F.E.A.R. is one of my favorite first person shooters of all time. It's a technically amazing, tense first person shooter focusing on exhilarating showdowns with some really clever AI. However, until this week, I had never played F.E.A.R. 2. All I knew about it was that it was a sequel to F.E.A.R. and that friends had told me it wasn't as good. So I came in with my expectations lowered, and boy was I in for a treat.
Like the original, F.E.A.R. 2 is an action-horror game with a lot more emphasis on 'Action' than 'Horror'. Sure, a couple of moments with Alma and the Gollum-like abomination enemies made me jump, but there's very little in this game that's actually terrifying. However, the atmosphere is very well done, especially once you leave the building that takes up the first third of the game.
In F.E.A.R. 2, you have access to four weapons at once. Weapons include rifles, pistols, automatic shotguns, and even a pulse rifle that turns enemies into charred husks. My personal favorite was the hammerhead, a high-velocity two handed rifle that shoots massive spikes that pin enemies to walls. Like the first game, you also have a bullet time feature. Not only is it immensely useful, but it looks amazing in action.
However, you're going to need all the weapons you can find to come out of these fights alive. Sure, the game starts easy, but the enemy's numbers increase as the game goes on, and you really get a chance to see how advanced the AI is. Enemies will push over tables to get into cover, flee from grenades, and even toss their own to flush you out of cover. Overall, it's easily some of the best enemy AI I've seen in a first person shooter.
However, you fight more than just standard soldiers with guns. Along your quest you will take out some supernatural abominations and multiple armored suits which can just soak up punishment from all your weapons. You'll travel through some highly varied city environments, like a penthouse, ruined city streets, and even an elementary school. The scenery looks pretty nice, and like the first game, gets absolutely torn up during gunfights.
Occasionally, you'll also get your hands on a mech suit, which is some of the most fun the game has to offer. Tearing through every enemy in sight with missiles and machine guns isn't the first thing that comes to mind when you think of F.E.A.R., but it's great fun regardless.
There isn't a lot wrong with F.E.A.R. 2, but there's also very little that's amazing. While I did have fun blasting through it, I don't think much of the game will stick with me for long. So, if you're really craving some F.E.A.R. and already finished the first game and its expansions, you have no reason not to pick this game up. At least it's not F.3.A.R.