Review: F.E.A.R.: Perseus Mandate
My interest in anything plot-related evaporated quickly. It was disappointing, because I enjoyed the original F.E.A.R. story enough to want more of it, but playing Perseus Mandate was a lot like watching the Star Wars Holiday Special all those years ago: I wanted more Star Wars, and technically I was getting more Star Wars, but even at that tender age I was smart enough to know it wasn't what I came for.
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I have a friend who loves F.E.A.R. He won't hear a bad word against it, and throttles me if I try. It's not so much that he's a fanboy that he has the sort of desire for reptitive bloody action that comes with ADHD.
I thought Zero Punctuation had this handled already? : D
Seriously though, I get the same feeling with these Fear-expansions as I get with Final Fantasy X-2. The engine was way too expensive to just let die after the first game, so they have to keep pumping replicas (ironically enough) of the original to get the revenue they were hoping for.
I mean, why would Fear, of all shooters, be especially well-suited for several expansions? Well, there is the episodic possibilities that comes from having an sort of "X-files with machineguns" organization, but instead of creating a new story with each expansions they keep making the same one. As the reviewer said, there's a (probably) madman after Alma's DNA, who is most likely hoping to clone up a new one for whatever reason. Power. Molah. Who cares. Whatever the reason is we will get the answer in the next expansion, which seem to be unevitable considering the abrupt ending.
I've never really crossed paths the F.E.A.R. series (can you call it a series if they don't have the sack to produce a full-blown sequel?), but it always seemed like just another example of the old axiom: "If it exists as a genre, eventually they'll combine it with a shooter."
*winces in pain at the Star Wars Holiday Special reference* Man, those scars just won't heal.
I'd heard some praise of FEAR but it just didn't draw me for some reason or another... and this review has definitely killed all my residual interest in the sequel.
It's possible that Sierra could be looking at Perseus Mandate as a way of branching off the series into non-Monolith territory while still maintaining some sense of continuity with the original, but if so it's an extremely ham-fisted way of going about it. I can't imagine any other reason for putting this thing out, aside from the aforementioned cash grab, since FEAR is still respected and liked enough to sell reasonably well even with garbage like this.
FEAR itself was great. Feelings about the horror angle were mixed (I thought it was great, in fact my only complaint is that it was too damn spooky) but the FPS aspect got thumbs-up all around, and absolutely deserved it. As much as I recommend against Perseus Mandate, I'd even more strongly urge FPS players who missed it to give the original FEAR a try. The graphics engine is decent if not spectacular, but the FPS hotness IS spectacular and even a couple years after its release has yet to be bettered.
It's sad what they're doing with the FEAR name. The first game wasn't all that original, but had it's creepy moments with great combat. The scares got a little predictable a times, when there were no soldiers around and you hit a long hallway, you knew to expect something, but every now and then a scare really worked. Extraction Point totally and utterly lost me, to the point where I don't even think I finished it; last I remember I was wandering around some subways...or maybe a parking garage...or possibly a sewer system, it was all the same anyway, concrete corridors and dim lighting.
To hear that the second expansion is even worse is disappointing, but not all that surprising. The franchise almost reminds me of a Disney movie, where the first movie is well done and mostly liked, then they follow it up with two or three straight to video sequels that just get progressively worse.
Project Origin might be good, but it is much to early to tell.
And what would you get a Wookie for Christmas (when he already has a comb)?