Anyone remember F.E.A.R.? The highly acclaimed PC shooter was good enough to make the jump to consoles and still do well, though it’s expansion packs haven’t been anything for developer Monolith Productions to pride themselves over. Now their sequel, published by WB Games instead of Vivendi Universal aims to bring back the bullet-time little-ghost-girl horror FPS to the next generation of gaming.
Sadly, my playtime with it was on the Xbox 360 instead of the native PC. Sure, F.E.A.R. was well done on consoles and arguably very enjoyable, but the controls this time around felt lacking. Slow speed, odd button scheme and the fact that the developer showing it off agreed profusely that yes, this is a keyboard and mouse title. Kind of a shame for console fans.
As far as I could make out from the few minutes of gameplay, the similarities between Project Origin and F.E.A.R. prove it’s a sequel, but the story and multiplayer is where that’ll really show. Single player campaign has more little-ghost-girl action, plenty of weapons and baddies to eliminate, and has a very glossy finish that must be commended.
What we do know about the game is that because of the Vivendi-WB Games change, Extraction Point and Perseus Mandate don’t count. They aren’t canon anymore, only the original title, though Project Origin is still the proper sequel to it. Monolith held onto the rights to the story and characters.
Project Origin begins very much like its prequel, except that the first level takes place 30 minutes before F.E.A.R. ended. Playing as part of Delta squad, players must play that first gruesome level without time-slowing abilities, then get them magically after surgery, which little-ghost-girl caused oddly enough. That’s when gameplay returns to being fun and original.
Changes in gameplay are fairly limited. More firefights are outside in the open, urban environment, and those environments play a role in the game. Enemies may hide behind letters atop movie theaters, and those letters can be shot down. Cars can be used for cover, but can also explode. There is a serious risk of spending more time looking for where the bad guys are hiding or taking cover than actually shooting them, which isn’t at all like the typical FPS. It’s also a nice change from what we’re used to.
We expect multiplayer to be just as good as before, but no better. We also expect to see 2-player coop, though no word has been given for either of these. Project Origin is set for release this fall on the PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.