F.E.A.R. [****-]

Solid first person shooter, traditional graphics and lighting for the genre, easy controls and a cookie cutter plot.

Doom. It set the standard for the first person shooter and made ID Software a household name.

Doom 3. Made me wish the world ended in 1995. Outstanding graphics, soundtrack, gameplay – big defect was the video card support… biggest defect was the flashlight. A game that was made to highlight the strengths of modern hardware limited to a 3 inch circle of light.

Someone who helped develop FEAR played Doom 3. They played it a LOT. They played it enough to want to release the game that Doom 3 should have been – and by all means they most certainly did. The flash-light is back, and absolutely necessary, however it is built in to the game that the flashlight can be operated while a weapon is in hand… Even better – I’d say about 10% of the game requires the flashlight.

Accuracy isn’t important. Aim in the general direction and the bad guy gets dead. Big bad guys need more bullets – and don’t waste your time on head shots. Grenades are completely ineffective unless you nail the guy head on or due to some software glitch he can’t escape the blast radius.

Point A, get a target. Point B, target isn’t there. In the mean time, you’ve accidentally run back to where you started and have to plod through a quiet landscape – only knowing that you’re in new territory when a bullet grazes you. Toss in a few horror movie staples ala Max Payne’s nightmare levels, and you have FEAR.

The FPS has evolved. Stealth and accuracy are hallmarks. There might be some folks who still appreciate a point and shoot – and they’ll love this game. I’ll admit I’m enjoying the simplicity to an extent as well – a game that is part Doom 3, part Max Payne, and part (generic military based first person shooter) is an equation that if done right will always entertain.

After all is said and done though… I’ll remember Doom, Quake, and Max Payne… Fear? Just another game in the pile.

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