F.E.A.R. is a first person shooter game, which I bought for the PC. A friend recommended it for multiplayer play, which I haven’t tried yet, but the single player part is pretty cool.

It’s a combination of movies like the The Ring, The Grudge, Resident Evil 2, games like Max Payne, Half-Life’s Opposing Force, FarCry, and DOOM. At least, all elements from the above are what I saw. To narrow it down, you have the ominous, evil psychic presence of a girl like in the Ring, the ghostly apparations like the Grudge, and the secret government experiements like Resident Evil 2.

It has the slow motion gun fights of Max Payne, the 1-man-army feel of Opposing Force & FarCry, and “scared you shitless” of DOOM. I think the engine looked a lot like DOOM, too, although, I had to play the game at very low settings; first game to ever do this to my comp; time to buy a new one!

I started the game Friday night, and beat it last night. I ONLY played the game at night; although the game didn’t really utilize surround sound to it’s fullest, the audio work was an 7 out of 10 regardless, it made the hair stand straight up on the back of neck, and gave me mad goose bumps many a time.

The flow wasn’t as smooth as it was in DOOM; I just felt the pacing of some of the encounters was a little slower, but it had a weird way of compensating. Like, you’d go through 3 offices with no powerups, no ammo, and no enemeies; my guess is, the level designer did this to have you lower your guard and become complacent. It worked a little bit. DOOM however, barely ever allowed you to get too comfortable.

The in game timing, too, was a little weird. Like, it was a lot like the TV series 24, where in game time doesn’t really pass that fast. Pretty much a second in the game is a second in the real-world. So, even though the game took me 4 days to complete playing at nights, only a full 8 hours in game passed.

One thing that this game did well were the animations and timing. Like, just as the camera automatically pans for you to start climbing down a latter, you’d catch a glimpse of some apparation… crazy, uncomfortable stuff, but impecable timing.

Overall, I’d call this a .9 game. There were a few things that didn’t push this game to the next level, like Doom would. It’s really hard to pinpoint; whether it’s the hodge podge of existing gaming & movie metaphors, the slower pace, the little character interaction, the well scripted character interactions that were too few and far between, while quite funny & believable in some instances.

Bottom line, the game’s depth didn’t really get pushed as much as I’d like. For example, you never go “back to headquarters” to regroup. You never re-asses the situation; your commanding officier is clearly a manager, and you the doer. Everything is planned, and the introductory mission statements feel cold, and un-applicable to your current situation; you know what you to do, you don’t need text to tell you, although, you need SOMETHING to do during a level loading animation.

This game is fun, scary, the graphics are hot and I enjoyed it.