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F.E.A.R. 2 is a tricky game to wrap my head around. I would sometimes forget I was playing a horror game and become fully entangled in the shooter aspect of the game, feeling like I was apart of yet another Call of Duty themed roller-coaster ride when the action got tense.
But then on other occasions, I’d be panting for breath and struggling to stay in my chair as hideous creatures jumped out at me from all directions from the comfort of the shadows. My flashlight could only light up so much of the room ahead of me.
If there is one thing I learned from the game, its that you definitely shouldn’t play the game at night with a pair of noise cancelling headphones on, else you aren’t going to fall asleep that night.
The game’s story picks up just mere minutes before a cataclysmic bomb explodes and plunges the world you once knew into utter chaos. You and your special forces team are tasked with arresting Genevieve Aristide, the president of the company responsible for the explosion and the creation of the nasty creature named Alma.
As Michael Becket, you’re in for one hell of an adventure trying to capture the supernatural freak that is Alma who’s just gotten released from 17 years of imprisonment and she’s ready to unleash a fury on the world unlike anything that’s been seen before.
And like the Point Man before him, Becket is able to learn the psychic skill that can slow time in order to take down large groups of enemies, whether they be other soldiers in your way or one of Alma’s many deadly minions.
Using this gimmick is a must though when it comes down to the fierce skirmishes that will often break out with enemy soldiers however, since they will work together to create new cover positions and leap from one place to the next and verbally communicating to flank and take you down.
F.E.A.R. 2 often has a disjointed way of spooking the player too, transitioning from hallucinogenic sequences that will fright the hell out of you to throwing freaky looking creatures in your face that often led me to spray bullets in every direction whenever they popped into my screen.
These eerie moments are very well balanced out however with the chaotic firefight sequences that will sporadically happen throughout the game. During these pacing shifts, you’ll find yourself arming the explosive tools of a mech, capable of destroying anyone and everything in your path, or the somewhat comedic dialogue from a character named Snake Fist help level out your heart beat.
The only two things I thought really weighed the game down was the sloppy control scheme and a poorly constructed multiplayer mode. On one had, it is definitely worth noting how smoothly the game runs, and how beautiful the game looks all the same. But the frustrating weapon swap system and the fact that aiming down your sights locks you into that mode really dampened the experience for me.
And as for the multiplayer, the game uses a points-based system for selection your weapon loadout which was neat, but the lack of any kind of progression system and a limited amount of modes to play from and weapons to choose from also came to hurt the game more than it was beneficial to it.
Even after two disastrous expansions to the original game, Monolith studios proved they could still deliver a frightening, yet “shooterific” experience that I, for the most part, enjoyed up to the very end. The game provided everything I was hoping for from the heart pounding scares to the action-packed clashes with enemy soldiers. If you are a fan of any or both of these two things, the game is definitely worth checking in to.
- Heart-pounding scares
- Chaotic combat
- Great visuals
- Hard story to follow
- Irrational control scheme
- Poorly constructed multiplayer