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F.E.A.R.: First Encounter Assault Recon
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Console: Microsoft Xbox 360
Region: GB United Kingdom
Year: 2006
RFG ID #: E-115-S-00350-A
Part #: S0030399
UPC: 3348542206946
Developer: Day 1 Studios
Publisher: Vivendi Studios
Rating:
18 (BBFC)

Genre: Shooter
Sub-genre: First Person Shooter
Players: 1-16
Controller: Standard Controller
Media Format: DVD x1
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Collection Stats:

  • 28 of 7474 collectors (0.3%) have this game in their collection
  • 0 of 7474 collectors (0%) have this game in their wishlist.
  • 0 of 7474 collectors (0%) have this game for sale or trade.
Overview:

Overview taken from the back of the box:

You are an elite soldier trained to deal with unusual situations others can’t even imagine. Called in to confront a murderous force with paranormal abilities, you must contain a crisis spiralling quickly out of control. Discover the true meaning of F.E.A.R. in this unique fusion of stylised FPS combat and supernatural suspense.

  • Stunning visual effects for an intense “action movie” experience.
  • Unpredictable encounters with combat adaptable A.I.
  • Frenetic multiplayer support for up to 16 players
  • Instant Action Mode – New arcade-style mode filled with close-quarters battles tracking player progress via Xbox Live leaderboards.
Review:

Story

F.E.A.R. – First Encounter Assault Recon sees you playing an unnamed point man for the afore mentioned anti-terrorist/ paranormal activity squad. Your initial brief is to locate and take out Paxton Fettel, a mad man who has commanded a small army of replica soldiers to take control of the Armacham Technology Corp and eliminate all of its occupants. Upon infiltrating the facility under heavy fire from its captors you begin to have hallucinations of a small girl in a red dress, initially just small glimpses at the end of corridors or out of the corner of your eye. Paranormal activity then ensues with regular visions of ghost like entities, rooms drowned in blood and flames engulfing your surrounding area.

The further you get though the facility the further you realise all is not as it seems with Fettel as he appears in visions giving snippets of information about how you tie into the whole situation, who the girl in the red dress is and why you are having the violent hallucinations.

Gameplay

At heart F.E.A.R. is a run of the mill first person shooter, which incorporates the use of slow-mo, as seen in games such as the Matrix or Max Payne, in this incarnation it is referred to as reflex. The reflex time can be elongated by the collection of reflex boosters, which are hidden throughout the game. Various horror themes are played upon throughout the game and Alma, the little girl character, is reminiscent of characters you would see in Japanese horror films such as The Ring, The Grudge or Pulse. There is also quite a liberal use of the classic jump scare-tactic, whereby you will be traversing a long quiet corridor when suddenly a mangled body will thrown through a window in to your path.

The action is pretty much split in to set pieces, you can regularly be moving around the facility without any shooting to do for quite long periods when you will then stumble on a room or yard filled with replica soldiers creating a huge gun fight which can be, on occasion, quite long and demanding, especially on some of the higher difficulty levels. Later in the game there is also an inclusion of mech like enemies in addition to the regular foot soldiers. These mechs can take some serious damage as well as dish it out so gung-ho tactics will not work here, as you must take cover, pop out, shoot a few rounds and pop back in again or you will die pretty quickly. A lot of the game is also made up of reconnaissance, as you will be collecting information from laptops and voice messages left on telephones. These snippets of information help move the story along as you delve further into the Armacham Headquarters.

The weaponry with F.E.A.R. is your pretty much standard FPS affair with the likes of real life arsenal such as hand pistols, assault rifles, sniper rifles and small machine guns. There are also a couple of fantastical weapons in the shape of the Perforator, a gun which shoots large metal rounds at the enemy which then “perforates” their body pinning them to the surrounding walls and scenery. There is also a plasma rifle type weapon that has a useful zoom function, which comes in particularly handy in some of the later levels. In addition to these items you also have the use of hand grenades and remote mines, as well a having the ability to use environment to its fullest by exploding barrels and gas pipes to create mayhem.

There are no end of level bosses throughout the game and could literally be seen as a get to point B from point A affair but the intense action between these two points more than makes up for the lack of a end of level hoorah. There is also very little variation between the enemies bar what gun they are holding, not a big issue I know, but a little variety would have strengthened the game even further.

Graphics and Sound

The graphics aren’t the best you will ever see on the Xbox 360, nor are the music or effects the best you will ever hear. What they do though is help build the whole atmosphere of the game. You are in a research facility, some of the power has gone off and sections are in almost total darkness, you must also do quite a lot of shimmying through air ducts and confined spaces, leaving you with not much to actually see for quite long periods of time.

The enemies, as stated earlier, almost all use the same character model, so all look exactly the same, which to be fair can be forgiven in the context that they are replica soldiers all wearing full war gear with their faces covered. The rendering of the cut scenes uses the in-game engine and not some separate video to progress the story. The scenes are actually very rare and you literally may only have half a dozen of them throughout the entire game. None of them are particularly long either

Level construction is also pretty basic with very linear routes to take through each level, this is hidden behind the construction of each room or yard however, as you do feel as though you are getting some choice, but in reality your not.

The music in the game is a pretty low-key affair with it never taking centre stage and always staying in the background. In a lot of the sections there is literally no sound at all as you creep around corridors looking for the next batch of replica soldiers to top off, when something will suddenly fly through a window or fall from a ventilation shaft. This does work well, however, as you are always on the edge of your seat waiting for the next scare to happen.

Lastability

The single player game itself can be completed in around six to seven hours of play. Some sections you may get stuck on for a while but with perseverance you will get through them. Save points are automatic and usually trigger after a battle set piece. I feel there is some replay value here, especially when tied in to the achievements for the GamerScore as it is impossible to get them all just through one run through. Higher difficulty settings also keep things interesting as the hardest setting “Extreme” it can get pretty intense.

In addition to the main game there are also some “instant action” scenarios, which throw you into the thick of the action without having a story to follow. These can be fun to a degree but have little point and completing them on the extreme difficulty setting is nigh on impossible.

Online

There are various multi-player options with F.E.A.R. over Xbox Live. Game types include your bog standard death match and team death match, capture the flag and elimination matches. These can also come with the option of using the “reflex” slow-mo or not. There are options for ranked and player matches with leader boards for each game mode, which are easily accessible and understandable. The lobbies are easy to use and matches easily set up. The main problem you may have is the lack of people actually online as it can get pretty sparse at times, and one on one matches aren’t up to very much especially on some of the larger maps, as you can spend minutes not being able to find any body.

The maps themselves are quite well constructed, using the themes from the main game. Some are small, some are large, dependant on the game type this can either help or hinder you.

There is a free download available at the moment from the Xbox Live Marketplace, which gives you two new game types for online play and some new maps to play on, the Hotel level being quite an enjoyable one to play on.

Achievements

In some peoples opinion the achievements for this game are some of the most unfair achievements for a Xbox 360 game. I, on the other hand, can sympathize with those people, but feel they have been set out this way to get the most out of the game. You will have to complete the game, I would imagine, a minimum of four times to get all of the single player achievements for the main game. Some of these are quite torturous as one of them sees you having to complete the entire game using only 500 rounds of ammo or less, or another sees you having to complete the whole game without using and health or reflex boosters whilst another wants you to complete the game without dying a single time. And yes, it auto-saves if you die, so no quick resetting here.

Online achievements are also set out a little different from your run of the mill game. You have your generic make 50 kills with a particular weapon achievement for all the guns available, however this does take a little while to get through and you will only receive 5 Gamer Points for each of these achievement types. Slightly unrewarding some might say. Other online achievements include capturing the flag 75 times and completing 100 and then 1000 online matches. The 1000 online matches is pretty unrealistic to your average gamer however as I just cannot see how someone could put in this much time to one game. 1000 matches at around 20 minutes average per game are 20,000 minutes, or 333 hours, or 14 days solid. I don’t think so somehow.

Final Thoughts

To put it simply, I really like F.E.A.R. I like the dark, spooky atmosphere. I like the rather ridiculous story. I like the level construction and I like the multiplayer. Yes there are bits, which wind me up. Yes I am very unlikely to get a 1000 point Gamer Score, but I’m sure I’m not alone in that department. If you want a pretty easy to use first person shooter with decent replay value and a solid online multiplayer you can’t go too wrong with F.E.A.R. – First Encounter Assault Recon.

RF Generation Review Score


85%

Variations:

Console Reg. Type Title Publisher Year Genre
Microsoft Xbox 360 U S F.E.A.R.: First Encounter Assault Recon Vivendi Games 2006 Shooter
Microsoft Xbox 360 U S F.E.A.R.: First Encounter Assault Recon [Platinum Hits] Vivendi Games 2007 Shooter
Game Trivia:

  • Offline - 1 Player
  • 800KB to save game
  • HDTV 480p/ 720p/ 1080i
  • In-game Dolby Digital
  • Online - Multiplayer 2-16
  • Content download
  • Voice support
  • Leaderboards
FAQ's/External Links:

whatisfear.com - Official Site

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Last Updated: 2014-02-19 04:54:13
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