F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin
Mike "pheriannath" Katsufrakis
Monolith/Warner Bros. - 360 (reviewed)/PS3/PC
Hey, you got horror in my shooter! F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin takes the fairly successful blend of FPS and horror from its progenitor and ramps the atmosphere up considerably. While not outright scary per se, there are times when the game is outright oppressive, and the player, though empowered, can feel quite ineffective against all that is happening around him.
As was the case with the original F.E.A.R., the shooting mechanics are very solid, and the enemy AI interacts very well with the environment, overturning tables, cabinets and couches to create cover on the fly when there is none. Your foes will recognize when you are holed up and try to force you out of hiding with some well-placed grenades. Once again, you are given a slow-motion reflex power to help counter considerable odds placed against you.
Unfortunately, the good shooting mechanics and atmosphere can’t make up for the fact that it feels like an expansion pack to the first game instead of a true sequel. The environments are still office parks, apartments, hospitals and generic “laboratory” settings. The reflex ability makes the game almost too easy, even on harder difficulty modes. While the story is handled a little better than the original, you’ll still be left scratching your head when all is said and done.