Gaming News

Published on October 3rd, 2014 | by gareth


F.E.A.R. Online: Hands On Preview

I guess you could say I have somewhat of a long history with the game F.E.A.R. or First Encounter Assault Recon. I remember first reading about the game and then after the launch of our site being invited to play the developers in a prerelease version of the game at their studios.  By this point the game had undergone several changes from what the initial concept was but it remained a solid mix of supernatural horror and first person shooter.  The game was innovative not only for its creepy storyline and settings, but for being able to use a bullet time mode during combat as well as the lethal unarmed takedowns that players could do in the solo an online mode but game.

The game spawned add on packs, and in time, a sequel although there was some legal maneuvering over the rights to the name and the characters which for a brief time are going to be split between two studios. Once resolved, F.E.A.R. 2 came out also bringing with it expansions which and time let the inevitable F.E.A.R. 3.


The third chapter in the game while solid did not have the same hook appeal of the previous games and was disappointing to some hardcore fans, who nonetheless look forward to future installments in the series.

When no announcement came, many fans felt that the series possibly could be added it. Thankfully Warner Bros. interactive has created a free to play game called F.E.A.R. Online which will be released on October 17th.


Well graphically the game looks a bit dated compared to modern releases, the gameplay allows players to select either death match, objective, or co-op based missions as well as new wrinkles such as being able to craft new weapons and gear as well as obtaining new abilities.


Playing an early build of the game, I made very short work the tutorial which brought back many classic and pleasant memories of the original games with Alma being a reoccurring guest throughout my mission. Not able to find many people to play death match with, I proceeded to the co-op play where four players took part in the story mode that is set simultaneous to the events of the second game.  We descended into an underground area following a helicopter crash, where we were tasked with locating and disarming explosive devices while battling enemy troops.  The A.I. that the series became known for was on hand as several enemies did take cover behind objects while oddly enough, others continue to attack and very linear fashion not attempting to utilize any cover.

Equipped with grenades, a knife, a pistol, and an assault rifle, we made short work of the first round of the game.


Entering into a subway level, things became progressively more difficult as ghastly creatures poured in from everywhere making short work of our team. Attempts to revive fallen players were difficult due to the limited ammunition and the abundance of enemies to contend with.  A second effort was more successful as I backed my player against a wall and we formed a fire line to decimate the oncoming enemies.


As play progressed, things became increasingly more difficult but the nostalgic enjoyment returned. While there is still work to be done and tweaks to be added, I have to say that I’m impressed with what I’ve seen to date as for free to play game, F.E.A.R. Online offers solid action and enjoyment for fans of the series old and new and is definitely one that you will want to check out.






About the Author

Syndicated movie & game critic, writer, author and frequent radio guest. His work has appeared in over 60 publications worldwide and he is the creator of the rising entertainment site and publication “Skewed and Reviewed”.He has three books of film, game reviews and interviews published and is a well-received and in demand speaker on the convention circuit. Gareth has appeared in movies and is a regular guest on a top-rated Seattle morning show.He has also appeared briefly in films such as “Prefountaine”, “Postal”. “Far Cry”. and others. Gareth is also an in-demand speaker at several conventions and has conducted popular panels for over two decades.

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