Tuesday, October 25, 2011

FEAR Files, FEAR 2, and Fear 2: Reborn Rant

A while ago I finally finished up Perseus Mandate, FEAR 2, and FEAR 2: Reborn. And I am finally making myself post this before I forget.  

Perseus Mandate

Perseus Mandate was definitely better than Extraction Point, in my opinion. At least PM tries to give the player a different experience, though it is ultimately very similar to FEAR 1. This one has a different FEAR team investigating Armacham's Perseus Project with the unnamed protagonist (this time he is a Sergeant, but he is basically the same as Point Man from FEAR 1) and two AIs, Captain Raynes and Lieutenant Chen. What I like about this is that your comrades do not make the whole game an escort mission. For an expansion pack, I liked the two characters. I especially liked the end and what takes place on the helicopter...for those who know, yeah, I bet you think it was corny. I liked it. It gave me goose bumps. While this game is not cannon, it is not terribly deviant like Extraction Point was (by killing, oh, everyone). Yes, I do question why the Sergeant has the special abilities that the Point Man has. And quite frankly, it is because this system is what the FEAR series is based on (or was, until FEAR 3). When I scoffed and said that the Sergeant was a (game play) clone of Point Man, he might as well be a clone by the grace of the story as well. It’s not explained why he has the ability, though the Nightcrawlers say some things like “He’s been augmented!” Uh....really? Ok, fine.

Spoilers Ahead!
Things That Irk Me:
Fettel’s glowing green genetic material. Really? You know, it would look more believable if it were in a vial or something besides THE GREEN LANTERN. The real ending to the game is when the Green Lantern walks in at the end and punches them in the face to get his lantern back.

Not even trying to explain the protagonist’s abilities. JUST SAY HE IS A CLONE OF POINT MAN. After FEAR 2: Reborn, you know what? IT MAKES SENSE.

I actually do not mind that Fettel makes some ghost/apparition/ash guy appearances. I know that in FEAR 2: Reborn we hear that he is dead, but dreaming, and waiting to be reborn in a physical body. To say he is only dreaming means that he has not been “in” the world since he died, in my opinion. But seeing him like he appeared in EP and FEAR 1 did not bother me too much. It was not much of a stretch to think that his psychic presence allowed him to briefly reappear. Though I like Paxton just a little too much...    

I can’t recall which instalment of the FEAR Files this took place in, but in one of them I could grab items through glass. That’s right. I did not have to break it. I guess I was a ghost. Or Shadowcat. 

FEAR 2: Project Origin

I remember submitting an entry to the Name Your Fear contest in 2007. Funny, because I was hyped enough to do that but ultimately I did not play it for the first time until last summer (2010). In a strange occurrence, I enjoyed the game much more the second time around. It is probably because I played FEAR 1 on the computer and then went to FEAR 2 on the Xbox 360. Bad idea for someone who can’t really play FPSs. Anyway, the protagonist actually has a name! Michael Becket, part of a Delta Force unit called Dark Signal. Yup, he even has a little bit of a back story too, though not much (he was bad in school but rocked in the military). While he is not part of a FEAR team, he gets his reflexes (or perhaps enhances what he already has?) when he is captured and made to be part of project Harbinger, which is meant to make candidates for the telepathic Replica commanders without being born from Alma. Pretty cool...but you know, you would think Armacham would rethink making random military people capable of controlling THIER ARMY. Although he does not appear to be in control of the Replica soldiers (the game would be totally different if you could), it would be difficult to abduct people and make them subservient when they can psychically tell some big buff army guys with guns to shoot their captors and help them escape. This game gives the player some glimpses into Alma’s tree swing, her music box, and the moment they took her away. You see the image enough, and although it makes me sad, I would like to see more of Alma as a child, especially the dynamics of her and her father, Harland Wade.

Stuff that Irked Me:
The aiming system. Yes, I know it is probably more realistic to actually see through the gun’s scope or...whatever they have (I am certainly not a gun person. I am a lazy person too lazy to look at Wikipedia). But it was so much easier in FEAR 1! /Whine.

At the end of a mech sequence where you have to get out, I pressed X and hopped out...and...my character was suck in some rubble or something. Could not move or jump or get back in the mech. I killed myself with a grenade. While this game wasn’t as bad as its predecessors for getting stuck on random things, I had never gotten stuck to the point where I had to commit suicide.    

So the ending...Becket gets raped by Alma, who becomes pregnant. Wait, what? How is that possible? She does not have a real body anymore. She is like...disembodied psychic energy. When she appears as a child, she is making a psychic manifestation of her body as it was. When she appears as the emaciated woman, that is the psychic manifestation of her real body. She also goes into the manifestation of the beautiful woman, whom she has never really been, though she might have if she was never locked away in The Vault. My point is that without a physical body, she should not be able to get pregnant. I would really like to discuss this with some fans who know more than me, because I would like to understand this! 

FEAR 2: Reborn

DLC that rocked my socks. You are Foxtrot 813 (I call him Foxy because we’re pals), a Replica soldier. Yes, the protagonist, you, are that cool. Becket is still with Alma (presumed) and you are dropped in Auburn to reinforce a unit. Then you go crazy and accidently kill your other Foxtrot guys! “Opps, sorry, my bad, guys. You guys mad?” Oh yes, yes they are.

I know that intro was short. But it is a short DLC. But at least it is explained why Foxy is different and has special abilities! This takes ONE HOUR to complete and it explained more than PM did! AND THE ENDING WAS AWESOME.

Things That Irked Me:
TOO DAMN SHORT. I had fun. I know it was only 800 points, but seriously, I would have paid for a full game of Foxy trying to outrun his former allies, listening to Fettel guide him.  

Extra Ranty Goodness!!
Why I like the FEAR series: Alma and Paxton Fettel.
At first I am always all “DAMN RIGHT, ALMA. GET YOUR REVENGE YOU SCARY, SCARY LITTLE GHOST GIRL.” But then she tries to basically infect the world with her...scary world? Seems a little Silent Hillish to me (though Alyessa only bends the Otherworld), but that’s ok. Two days before her eighth birthday she is put into The Vault, made to have two children, and basically left to die in The Vault. Yes, she is totally a candidate for revenge, in my opinion. In my mind, she is like Samara from The Ring. Go get revenge on the people who hurt you. Then she starts killing everyone in Armacham, even the maintenance people. And then she is destroying vast amounts of land in FEAR 3 and killing more people. Uh...nope, I take it back! Revenge is bad! BAD GHOST GIRL!    
I like Paxton Fettel just a little too much. For some reason, I just think he is so bad ass. “Won’t tell me your secrets? Fine, I’LL JUST EAT YOUR FACE.” Having someone eat your face AND learn all your dark secrets while doing it is pretty scary. But I find his sheer presence to be interesting. I like his dialogue. I like his back story. I like his voice (his terribly sexy voice). Is there a Paxton Fettel anonymous group for addicts that I should be aware of?

Thoughts on FEAR 3:
Sounds like bad fan fiction.
I’ve been watching  LtMkilla’s Let’s Plays of it on Youtube (Part1 here) and it seems even more FPS.
I’ll pick it up when it is not still $70-80 used. Right now I’m playing Alice: Madness Returns, and it’s not making me miss FEAR 3, anyway.