Being a fan of the original F.E.A.R. (and to a lesser extent, the two non-canon expansions) I was fairly excited for this sequel. The original F.E.A.R. accomplished a lot in terms of the tech, combat, and the level of terror, which sets the standards for F.E.A.R. 2 rather high. I am happy to say they pass expectation.
The story starts about thirty minutes before the explosive finale of the original. You are part of a Delta Force squad sent in to retrieve a high ranking scientist in charge of the program that created Alma. While she resists arrest you are put under fire by the ATC Security’s black ops. (If you are unfamiliar with F.E.A.R.’s background story and various organizations involved, it will be a bit confusing.) Shortly before you exit the tutorial level, the destructive climax of the first F.E.A.R occurs and the rest of the game unfolds.
You awake from the blast to find out you have been experimented on and the trademark slow-mo abilities are now yours. Shortly after this Alma starts hunting you, drawn to you by the new found psychic connection and she wants to consume you. The rest of F.E.A.R. 2 is taking a linear path from point A to B in hopes of finally putting Alma down for good.
The final act is definitely something that will make you scratch your head in bewilderment. F.E.A.R. 2 has gotten some flak for the ending not making any sense and it just being very random and off the wall. I’m in the minority and found it to be very fitting. It’s fucked up and downright grotesque. Considering everything you’ve seen so far, it seems to eerily fit the tone while setting up a plausible sequel.
There was quite a bit of Horror infused in E3 this year, impressing myself and horror fans in general more than I think anyone expected. Personally, E3 had pretty much everything I wanted: New game announcements, trailers/gameplay footage of games I’ve been following and even one or two surprises.
Videos and highlights follow:
This was a shock for me. I knew Valve was displaying a new game but I thought it would be another in the Half-Life series or something completely new. I can’t complain as I still play the original and love it to death.
I love the gameplay videos that were featured. The melee weapons add a new layer of depth to the game. You can make the case this is just a feature shamelessly stolen from DEAD RISING but forgery aside it’s hard to argue that L4D2 seems to open up the game like never before; along with new enemies, weapons, maps and boss creatures. I also love the southern-theme they are going for with this entry, especially the fiddle that plays during a horde sequence.
Valve went all out show casing off several maps and quite a bit of walkthroughs. Maybe I shouldn’t have listed L4D2 first, but this was the clear winner of E3 horror.
Now after all that praise I have to say, it worried me a bit. It will be released this November making it just 13 months after the original was released. It is VERY uncharacteristic of Valve to release a sequel this quickly after a game. While LEFT 4 DEAD 2 looks to add a lot of content, it still seems like all of this could be added as an expansion or DLC. An outright sequel? Something seems amiss, but this is Valve I am talking about. When was the last time they made a bad game?
Lux Pain is one of those games with a hollowed out and rotten trunk that has some fairly interesting aspects branch off. Unfortunately, it’s not bugs and execution that bog Lux Pain down; it is the simple fact that Lux should have not been a game; it should have been an anime or manga.
Lux Pain combines several features from other genres and throws them together and the end result is a confusing mess. The plot starts out as one of the most confusing hours of gaming I’ve ever experienced. I then went ahead and read the manual for clarification and things became slightly clearer. This really brings back the long-forgotten necessity of reading the manual before you play.
As near as I can tell, you are Atsuki, a member of FORT, whose mission is to eliminate Silent. Silent are worm-like creatures created from the despair and anger of individuals. When a Silent gets too big, it causes the host to kill itself or others. Atsuki’s family was killed by one of the original hosts of Silent which prompted him to join FORT and have his arm modified which turned himself into a psychic of sorts that can see into the minds and souls of people and pull out these Silent before they become too large.
Published and Developed by Capcom, 2009
It has been about four years since the near-masterpiece RESIDENT EVIL 4 hit shelves and changed the series and the entire survival horror genre (for better or worse). Leaps and bounds were made in terms of combat and pacing, replacing most of the puzzles and backtracking with faster paced gameplay and action. RESIDENT EVIL 5 has a lot to accomplish; not only does the game have to be as good, it has to reset the bar of standards in the horror genre. At the very least it succeeds with the former.
In order to properly look at this, I feel I have to look at it from two angles: The relationship to RESIDENT EVIL 4 and then the relationship to the rest of the series. In order to first view RE4 I had to put aside my biased perception of it regarding the lack of the RE universe “feel” and judge the game for what it was. I must now put aside my favoritism of RE5 regarding the return of the “feel” and look at RE5 for what it is. RE4’s visual style and graphics can’t hold a candle to today’s, but after four years they are still easy to look at. In the next four years the same will be said of this new entry. The environment and aesthetics are not only some of the best of the series; RE5 is one of the best games around in terms of creating an aura of immersion.
That being said, even though the series has certainly deviated from the first four entries (the fourth being Code Veronica), RESIDENT EVIL 5 definitely has the “feel” of a Resident Evil game (my main complaint of RE4). Also, several key plot points from those first four entries are discussed and Capcom has done a moderately good job of continuity linking the entire series up to this point. As I am sure I am one of the few people who cares about the mystique and conspiracy theories of Umbrella and the T-Virus, it was certainly welcome to be playing an actual RESIDENT EVIL game once again.