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F.E.A.R. Review

Do you know what fear is?

About.com Rating 5 Star Rating

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With PC game sales in the midst of a six year slide and consoles continually gaining exclusive releases to all the hottest titles, it's nice to have a PC exclusive action game the PC gaming industry can hang their hats on. F.E.A.R., by Monolith productions, is high powered action shooter that includes life-like graphics and visual effects, realistic firefights and an audio track that, when combined together, create both a fun and truly terrifying game.

Storyline

In F.E.A.R. your role is that of a special forces soldier recently assigned to the military unit which specializes in supernatural/paranormal incidents called First Encounter Assault Recon (aka F.E.A.R.). The story begins with an introductory cut scene at F.E.A.R. headquarters that briefs you on your first mission as a member of F.E.A.R. It seems that a top secret paramilitary force of clone soldiers have taken over a government aerospace compound and have taken hostages but have given no demands. An insane military officer (and cannibal) named Paxton Fettel, using some sort of mysterious mind control, seems responsible for the assault.

Your mission is simple; The F.E.A.R. team, along with another Special Forces unit will enter the aerospace compound with the intent of capturing Fettel and removing him from the installation, thus disabling the mind control he has over the soldiers. This is where simple ends and strange begins.

Upon entering the compound communications between the two teams is interrupted by an eerie radio communication. You suddenly slip into a sort of dream world getting glimpses of what could be the past, the future or something else altogether. Ghostly images appear and disappear before your eyes, images of battles turn to blood and bones, and a mysterious little girl walks towards you. The mysterious communication stops, suddenly your team has been wiped out by some unknown force. Alone and probably full of questions you continue your mission through the compound in search of Fettel and the remaining members of your team.

Without giving too much of the story away, the paranormal, mysterious voices, and images continue, as does the hunt for Fettel. The action in F.E.A.R. moves from the aerospace compound to creepy abandoned warehouses and industrial complexes of an unnamed city. In all there are 11 missions, referred to as intervals, in the single player campaign.

Game Features & Game Play

The basic game play controls for F.E.A.R. is typical of most first person shooters with WASD keys and mouse to control your movements. The game can also be played with old fashion FPS controls of WASD and the arrow keys.

As a F.E.A.R. operative you have ultra quick reflexes. To reflect these abilities in the game, Monolith has added a Slo-Mo feature that slows down time allowing you to react to intense combat situations at a little slower pace. There is a limit for how long you can stay in Slo-Mo before it needs to be "recharged". Used wisely this feature can make or brake many situations you may find yourself in during combat.

The game includes a nice array of weapons; nine different small arms weapons such as pistols, shotguns, assault rifles as well as three different types of grenades. You begin with just one pistol but you have the ability to carry a maximum of three weapons and five of each type of grenade. Ammunition and new weapons can be picked up or swapped as they are found throughout the different environments.

Body armor and first aid kits can also be found throughout. A maximum of 10 first aid kits can be carried and used in times of dwindling health, with each one restoring 50 points of health. Finally, there are also special "powerups" that can be found that increase your maximum health limit, increase your reflexes or more.

F.E.A.R. also enables hand to hand combat when weapons are holstered. To perform your hand to hand combat skills you will need to use different combinations of move, fire and melee (right mouse button) keys. These include throwing a punch, roundhouse kicks, slide kicks and a forward jump kick. Also, with a weapon unholstered you can press the melee button to use the butt of the rifle or gun as a weapon.

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