Tuesday, January 26, 2010

F.E.A.R.: Final Notes

Even after posting a video on the matter I feel as though there are a few aspects of the game that I didn't really address. Truth be told, the video was more to talk about future endeavors than reviewing the game itself so I feel that I could use this text space to better communicate how I felt about individual aspects of the game.

I received a comment complimenting the game's A.I. and I must admit I've ran into worse, but the problem is that while the A.I. itself is above-average, the spawn points for enemies are so predictable that you simply have to place a grenade, mine, or even your cross-hair on the spot to completely obliterate the enemy. The heavy enemies are the worse for this because of the music cue and loud noise they produce while moving. They actually end up being easier than the normal enemies in some cases due to being so bloody obvious.

The game's sound isn't anything to right home about. The sound effects are pretty impressive I must admit, but the ambient noise and music leave a lot to be desired. I say this because it's only been a few weeks since I've finished playing the game and I can't remember a single note of that game's musical score. Now that isn't saying that I can replicate the entire score to Guardian Crusade by heart, but I at least remember the general theme and feel of the music. I don't have the same memory with F.E.A.R.

Despite all of that, what really shot this game in the foot was the level design. The level design is by far some of the most uninspired, monotonous, and downright boring level design I've seen in quite some time. This game came out during the mid to early 2000s where realism took precedence over style and creativity and it shows. I would honestly be surprised if the color palette of the entire game contained any bright or vibrant colors whatsoever. The architecture of each level is also a major detractor from the experience. If you showed me samples from each level without any information on the plot or narrative I would honestly think that half of the areas were in the same building.

In terms of plot and story, the second act of the game feels like a big ole bag of filler and it brings the narrative to an audible halt. You learn absolutely nothing of major importance during this part and its only purpose seems to be artificially lengthening the game so the developers can justify the fifty dollar price tag that it had upon release. There isn't much more to say, the plot overall could fit on a post-it-note and it brings nothing new to the table, except the concept of the impregnation of a pre-teen against her will, but honestly I could do without that.

Overall the experience was forgettable, but I don't feel like I want to rip my spleen out because of the time I spent on it. Was it a waste of my time? No, but I'm not going to remember it as a pinnacle of gaming either. Now if you will excuse me, I'm off to see Tim Curry rule Russia.

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