Sunday, October 11, 2009

F.E.A.R. 2 Reborn Micro Review

It's no secret that I'm a huge fan of Monolith's F.E.A.R franchise. As a matter of fact, up until Arkham Asylum came out F.E.A.R. 2 was looking like a strong candidate for my Game of the Year award. Although some criticized it for not deviating very far from the original in terms of mechanics, I'd thought that those mechanics were tight, making for a solid experience. And after playing mediocre fare like Wolfenstein (and less-than-mediocre fare like Darkest of Days, but I'm sure we'll talk about that another day), I was definitely interested when F.E.A.R. 2 Reborn, a downloadable expansion for F.E.A.R. 2, was released. What really sealed the deal was when Steam was selling it for half price.

Let's just say I'm glad I waited.

I'm not saying that F.E.A.R. 2 Reborn is bad. The gameplay is still very tight, and it's much more challenging that the original campaign. The story's pretty interesting, too. You take on the role of Replica unit Foxtrot 813. At some point during the events of F.E.A.R. 2, you're sent to reinforce Replica forces in Auburn. Everything seems like it's going okay for 813, until he starts hallucinating, hearing voices, and killing is squad mates. The rest of the campaign is all about 813 finding the voice that's calling to him.

The biggest problem is that it only takes about two hours to do this. During those two hours, you'll continue to hallucinate, but the campaign lacks any of the slow-burn horror of its predecessors. Indeed, the campaign seems to take you from one firefight to the next, giving you a chance to run through a laundry list of enemies that were in the main campaign. The ending possibly makes it worthwhile, if you're a big F.E.A.R. fan who's been following the story. Like the ending to the main campaign, it has a sort of cliffhanger that makes you long for a F.E.A.R. 3.

The story and gameplay are good, but ultimately the campaign is too short to be worth the $10 price of admission. If you're a fan of F.E.A.R. and you can get it on sale like I did, you might want to bite. But otherwise I'd have to recommend a pass.

Final Score: C+

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