Demo Daze: F.E.A.R 2: Project Origin
There’s something about demonic, ghostly or crazy little girls than seems to scare the shit out of us. The likes of the game industry and the film industry have noticed and have took advantage of this by including these scary demonic girls in their games and films. From The Shining to Silent Hill, we’ve been made to fear a little girl who also happens to be so deadly that they’d put Satan to shame. The latest little girl to enter the fray was Alma in Monolith’s F.E.A.R, which is a cross between Silent Hill and FPS games, only a bit better than Silent Hill Arcade. Now I never played the game at the time and I still haven’t, but I remember being interested in it when I read about the game one day as I was on a train journey. Well after getting the rights to the name back, Monolith are now close to releasing the sequel to the little girl filled horror, which is known as F.E.A.R 2: Project Origin. They’ve also kindly released a demo for the game on XBL, PSN and PC, for those sitting on the fence, like myself. Hit the jump as I encounter a school that would make Konami proud and punch the blood out of many marines before going Rambo with a mech.
The horror starts as soon as you begin. There’s no wandering around an empty Silent Hill here. As the main character, you look at the death and destruction around you and also notice a little girl aka Alma. You follow her until she disappears and you have no choice but to jump into what looks like the center of the earth. Luckily you were only dreaming and you awake to a normal yet still destroyed city. You can hear your team over the radio trying to communicate and you set off to find your teammates.
Now my first complaint is that these radio communications really break the atmosphere that the game sets. For example, later on in the demo I was walking through a dark area where every now and again I’d hear some sound in the distant. I was prepared to be attacked when all of a sudden a woman comments on the radio about how thankful she is that you’re alive. So that’s not too bad but then some other guy comes on and says “I told ya he’d be ok. He’s tough, just like me!” It totally ruins the atmosphere that the game just built up. This probably sounds ironic as I’m the guy who enjoys Resident Evil’s dialogue but playing them is like watching a B horror movie where as this is trying to be genuinely scary, so it’s a hindrance in this case. But hey, that’s me nitpicking.
Soon enough I came to killing my first marine. From what I understand these marines think you’re the enemy or something, I don’t know. I just saw them as people in my way. Now at first I thought the combat was a bit clunky but after more playthroughs it’s more a case of a learning curve. The demo does a good job of introducing you to the various mechanics featured within it, which is a good sign for the rest of the game. As for the combat itself, it’s pretty much the standard modern day FPS fare. From what I played, the game is pretty much a copy of the current Call Of Duty controls, so players of that series will be right at home with the controls. Nevertheless newcomers to the controls will be fine after a few fights.
After this, I moved onto our first horror part of the demo, which the combination of a school and what looked like a tunnel. What I thought was a nice touch was when you’re walking through the school. Every now and again you’ll hear the laughter of children in this horrible place, which really ramps up the creepiness. You can also find various log files if you explore enough, possibly showing inspiration from the various radios that you could find in Bioshock.
After a few encounters with various spirits that were invincible, I noticed that I was being stalked in the “nightmare world” by some woman. This wasn’t Alma though. At one point in this alternate world she grabs you, but this doesn’t seem to harm you. Near the end of the demo you will find a mech which can use the blast the shit out of marines. It’s pretty cool but I found being invincible a bit boring though. However, a similar mech appears at the end before the demo cuts out, so it may not be all easy sailing.
Overall, the F.E.A.R 2: Project Origin demo was pretty good. It gave a nice taster of the game without being too short. That being said it hasn’t made me want to go preorder the game as we speak, but the game shows promise. As for the horror itself, well it’s more of the shock kind than psychological since the jumpy bits weren’t that jumpy after a few playthroughs.