Fear 2 is the successor to the popular PC game Fear, a ‘port’ later ended up on 360. Well successor is perhaps not the right word, but I’ll get into that later.
Once you get into the game most PC players will immediately notice one thing, black bars at the top and bottom of the screen. Yep that’s right, they didn’t bother to add support for 16:10 resolutions and if the recent steam hardware surveys are anything to go by it’s easy to see how it’s an annoyance for most people. From then on I realised this was a game made for consoles, and pc was now the ‘port’. Now let me make this clear, Fear 2 is a console game.
The game actually looks pretty acceptable aside from the black bars. Although it suffers from a boring colour palette (and the black lines) the game looks quite pretty; great effects, satifisfying blood puffs, a few shiny textures here and there.
Once you actually start shooting at stuff there are a couple of differences that differentiate the game play to fear 1, but largely you would be forgiven for thinking it’s the same game. The biggest improvement is that when you aren’t in slo-mo mode the combat still feels great. And it creates a more cinematic feeling of going back to normal motion- slo mo and so on. In fear 1, while the combat felt great in slo-mo the weapons all felt wrong, they didn’t do enough damage and the recoil was too much in normal speed. Aside from that it’s still going to try and scare you in the same ways, except there’s a difference this time. You’ve seen it all before. In fact the enemies are almost identical to the first game as well.
It’s a simple story; this super being that they have created is now going mad and killing everything in sight. She’s more powerful this time, and actually seems a formidable foe. In fact the parts of the game with Alma in are actually really fun, atmospheric and often scary. Right now your thinking how could anyone go wrong with a story so simple as that, right? Well IW choose to tell the story through notepads, borrowing from games like system shock 2 and doom 3. There are few cut scenes, and the radio messages do little to explain things. The problem is, these little notepads have some of the most cringe worthy writing I’ve ever seen In a game, simply has to be seen to believed.
The sound does it’s job fairly well, it’s all in 5.1 and works. It creates more of an adrenaline feel this time, rather than the tense atmosphere of the last game.
Overall you’re getting an average experience, it all works it just doesn’t do anything really well. For fans of the first game prepare to be disappointed, and for those who haven’t played the first game; stick to that.