FEAR Files

Review

posted 1/14/2008 by Elliot Bonnie
other articles by Elliot Bonnie
Platforms: 360
When I first played F.E.A.R. on the Xbox 360 it scared the hell out of me. There is something about creepy little half dead looking girls that just gets under my skin. Not to mention all the scary things jumping out and the large amounts of blood and gore. F.E.A.R. was a great game with intense action, great weapons, and a wild physics engine. F.E.A.R. originally hit the PC in 2005 and has seen a couple of expansions since that time. Now those expansions, Extraction Point and the Perseus Mandate, have been collected into one nice stand-alone disc for the Xbox 360. The game is titled F.E.A.R. Files, but with all the amazing games that came out this past year, is it worth your time or money?

The short answer is maybe. It really depends how big of a F.E.A.R. fan you are. The two expansions collected on the disc are a lot of the same from the original game. The settings don’t differ all that much, the weapons are the same, and the game play is also quite familiar. Since F.E.A.R. was a good game, more of the same action is not necessarily a bad thing.

The storyline in Extraction Point picks up right after the events of the original F.E.A.R. You recap the role of a soldier in the First Encounter Assault Recon team and your only goal throughout the game is to reach a helicopter and get out of the city. Escaping the crazy mess from the first game seems easy enough, but you will have countless clone soldiers and paranormal enemies in your way. The action and locations differ slightly from the original F.E.A.R., but mostly it is more of the same. It’s good, but certainly not ground breaking.

Perseus Mandate puts you in the shoes of a new character, but you won’t be able to tell a difference. The action and game play is all the same and the setting is almost directly stripped from the original F.E.A.R. and Extraction Point. Instead of adding new locations, new weapons, and new game play, the game just sticks with the action that fans love. Again, it doesn’t make the game terrible, but it should make a gamer question if they want to take the $60 plunge. New gamers to the F.E.A.R. franchise should check out the original before they take on F.E.A.R. Files.

F.E.A.R. Files still managed to scare me even though I knew it was coming. I never get used to the freaky things jumping out from behind doors and walls. The little girl that haunts your mind through out the entire game is also pretty disturbing. The original F.E.A.R. had its fair share of frightening moments and both expansions borrow greatly on the scare tactics. F.E.A.R. Files is not for the feint of heart.

The graphics in Extraction Point and Perseus Mandate seem to be showing their age. The game looks like it was ported over to the original Xbox and then spiced up a little with some texture and the occasional glimmer. All the levels in F.E.A.R. Files look dull and bland. You will be glad most of the game is spent in the dark because these graphics look a bit dated.

The achievements in F.E.A.R. Files are a little tough to come by. Much like the original F.E.A.R., you will need serious skill if you want to boost your gamerscore by 1000. You can earn achievements for playing through each campaign and for playing all the instant action levels. The truly hardcore will get achievements for beating the campaigns without dying and finishing the game on the extreme difficulty.

One added bonus of F.E.A.R. Files is the option for Instant Action. This game mode will toss you into a level and act as a time trial mode. Your goal is to get through the given level as fast as possible while taking out as many bad guys as you can. Your high score is then uploaded to an online leader board and you can see how you stack up with other F.E.A.R. players around the world. The Instant Action game mode is a nice change of pace from the campaign expansions and you can kill a lot of time gunning for high scores.

F.E.A.R. Files also includes some new multiplayer maps as players can do battle in all the levels from the instant action mode. 16 players via Xbox Live can compete in team deathmatch, capture the flag, elimination, team elimination, command all, and conquer game types. My biggest problem with the multiplayer side of F.E.A.R. Files is that no one is playing this game online. I had some trouble finding games to join and that’s never good when you are looking to jump into a couple quick matches. The original F.E.A.R. was never heavy on multiplayer options and F.E.A.R. Files is simply an extension of that game.

In the end F.E.A.R. Files is a good action game, but it feels a little too familiar. These expansions to the original game don’t add new elements into the F.E.A.R. universe, but more of the same isn’t a horrible thing. If you are looking for a quick fix of F.E.A.R. then I suggest you check out F.E.A.R. Files, but if you want an introduction to the series then you should look towards the original.


D+
This collection of PC expansions from the critically acclaimed paranormal shooter finally hit the Xbox 360 on a stand-alone disc. The only problem is the expansions add very little to the original game experience. More of the same isn’t a terrible thing, but if you are not a diehard F.E.A.R. fan, you may want to pass on F.E.A.R. Files.


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