2007 Reviews

F.E.A.R. Perseus Mandate

  • Review Date: 2011-03
  • Release Date: 2007-11
  • Developer: Timegate Studios
  • Rating: 4.0

I was unable to play the first F.E.A.R. expansion pack because my version of F.E.A.R. refuses to update and the pack won't run unless it's an updated version. So it's a throwaway. However the second expansion pack for F.E.A.R., strangely titled Perseus Mandate, runs standalone so I could play it. That's not necessarily a good thing though. Clearly, I got the booby prize because Perseus Mandate received below average reviews, deservedly so.

There's very little story and what is there doesn't make much sense and gives you no reason to care at all about what's happening. This is action, pure and simple. And in this respect the action is just as good as the original game with some tough new enemies. But it is a fair bit more difficult, especially the last level. Not impossible by any means, but while I rarely used the bullettime feature in F.E.A.R., this time you need it for basically every single firefight. If not every single enemy even. So you do have to play much more meticulously and carefully. I did constantly have maximum health packs in my arsenal for almost all of the game, even at the end, so it's not frustratingly hard.

Where Perseus Mandate falls down, and I mean falls hard, is in it's presentation. Now the level design in F.E.A.R. was bland, boxy and very uninspiring. But Perseus Mandate takes this to a new level; this sort of design should never have gone past the 90's. Here we have box rooms littered with debris, box corridors littered with debris, large bland areas that look like they're only at the layout/concept stage. I don't understand how level designers this slack can be hired to work on a retail game. Even I, single handedly, could have made all the levels throughout this entire game at a much higher standard than what was released. What were these designers doing between F.E.A.R. being released in 2005 and this ugly box game in 2007. So, unfortunately, the game won't live up to 2007 standards at all. And the engine is looking dated with average models and lighting.

The game is still fun all the way through, but that's because Monolith already built a great set of enemies and gameplay structure. TimeGate haven't done much but fill their bland levels with this fun gameplay. Not really worth it unless you don't care what games look like, and sadly looking at the top review sites that make no mention of how bad these levels look, that's probably a large percentage of players.

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