Fear Effect (PlayStation) review
"When your fear meter is in the 'red' zone, a single shot will knock your character dead. It's much harder to bring your fear meter back down than it is to bring it up. You must shoot without being seen, and basically do all the opposite things it takes to make the meter increase."
When Capcom released Resident Evil 2, other developers followed the ''Survival Horror'' trend with games like Silent Hill and Galerians. Even though Capcom ''invented'' the genre, in a sense, none of the other survival horror games I've seen have been too much like RE. Fear Effect is no exception.
+ The graphics in Fear Effect are simply phenomenal. The pre-rendered backgrounds always have movement in them, creating an excellent atmosphere. The characters have a distinct anime look to them, and are intricately designed. The FMV's are frequent and spectacular, and the main reason this game spans 4 CD's. I only saw one real problem with the graphics, and it's to do with the moving backgrounds. Since the backgrounds stream an FMV over and over, once the 3-second long FMV finishes, it has to start over, causing for a short pause. While this flaw can be overlooked, it can get slightly irritating. Overall, the graphics are like nothing I've seen up to this point.
+ The voice acting in Fear Effect is better than most I've seen. The sound effects are realistic, the music is ambient.
+ Fear Effect's storyline may not start out scary, but you end up literally going to the depths of hell and back! It gets pretty creepy.
+ In Fear Effect, you trade off between characters. While your main character is Hana, a sexy and feisty mercenary, you also play the roles of Glas, and Deke. Nice variety.
- The gameplay in Fear Effect can be quite difficult. Rather than simply having a life meter like most action games, Fear Effect uses a new approach: The 'Fear Meter.' While innovation is good, this system can get confusing, and incredibly annoying. Like in Metal Gear Solid, stealth is vital. If you don't sneak up on an enemy, your fear meter will increase. If you're shot at your fear meter will increase. If your character's adrenaline goes up at all, your fear meter will increase. When your fear meter is in the 'red' zone, a single shot will knock your character dead. It's much harder to bring your fear meter back down than it is to bring it up. You must shoot without being seen, and basically do all the opposite things it takes to make the meter increase. Some people may actually like this system, but to for me it just made the game a lot harder than it should've been! Be prepared for a challenge.
While there is basically one rather large gameplay flaw, Fear Effect is still a winner. With amazing graphics, a creepy storyline, and multiple characters to play, Fear Effect is a nice addition to any survival horror fan's shelf. Way to go, Eidos!
Staff review by James Gordon (Date unavailable)
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