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Fear Effect (PlayStation) artwork

Fear Effect (PlayStation) review


"Barring how incredibly easy each of its three difficulties are Fear Effect stands in the center of an awestruck crowd. Code Kronos’ masterwork shamelessly shows off a smirk. "



Barring how incredibly easy each of its three difficulties are Fear Effect stands in the center of an awestruck crowd. Code Kronos’ masterwork shamelessly shows off a smirk.

By combining the spirit of PC point-n-click adventures of yore with shades of stealth oriented combat and a highly stylized crime drama meets demonology plotline, Kronos has engineered a voyage that attains individuality while being familiar enough to make the play experience feel like reuniting with a missing (and well loved) relative.

The decision to forgo a traditionalized menu system means that your characters’ inventory is always available on the fly. For the times that you’re caught in a passive crouch by a well-armed Chinaman, you need only tap the square or circle to swap out your melee weapon for a more combatable .45.

Whichever of the three alternating roles you’re assuming, the mechanics work all the same, for better or worse. The stable template means that you’re never confused about the type of actions the character has available, but also that your standard variety sneaking and action sequences eventually become a matter of indifference.

Nonetheless, it was a nice gesture to give each Hana, Royce and Jakob a unique asset. My favorite of the trio - Aussie Jakob “Deke” DeCourt - for example, has his coolness cemented by lugging a set of personalized hand cannons and cracking skulls with a brass knuckle. The other two have theirs about them, but pale slightly in comparison to the dark complexioned bruiser; Royce will slap goons with a blackjack and Hana …

Hana is gorgeous. Everyone knows that beauty can help you out of a tight situation every once in a while.

It’s no doubt that many will find the repetitious action segments a bore and the Tomb Raider-esque controls a chore, but the finer elements make your extra dedication more than worth your effort. Nowhere along the line was it ever apparent to me, but you come away from Fear Effect feeling as if you’ve known the three ambiguous mercenaries for the longest time. Having little more than five hours to become acquainted, the character design team obviously understood the theology of connecting with a person’s subtle attributes and minute quirks.

Whether it comes from the wry wit and determination of Royce Glas, the seductive yet fragile nature of Hana Vachel or the unrelenting darkness that surrounds Jakob DeCourt, you’ll have a favorite by the end of the short trek.

The most disappointing thing about Fear Effect is that it has to end. That, and the fact that Jakob saw Hana’s full frontal – and you didn’t.

Rating: 8/10

carcinogen_crush's avatar
Community review by carcinogen_crush (November 19, 2007)

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