( Note: This Article appeared on my blog site on IGN.com )
Stumbling upon First Encounter Assault Recon back in 2005, stumbling upon it at my local gamestop. I furrowed my brow at it, staring at it endlessly, pondering a decision. The October 2005 released F.E.A.R ended up being my worst nightmare and the worst experience I’ve had in a horror videogame. It wasn’t bad, it was actually pretty good for a horror videogame.
It helped me get over by fears of ghosts and supernatural and now I’m a full believer in the supernatural. At the time, F.E.A.R was breaking records and I obviously made a decision to purchase it, Monolith did a great job of conveying my fears and was a exhilarating ride of good FPS combat mixed in with bullet time. The gameplay may be cheesy now but during my first playthrough of it, felt exhilarating and excitement.
Was it scary? Not in a Ring way or not in a Grudge way, but it was definitely scary. In one of the first levels, Alma, the videogame version of the girl from the Ring, ambled towards me in a hospital hallway covered with blood and fire, sure then, I got scared just by looking at that and then I felt the thrill of getting scared and being frightened . I loved being scared and frightened, it felt exhilarating. I played it on PC, first. Then again on the Xbox 360.
F.E.A.R, the fucking scary videogame made me feel the thrill of getting scared and frightened. Upon release, critics praised F.E.A.R but had issues with the environments. Where was the variety of good storytelling that made Half-Life 2 so exhilarating and pretty much enthralling? F.E.A.R didn’t need any of that, the pure rush of the combat, the rush of getting scared was all there. By now, it’s dated because Horror has moved on to new plateaus with Resident Evil 4, Dead Space, Dead Space 2, BioShock, Alien Isolation, The Evil Within and countless others but at the time, it was revolutionary.
It was outlandish but it managed to create something in me and create a real sense of doom and gloom in those bloody office spaces, carpeted floors , bland as they were, they were perfect stages and to create Alma, the girl who was somehow related to you, the Point Man and Paxton Fettel made a good plot twist and Alma made me believe in the supernatural. Good memories of F.E.A.R, going back to it now, seems like a good idea, although extremely dated, it’s still good fun.
Facing F.E.A.R was exhilarating in my long career in gaming, it made me believe something else entirely. One of the best videogames I’ve ever played, for sure.