F.E.A.R. (First Encounter Assault Recon) (PC)
Release Date: October 17th, 2005
Publisher: VU Games
Developer: Monolith Productions
Genre: First Person Shooter - Horror
Posted: December 30th, 2005
Last Updated: March 23rd, 2007
Latest Release: 1.08
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F.E.A.R. (First Encounter Assault Recon) is an amazing looking first person shooter, developed by the somewhat underground (now clearly mainstream) Monolith Productions development team (known for the game: "Blood"). They have produced some of the best effects and graphics i've seen in a game to date, mix that with incredible story line, awesomely scary gameplay, and you got yourself one kick ass FPS.
The storyline deals with an organization, which you, the main character is apart of (First Encounter Assault Recon), that deals with paranormal phenomenon. You would think a new-generation game like this would have really bad loading times, but you would be surprised. The F.E.A.R. loading system is super fast, and even loads faster than Half-Life 2 on my computer. But since we're talking about Half-Life 2 comparison: the shadows, particles, and lighting are all better than Half-Life 2 (on maximum settings). F.E.A.R. also has some very low setting modes for really old or low-end computers which is pretty cool; a lot more time was spent on these lower end rendering modes than was spent on lower end rendering modes in Half-Life 2.
The graphics alone don't make this a completely realistic game though. The sounds and music also add to the effect and the atmosphere which really helps in that department. Another very realistic aspect of this game is the AI; I swear, the Artificial Intelligence in this game is astounding, they were even smarter than me in some areas (especially when they were able to sneak up behind me). They know perfectly how to work together, this is shown even more when choosing the harder difficulties in the game. You die extremely easy when in a close range fire fight, so it's always good to keep your distance or use your slow-mo reflexes. But when you do get stuck in a melee fight, make sure you do your roundhouse kick, your bicycle kick, or even a slide kick, as these do lots of damage. There's a decent selection of "mostly" generic weapons and guns, but sometimes I had a hard time deciding which three I should keep, as you can only have a selected stash of weapons on you, also adding to the realism of the game.
The enemies do start to get a little tiresome after a while however. There needs to be a little more variety I think. The creepy cut scenes, and different locations make up for it though. Some great things in the game include realistic ladder ascending/descending which is done amazingly. The glass breaking physics in this game are done very well. The bullet holes were done very good (they look like they actually have depth to them), but are somewhat exaggerated, but maybe used as stylization. Overall F.E.A.R. is an amazing single player experience, with the right hardware you are almost guaranteed to agree with me.