness of the AI also varies depending on the type of enemy you fight. There are quite a few different kinds, but you wind up fighting the standard soldiers a disproportionate amount of the time, and they handle the AI better than any others. Other enemies tend to be used for dramatic effect. You'll encounter zombie-like creatures that scuttle quickly on all fours, though they are much less scary when you can slow down time. Another type is almost invisible until they attack hand-to-hand. One of the tougher creatures reanimates dead soldiers, and then finds something to hide behind. They take quite a bit of firepower to kill, so you can expect to deal with the revived grunts repeatedly.

Scattered throughout the game are a few situations where you interact with the environment, and a few QTEs. Both are underutilized to the point where they don't really add anything to the gameplay. The QTEs just involve hammering on a button until you win; it's very simple and doesn't really require any effort or brainpower. Granted, most QTEs are added as a way to keep the player connected to a few mini-cutscenes, but the end result isn't very satisfying. The times when you interact with objects are also very shallow; hold down a single button to move an obstacle out of the way, or to close a valve, or to open a set of elevator doors. The added seconds don't really have any affect on what happens to you, so why take the extra time when you can open a regular door with a single click? I'm going to lump the new part of the cover system in with this as well. You can now flip over tables and crouch behind them to shield yourself from enemy fire. It's neat, but there's really no advantage to doing that instead of hiding behind a crate or the corner of a wall. Existing cover is plentiful.

F.E.A.R. 2 infrequently offers a few different ways of fighting. The vast majority of the time, you're on foot holding a weapon of some sort, but you occasionally get to control a turret or a mech. Turrets are very much an upgrade in firepower. Far more enemies swarm than you could normally handle, but the turret cuts them down with ease. Controlling the turret is very easy; some games put silly restrictions like very slow rotation or poor accuracy, but F.E.A.R. 2 gets it right. It's quite fun, and my only complaint is that there aren't more opportunities to use them. The mechs, or "Powered Armor" units are even more powerful, but still very fun and easy to control. You get a couple of mini-guns and a set of rocket launchers, as well as a thermal imaging mode (think Predator). Aside from those two scenarios, there aren't a lot of variations in gameplay. At one point, you're riding on a speeding tram, but you're just walking around on top of it while enemies come to you. There isn't much scenery, and you wouldn't have much time to watch it anyway. The sequence is still fun, but it doesn't hold a candle to similar situations in, say, Gears of War 2.

The game's multiplayer falls into the same trap as the early single-player campaign. It's good, it's fun, and it's interesting, but there's nothing to set it apart from the multiplayer mode of half a dozen other good, fun, interesting shooters. The horror aspect is, of course, completely gone, and the signature time-slowing ability doesn't work because it'd be impossible to code. It has all the standard FPS modes of play (deathmatch, team deathmatch, CTF), and a few other team games that focus on controlling particular points of the map. Armored Front has five such points aligned in a linear manner such that only one is in conflict at a time. You either push the enemy back through successive points or get pushed back yourself. You can use turrets andmechs as well. As I mentioned earlier, all the weapons are relatively powerful in F.E.A.R. 2, and this becomes quite evident in multiplayer games. Players die very quickly without studious use of cover. It may be the case that all the weapons are tuned to be more powerful than they should be. The fights aren't always decided by the first shot, but it happens often enough to be a problem. The maps themselves are, for the most part, very good. There are perhaps a few too many intersections, and a few to many directions you need to watch for enemies, but otherwise they flow quite nicely.

F.E.A.R. 2 is an entertaining game. It's almost exactly what you'd expect out of a triple-A first-person shooter — no more, no less. If you're looking for a quality game and have no problem putting yourself in a state of mind to be creeped out, it will do the job nicely. If you're looking for a title that will push the boundaries of the genre, you're probably better off waiting for another game. There are some great parts to F.E.A.R. 2, and Monolith deserves a lot of credit for making them work as well as they did. This game had the misfortune of coming out after a wave of other, equally compelling titles. It doesn't fall behind, but it doesn't really stand out, either. The bottom line is that if you enjoy horror and first-person shooters, you'll enjoy this game. If your tastes run elsewhere.. well, there's plenty more to pick from.

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

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  • No More - No Less (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wild_quinine ( 998562 ) on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @12:14PM (#26902787) Homepage

    It's almost exactly what you'd expect out of a triple-A first-person shooter -- no more, no less.

    File under mediocre. I love my consoles, and I love the vast audience that have been introduced to gaming through their living room charms. But I've hated, hated, hated the way that, somehow, games like Halo have come to be seen as groundbreaking.

    People - we have been here before. We have done it before. I do not wish to do it again, only this time prettier. That is not a game. That is a tech demo.

    I am quite simply astounded that MOST games have not yet equalled the functionality or interactivity of Duke Nukem 3D, let alone surpassed it. The game is THIRTEEN YEARS OLD. It has been out for a number of years approaching half of my life, and we still don't see our reflections in the mirror in most games. And we still don't get blood dribbling down walls in most games. And we still don't get bloody, or slimy footprints, or shrink rays, or jet packs, or aliens sitting on fucking toilets.

    It's been thirteen years and every time a new game does ONE of these things it's hailed as a goddamn miracle.

    I know that, with the switch to true 3D, a lot of these things got harder to do. But it has been THIRTEEN YEARS. We've come far enough to tackle some of them.

  • by ChrmnMa0 ( 951030 ) on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @12:23PM (#26902885) Homepage
    I would LOVE another no one lives forever and another SHOGO!!!!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @12:24PM (#26902899)
    Have you even played it? I understand your rant and share your opinion on many games lately but I don't think it applies to this one.. The gameplay and atmosphere is fantastic.. And by the way you say it's a 'tech demo' but then you rant how games lately don't have this and that TECH feature. FEAR2 was great in my opinion, and the engine is pretty good from a tech perspective also. Only complaints for the game: it's a bit too linear (it's always 100% obvious were you need to go) and it was kind of short. But well worth playing IMO
  • THANK YOU (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @12:24PM (#26902901)
    "...hated the way that, somehow, games like Halo have come to be seen as groundbreaking."

    I love you. I've been saying this for ages. There is absolutely no single aspect of Halo - absolutely none - that hasn't been implemented better in games that have come out years beforehand. Story, graphics, gameplay (both single player and multiplayer). Halo is 100% average in every regard.
  • by Cathoderoytube ( 1088737 ) on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @12:28PM (#26902953)
    The problem is Monolith made Blood, which is the greatest first person shooter ever made. So any subsequent first person shooters they make are going to be compared to that. Unfortunately their latest foray into the horror FPS genre doesn't even come close to the genius of Blood.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @12:33PM (#26903019)

    Almost makes me want to help her.

    The way I remember it, the weakest part of the storyline of the first game was the way you didn't even get the option to try to help her.

    The background gradually became clear as you progressed through the game - the girl had been imprisoned, impregnated, had her children ripped away from her etc etc. and finally, understandably insane, had managed to strike back at the company that had done this to her. Having found all this out, you track down some guy who had been instrumental in these atrocities and who was busy trying to destroy the evidence. You finally catch him and he tells you to go into the vault where they imprisoned her, and kill her by setting off a nuclear explosion or something. So you do it??? WTF? There could have at least been a bit of debate about it.

  • by A. B3ttik ( 1344591 ) on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @12:46PM (#26903207)
    Except that:

    Blood wasn't scary, it was much more action-oriented. (YOU were the dead guy)

    Nobody really knows about Blood, and as such, nobody is comparing FEAR or FEAR2 to it.

    FEAR came out so much later than Blood that they are incomparable. Yes, Blood was a great fun game, with great environments, weapons, powerups, and cutscenes... but FEAR came out after Halo, and damn near HL2. AI at the time of Blood was limited to "Shoot in the player's direction." Controls were choppy and you could barely use the mouse to aim. The game wasn't even "true" 3D.

    You can claim that FEAR isn't as good as Blood _for its time_ but I recently tried to go back and play Blood and simply couldn't. Maybe I've been spoiled by modern games.
  • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) * on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @12:53PM (#26903313)
    In Halo's defense it WAS groundbreaking in some respects. Halo 1 looked and played better than any other FPS that had been released on a console at that time. Halo 2 had one of the best online multiplayer systems ever done on a console. And Halo 3 introduced the "Theater" feature, a feature which was never been seen before (or since) on a console (I still have a bunch of great kills and funny happenings in both single and multiplayer that I treasure, preserved forever and shareable thanks to Theater). So, while not entirely original by a long-shot (PC's did most of this stuff first, it's true), it certainly did break a lot of ground for console gaming.
  • by wild_quinine ( 998562 ) on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @12:57PM (#26903367) Homepage

    So, boiled down to it's essentials, your beef is that despite all the actual advances, evolvements, and improvements games have made in the past 13 years, you can't be truly innovative unless you cut and paste from a schlocky game that's almost a decade an a half old?

    You have missed the point so completely that it must either be deliberate, or you're one of the developers of a current gen FPS.

    I don't want the same again, same again, same again. That should be obvious. I don't even want the same, but better! I want NEW. I want FUN. I want the answer to the question 'Can I play with that thing?' to be 'Yes, and HOW!', not "No, it's scenery. No, it's detritus. No, it would have been hard to program'.

    I want to be AMAZED by something other than graphics. I want to be amazed by the implications of a gameplay action, again. I want to be amazed by the details - not just the details of the pixels, but the details of how one action affects another. I want a game to do something I haven't seen before, and better still, didn't even think a game could do.

  • Re:THANK YOU (Score:3, Insightful)

    by wild_quinine ( 998562 ) on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @01:09PM (#26903547) Homepage

    I've noticed that console games in general seem to be held to very different standards from PC games. I only rarely play a supposedly-great console game that would qualify as anything other than mediocre in the PC world.

    The ones that are exceptional are the ones that have given us something new. Shadow of the Colossus - wow.

  • Cate Archer, man! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by antdude ( 79039 ) on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @01:10PM (#26903561) Homepage Journal

    For me, it was No One Lives Forever games (not Contract JACK).

  • by Chyeld ( 713439 ) <chyeld&gmail,com> on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @01:18PM (#26903687)

    Nope, I've pretty much pegged you exact. You are so full of piss and vinegar over the fact that the developers don't have the resources to program every single little object out there to act 'realistically' that you've forgotten there are actually points to the games, and it's not "oh look, I can play pool by kicking the balls around". While simultaneously, because you are so focused on coding in features that actually wouldn't mean shit to the game and waste precious CPU and developer time, you've failed to notice that the games have gotten to the point where we don't actually need to be able to tip 2d strippers to enjoy the game.

  • Re:THANK YOU (Score:4, Insightful)

    by PrimalChrome ( 186162 ) on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @01:38PM (#26903931)
    Halo was available when the XBox launched.
  • by wild_quinine ( 998562 ) on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @01:42PM (#26903979) Homepage

    Nope, I've pretty much pegged you exact.

    Well that's a bold claim. Thank you for explaining to me what I think. Shame you still completely don't get it.

    you are so focused on coding in features that actually wouldn't mean shit to the game and waste precious CPU and developer time,

    You must be a dev with that attitude.

    Why on earth would I give a shit about development complexity or CPU cycles? I'm after an immersive, surprising, original experience. I don't expect that to be easy for a developer, and I don't expect it not to tax my CPU. Furthermore, I don't CARE if it's hard for a dev. It's their job, and they should do it well. You start caring about how tough devs have it, and the next thing you know you're accepting mediocre games, because good enough is good enough, and Johnny did an honesy days work for his pay. Fuck that - I want to be impressed!

    I don't want an on rails shooter. For me, one of the many things that indicates progress is the level of immersion. I don't need an alien sitting on a toilet, or a shrink ray, to make me happy. I need something that surprises me like those things first did, when they were new.

    Yes, I'm using examples of things that were - in the past - awesome advancements in immersivity in old games.

    The reason I haven't specified what EXACT NEW THINGS I'm looking for should be obvious; it's not my job to think of new things, and frankly if I did they wouldn't be a surprise any more.

  • by Yvanhoe ( 564877 ) on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @01:48PM (#26904065) Journal
    Duke Nukem 3D was the last blockbuster game made by hacker who knew their ASM code well. Since then, it became an industry...
  • Re:THANK YOU (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Fallingcow ( 213461 ) on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @02:31PM (#26904645) Homepage

    Metroid Prime was a retread? What other game seamlessly blended story, action, and precision control?

    Hm. Either we have vastly different backgrounds in gaming, or each of us played a different Metroid Prime. Or perhaps you're using different definitions from the ones I'm familiar with for some of those words.

    What's your next nonsensical utterance? Mario Galaxy was Commander Keen? Little Big Planet was Starcraft without the Protoss? Look, I can fallaciously equate completely different games as well!

    Haven't played either yet--I'm only up to last-generation in consoles so far. I've dug every Mario game I've played. Commander Keen is an interesting game to bring up, because it's one of the only platformers on the PC that's even remotely in the same ballpark as console platformers (I'd put Hunter Hunted and Duke Nukem 2 in that category, as well). Platformers remain the domain of the console, as do JRPGS and 3rd person adventure games, and there are some spectacular console games in those genres.

    I never said there aren't good (even great) console games--I've just found that a lot of the ones that get big press and are very highly reviewed don't even come close to living up to their reputations when I actually get around to playing them. Hell, a lot of them I've even played primarily on the PC (Halo and Oblivion, for instance) and still find them to be simply average, so it's not a matter of what system I'm playing them on.

    I like plenty of console games, and I don't even hate the other games I've mentioned--I just fail to see what the fuss is about. Some of the blockbuster "10 out of 10" games are, IMO, more like a 7-out-of-10, and especially don't deserve to be anywhere near the best-games-ever lists that they frequently end up on. That last bit especially is what gets me--they frequently stick an OK console game on those lists at the expense of a much, much better PC game in the same genre. I don't get all upset over it or anything--hell, not like it makes my favorite games any less good when I play them--I just find it perplexing.

    Oh, another not-very-good game that got rave reviews: Resident Evil IV. I was really looking forward to it--sounded right up my alley--but damn, that thing's a mess. There's no excuse for such clumsy-ass controls in a game these days, especially not in a survival horror game where such things will ruin the immersion that's the whole damn point. Jesus christ, I haven't seen a console shooter-type game with such bad controls since some of the worst ones on the N64. Guess I'll just go replay goddamned Silent Hill instead.

  • by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <> on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @02:42PM (#26904777) Homepage Journal

    That's great but the reaction has been that now every game has to be limited enough to run on a console. And then people do their best to gloss over the limitations.

    Is that really a limitation any more? When you have a console that kicks the hell out of the average PC (although this varies during the lifespan of a console) and can be hooked up to an HDTV (hint: this is what my PC is hooked up to, via DVI - even though I have a HDMI port, I still seem to have no trouble playing a DVD on it, either. And the scaler is quite nice.)

    The only problem seems to be in the region of controllers, and I have a feeling that as console gaming continues to dominate we're going to see more console games with keyboard and mouse support. If we're lucky, we might even see someone invent a controller that's superior to the keyboard and mouse combo (for FPS and RTS gaming) although, of course, I doubt it :)

  • by Fallingcow ( 213461 ) on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @02:58PM (#26905057) Homepage

    From your post, I'm inclined to think we'd like the same sorts of games. Here are a couple that have impressed the hell out of me since Deus Ex (heh, funny, I'm replaying that one for the dozenth or so time):

    STALKER: Shadow of Chernobyl

    Within 30 minutes of firing this one up it had convinced me that an FPS-style Fallout game could work--before actually playing Fallout 3 un-convinced me. It's got problems, but it's a damn good game, and unlike anything I've seen. Some of the mods out there make it even better. Morrowind meets Fallout meets the old Delta Force FPS games. Haven't played the sequel yet, so I can't comment on it.

    Max Payne 2

    A film-noir novella in shooter form. Infinitely better than the not-terrible first game. Best played on the highest difficulty setting--trust me, you'll find yourself playing it so differently on that setting that it's like a whole new game. Some complained about its short play time, but in this case I'd call it "quitting while you're ahead" or perhaps "not wearing out your welcome". Damn-near flawless in its execution, IMO. If you don't mind slogging through the (again, not terrible) first game, doing so will improve your understanding of the story (or, more precisely, some of the characters) in the second.

    I think HL2 is pretty great, too. That series, IMO, continues to be the perfect specimen of the pure, single-player FPS.

    Oh, and Portal. Duh.

  • by Alastor187 ( 593341 ) on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @03:17PM (#26905413)

    Whether the parents specific innovations are of interest to 'you' or not isn't the point. What he is talking about is innovations that would increase the feel of immersion in the game. Obviously, these will differ between people.

    Ultimately, Duke3D created an immersive environmental like no other game of the time and most importantly it was fun. I remember putting dozens of pipe-bombs around a laser trip mine just because it was fun. A single trip mine alone would be enough to kill an enemy, but adding some pipe bombs just so Duke says "Let God Sort Em' Out" is classic.

    Blowing up an enemy in another room while watching on the security camera or giving money to the strippers when my parents weren't watching, it was great. It was innovative and entertaining.

    Jet-packs, subways, earth-quakes, novel weapons, snide comments, and more it really set the bar for all games that would follow. Kicking the final boss' Cyclopes eye through the goal post is just awesome. "Game Over" enough said.

  • NO, THANK YOU!!!! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @03:39PM (#26905777)
    Video game discussion, in a thread about an article on VIDEO GAMES? Who would have thought? No, seriously, WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT?

    If it's politics you wish to discuss, head to the link on the left conveniently labeled "Politics". Otherwise, go blow the attitude out of your ass and come back when you have something to contribute.
  • Re:THANK YOU (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Fallingcow ( 213461 ) on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @06:43PM (#26908899) Homepage

    I agree with most of your rant, but what's your problem with the controls in RE4? If its the fact that you can't shoot and move at the same time, that's a feature of the game since the beginning and adds to the concept. Its not a first person shooter, its a survival horror.

    1. My main complaint? Slow, slow, slow, slow. Turning 45 degrees should not take 5 full seconds. Remember how slow aiming was on old FPS games like Goldeneye? Yeah, it's like that, except without the autoaim and without slowing all the rest of the action down to compensate for the weaknesses of the control system.

    2. I don't care about the lack of running+shooting--I love the Metal Gear Solid series, and it's got a similar mechanic.

    Its not a first person shooter, its a survival horror.

    Well, whatever you call it it has a shit-load of shooting, and it's clumsy, slow, and amazingly inaccurate. Most games make you a better shot than you are (or, in some cases, anyone could be) in real life, but this one makes you shoot like a five-year-old wielding a .45 Magnum. Someone firing a gun for the first time usually handles themselves far, far better than the main character--who is definitely not firing a gun for his first time.

    I have no problem with realistic levels of randomized inaccuracy, or with some kind of fright-level affecting your ability to aim and fire accurately as is done in some games. REIV, on the other hand, just makes the whole process of aiming and firing EXTREMELY difficult and awkward 100% of the time, especially if it involves a close(!?) or moving target, and then requires you to do it a whole bunch. I was way, way too busy being pissed (and surprised--again, I haven't seen anything this bad in a long time) at the controls to get in to the game, and consequently it wasn't scary or tense at all. Totally ruined it for me.

    I wasn't having a hard time because the enemies were particularly difficult or numerous, or because ammo was scarce, nor was I afraid of my next surprise encounter with a baddie; rather, I was having a hard time because I couldn't hit shit with my gun, and I was dreading my next encounter with a baddie because it would mean more of that stupid "aim, damnit he moved, SLOWLY turn, still turning, still turning, ok now he's hitting me but I'm aimed at him, fire once, scored a hit, damnit he moved around to my side, turning, turning, turning, FUCK now I'm dead, load save..."

    Again, I've played and enjoyed the MGS games which have a very similar combat style, and I had no trouble with them. IIRC, Eternal Darkness made you stop and deliberately aim to fire projectile weapons, too, and that was no problem (great game, too). It isn't that I'm inept--it's that the controls blow goat balls.

    I kind of liked the game when I wasn't having to shoot. Unfortunately, it was forcing me to shoot quite a bit.

  • by mako1138 ( 837520 ) on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @08:23PM (#26910307)

    No one will dispute that Halo brought a lot to the console arena. To a PC gamer, though, it was underwhelming.

egrep -n '^[a-z].*\(' $ | sort -t':' +2.0