FEAR Playstation 3 Review
|Genre:||First Person Shooter|
|Release Date:||April 20th, 2007 (UK)|
|Reviewer:||Scott Smith (Poog)|
F.E.A.R was first released on the PC in 2005, to substantial media attention. Overall, the spooky FPS got rave reviews. Since then the game has appeared on the Xbox 360, and now the Playstation 3.
The game itself is essentially a carbon copy of the one seen on the PC and 360. I have never really been a fan of cross-platform porting; many bad experiences have taught me to mainly stay away from them, and that good ports are on the whole rare (but not impossible). I'm afraid this PS3 version has done little to change my views.
The storyline is relatively simple to start with; you play the role of a new member to the First Encounter Assault Recon team, an X-Files-esque SAS. Your first mission is to capture a military commander gone mad, by the name of Paxton Fettel, who has control over rather a lot of cloned super soldiers. Of course this changes rather fast and you are spun into a world of things that go bump in the night. Without ruining the story it all gets rather creepy!
I find myself torn here; the essence of the game is stunning. Everything that made it a hit on the PC and 360 is present and correct. The fire fights are frantic and exhilarating, with bullets flying past your ear as you blast a shotgun round into a approaching super soldiers face in super slow mo (an ability you get to use often - think Max Payne bullet time), his companions shouting out profanities as they realise his fate is soon to be theirs as well. Talking of super soldiers, another mainstay of F.E.A.R's previous success was the A.I. The bots are simply stunning, working as a team to pin you down and flank you.
The sound is amazing too and really helps bring you into the game. The fire fights sound terrific, bullets and particle beams whistling past your ears, shells hitting the floor. In addition, some of the comments the soldiers produce are quite entertaining.
For me the best part of the game is what I will call the 'creepy factor'. This game is seriously scary. The sound plays a big part in this - for example during ghostly visions you can hear your heart beat, and other things that I will not mention so as to not ruin the experience and shock factor. Let's just say close the curtains, turn the lights off, and make sure you have a spare pare of undies within reach.
Now after all that you're probably thinking why on earth did he moan about cross-platform porting and the PS3 version? Well I'm afraid while F.E.A.R as a game is amazing, the port to PS3 didn't go so well. To say this game doesn't look next gen would be an understatement. Even forgetting the PC and 360 versions, it looks terrible and washed out, but when you compare them the difference is mind boggling - especially when you consider the game was released 2 years ago on the PC.
Another downside I found was the aiming; it felt laggy and unresponsive at times. This was compounded by the stuttering frame rate, something the PS3 should not be suffering from with the lack of graphics on view. The load times are also disappointing, it seems to take an age to load an area, although granted when it does load the area is a reasonably large one. But again, this is a problem not present in the PC or 360 versions.
There is of course multiplayer, which seemed very reasonable, similar to the other two versions. There are 11 maps to play on with death match, team, elimination and capture the flag modes available. There is also a leader board which keeps track of your stats so you can see how you match up against others. It's certainly a welcome addition, though never really offers anything new to the online FPS genre.
This is a tough one for me - if I was scoring the game itself, ignoring platform, I would easily give it an 8 or a 9, and I do hope this review doesn't put anyone off purchasing F.E.A.R. The truth of it though, is that while F.E.A.R is undoubtedly a great game I wouldn't recommend the PS3 version. If you have a PC or 360, and have not yet played F.E.A.R, get out there and buy it. If the PS3 is the only viable option available, then yes, it is worth a punt - but only if.
- Good action
- Eerie atmosphere
- Great A.I.
Not so good stuff
- Poor graphics
- Long load times