"Still living in F.E.A.R."
Primary from a cinematic standpoint in 2005, F.E.A.R. was an essentially innovative and distinctly competent modern shooter which elevated the genre and was reasonably enough considered the spiritual follow-up of pioneering Half-Life. Despite overall skills and significance in presentation and gameplay, the indisputable lack of variation in environments and fairly dull level design left a significant mark of an overrated first-person-shooter ovation. In response to certain issues, developer Monolith diligently implements a couple of noticeable changes in the inevitable sequel, however, not only are former flaws repaired, other flaws take shape while some are accelerated. All things considered, F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin is still a skilful and spectacular first-person-sequel, operating within competent mechanics without the elevating relevance of the predecessor.
The first-rate atmosphere associated with the intense original unfortunately appears weakened as the objective of a Delta Force member (that would be you) united with squad mates is about to capture the unapproachable president of the suspicious Armacham Corporation that is currently being observed. However, as the objective backfires due to the nuclear incident previously witnessed by the original protagonist, mysterious events involving iconic Alma and Project Origin (hence the title) require some serious unravelling.
Although original F.E.A.R. was hectic and spectacular enough in action, this beautifully keen and further expensive sequel boosts up the pace of dynamic visuals and sound more efficiently. While combat certainly is improved, the original game’s innovative bullet time appears further enhanced; as explosions of gunfire and grenades create additionally impressive visual and audio distortions, the masterly conveyed reflex time adds gruesome levels of bloody violence and enjoyable death animations. The superb audio direction continues the frame of reference mode and the excellent soundtrack provides the proper mood of excitement. The strength of the sly artificial intelligence seems preserved as well, offering plenty of unpredictability and enough challenges to evoke your alertness. As before, apart from the occasional change for the worse, enemies more consistently than not continue to respond to your presence by flanking, covering and communicating with one another. Your weapons to encounter these opponents remain efficient and versatile, though with the exception of adding a couple of useful new models, the previous arsenal is fairly enough unaltered. A couple of armoured-suit sequences in which you enter a giant metal robot armed with machine-gun and rockets, similar to ED-209 in Robocop, have been added to bring some needful variety in chaos and destruction.
Unfortunately unlike F.E.A.R., the story and atmosphere in the sequel is not as intriguing and dense as the up to date components of action, graphics and sound. Apart from an overall decent tension and a certain memorable elementary level, engaging narrative and dramatic devices are hardly founded, despite solid voice-over and half decent dialogue. A great number of readable items attached to the events taking place can be picked up and TV news reports can be seen, but there is rarely a penetrating moment that touches commitment and the unfolding of the story is distractingly abstruse. The occurrence of predictable jump-scares and basic clichéd creepiness has accelerated and become a bit tiring, but some of the attempts are at least decent enough to startle.
Regardless of changes made to address certain issues of the acclaimed yet overrated predecessor, the final outcome of the sequel ironically still suffers from issues. As overall aspects of F.E.A.R. are reasonably kept intact, some elements are obviously improved while others unfortunately are impaired. The criticism of repetitive environments receive attention in variation and that mediocre level design is put to an end, however, exterior surroundings turn out to be quite illusory, reaching the silly corridor formula rather than opening things up. Furthermore, the strikingly tight atmosphere from the original is compromised since the pace of the action is picked up even further and the horror perspective is considerably downgraded into sporadic eerie pieces. Nevertheless, Monolith ambitiously creates a skilfully competent, partly enhanced follow-up that in most parts deliver a solid shooter without the essentials.
Community review by Cpt_Thought_Process (October 25, 2020)
"There was a HOLE here. It's gone now."
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