FEAR: Perseus Mandate

The original FEAR awed us into submission with its great action scenes, terrific squad AI and creepy scripted encounters that made you feel perpetually unsafe. The chill factor was so high that you were praying to encounter another squad of enemy soldiers to keep you company, and away from the isolation that usually signals another supernatural scare. Perseus Mandate follows this formula of jump scare, gun battle, gun battle, jump scare, but does so with much less refinement. The only notable new element here is a squad-based one, but your NPC buddies ironically have less personality than the Replica soldiers you routinely gun down.

7The stand-alone expansion introduces a new player character, the faceless, voiceless and nameless Sergeant, who mysteriously has Point Man’s formerly unique hyper-sensitive reflexes (read: bullet time), with the same cool visual effects and momentary Matrix-style ability to dance around bullets. The story uninterestingly parallels the original, with the Sergeant’s elite First Encounter Assault Recon squad investigating violence and paranormal activity at Armacham Technology Corporation. Drab levels through city streets, sewers and corporate offices ensue, minus some of the level design talent found in the original.

You again battle wave after wave, room after room of cloned Replica soldiers, Armacham’s security guards and a new crew of deadly Nightcrawler mercenary forces. The hapless good guy troops sent to support your fearless efforts keep getting into trouble, just like they did in the original. The main villains are the same, your commanding officer is the same, and the plot’s pretty much still trying to ride the wave of the original game. It’s a lot like the original game in its scope and pulse, but it feels like a less competent, shorter remake.

System Requirements: Pentium III 1 Ghz, 256 MB RAM, 12 GB HDD, WinXP

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