A few days back the Gaming Fairy left us a nice present on our 360’s: the demo for F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin, coming to a console near you on February 10th. Yes, there is a Gaming Fairy. No, I can neither confirm nor deny its similarity to Uncle Creepy in a tutu and wings.
I’ve had my shot at it, and I’m here to tell you that we’re in for some pants wetting before Valentine’s Day.
The demo appears to take place near the beginning of the game, after a mission your team is on goes awry when, well, the city blows up. It doesn’t appear to be a conventional explosion, more like the explosion in Ghostbusters when Dickless shuts off the power grid. There’s lots of physical damage, but that didn’t make the sky go all blood red and doesn’t explain murderous specters zooming around generally making things uncomfortable.
Before long you run into some Replica soldiers; the same variety of generic paramilitary clones you shot down in the original. It must be said that these are an upgrade, however. They’re smart as hell. They topple furniture over to create cover, attempt to dodge fire, and separate when in groups to provide multiple points of fire.
Two things strike you the moment you hit the ground in this demo: One, the visuals are a full generation ahead of the original. This game is flat-out gorgeous. The monochromatic, sterile office/industrial settings of the first game are long gone. Two, the “spooky” atmospheric scares of the original have been enhanced. To put it simply, this game is on frickin’ meth. If you played Dead Space, you have an idea. Every step puts something in your path. There’s either a spirit being hurled at you, shadows jumping around, poltergeist activity, or Alma giving you horrific hallucinations at all times. The scares slow down when the human enemies show up, but the two flow together much better than the original. Make no mistake, though, you’re never off the hook for more than a moment here. This is horror, pure and simple.
On an action level, the game is as solid as the first, and there’s at least one major new feature. At the end of the demo you come upon a suit of powered armor. That’s right, it’s mechs vs. ghosts. What’s not to love? You wreak general havoc on anything that moves for a while in the mech, then…well, that’d be telling.
If this is any indication of the experience we have coming early next month, start celebrating now and stock up on Xanax…you’re gonna need it.
– Mr. Dark
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