F.E.A.R.: First Encounter Assault Recon (2005)

Video Game   |  Action, Horror, Mystery


F.E.A.R.: First Encounter Assault Recon (2005) Poster

You play an elite commando for a unique covert operations unit hunting for a mysterious fugitive who commands a clone army while mysterious things occur around you.


8.4/10
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  • Melissa Roberts in F.E.A.R.: First Encounter Assault Recon (2005)
  • F.E.A.R.: First Encounter Assault Recon (2005)
  • F.E.A.R.: First Encounter Assault Recon (2005)
  • F.E.A.R.: First Encounter Assault Recon (2005)
  • F.E.A.R.: First Encounter Assault Recon (2005)

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Cast & Crew

Top Billed Cast



Director:

Craig Hubbard

Writer:

Craig Hubbard (script)

Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews


10 November 2006 | MovieAddict2016
9
| Frightening and rewarding gameplay
I don't often play videogames these days, but I felt compelled to test out my new PC with this game after reading rave reviews. When it came out in 2005 it seemed to be an underdog - it received glowing comments from critics but didn't make a huge splash like Halo or Half-Life. Now, with its debut on XBox 360, it seems to be making more of a fuss; but this game is almost a year old (in its PC form) and I hadn't heard a thing about it until a few weeks ago.

I found it at Circuit City and brought it home. The packaging didn't look too promising because I'm not really into tactical shooters or Army combat games, but after installing the five discs (!) onto my hard drive and running the game I immediately realized it wasn't anything like what I had expected.

The storyline is effective even if it's a rip-off of the whole Asian horror cinema influence of recent years. It's basically just "The Grudge" with combat action as far as the story is concerned (although the actual gameplay differs from most combat shooters). You're a member of an elite squadron of marines known as "F.E.A.R." (it stands for something like First Encounter Action Recon, which is kind of contradictory since recon doesn't usually involve much action, but oh well).

FEAR traces supernatural occurrences and your first mission is to assassinate a man who has become possessed by the spirit of a young girl who is causing him to kill and cannibalize people.

The game moves through different terrain but I was surprised by how well it sets everything up. If this were a film no doubt its plot line would be sabotaged by critics but as an interactive game it works very well. It's a cinematic experience and the cut-scenes and dramatic action sequences work well - you can tell many of the high-profile action set-ups were developed extensively for the player to experience the full benefit of the "cinematic gameplay" advertised on the back of the box. This is the first time I've played a game and felt like almost every single level had been designed to flow in a very specific, cinematic way - Half-Life 2 was similar but a bit also enabled more free-range. FEAR kind of manipulates you into following a specific path to complete levels, but it works to this game's benefit because there are some spectacular sequences. When there's an explosion you don't just get the same effects used over and over. When you shoot someone they don't fall down the same way as every other person who falls does.

It's also the creepiest game I've ever played. "Doom 3" wasn't scary because there were too many monsters and it became too repetitive. But FEAR works well because you never know what to expect and they don't over-do the occurrences of the supernatural. One part of the game in particular that freaked me out was when I was crouching in a ventilation shaft, and as a pipe burst and steam hissed in front of the character, the ghost-girl appears out of nowhere scurrying towards you through the dark like the creatures at the end of "Aliens" (I think it was a purposeful reference to the film). Very nicely done.

The shift between action and supernatural works most of the time, although I think sometimes the balance is thrown off a bit. On one level in particular you spend about thirty minutes walking around an office building shooting at enemies, and suddenly the last ten minutes of the level turn into a supernatural thriller and suddenly it seems like all the "regular" villains have completely disappeared. And just as soon as the supernatural stuff vanishes the bad guys are back again. I think in the next game they should develop a better mix of action with supernatural in regards to integrating the enemies into the supernatural sequences as well; otherwise, it feels a bit wishy-washy.

This is a small complaint. The game kept me riveted. It also features some of the best gameplay and special effects I've ever seen in a game. It takes the cinematic integration of Half-Life 2 and takes it up a notch. The cut-scenes make it feel more like an actual movie at times and the enemy AI is the best I've seen in a game since Half-Life 2 - they react realistically to what you do in the game, and interact with each other over their radios.

Overall this is one of the most memorable games I've ever played and certainly following suit of Half-Life 2 as being one of the most revolutionary FPS games of the new millennium. These new game engines are changing the face of their genre and integrating cinema into the game universe in a way unlike ever before.

Critic Reviews



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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the game there are several references to the sci-fi/horror movie Event Horizon (1997). You can see a magazine cover in some levels that reads "Event Horizon found!". Also, on the multiplayer level "Asylum", there is a line written on the wall of a room that says "Liberate tu temet Ex Inferis", the same word heard in the distress call sent by the Event Horizon in the movie.


Quotes

The Senator: Yes?
Genevieve Aristide: Sorry to wake you, Senator. It's about origin.
The Senator: What happened?
Genevieve Aristide: There was an uprising. Fettel has taken command of the prototypes.
The Senator: My God...
Genevieve Aristide: We can still resolve this discreetly, but we have to move fast.
The Senator: All right, all right, let me... make a ...


Goofs

While the player's goal is to eliminate Paxton Fettel through the entirety of the game, it is very possible to kill him in the very first level. At one point during the first Interval/Stage, the player can activate Slow Mo and squeeze off several rounds of fire into Paxton before he knocks the Point Man out with a 2X4. However, none of the bullets register and the Point Man is predestined to be knocked out regardless of their actions.


Crazy Credits

***SPOILER*** Right at the end of the credits a phone conversation takes place between Genevive and the Senator. It explains that the prototype (you) has been a success in the mission


Alternate Versions

The German version is heavily censored. Whenever enemies get killed in explosions or when they get shot in the face with a shotgun at point-blank range they just disappear instead of getting ripped apart.

Storyline

Plot Summary


Genres

Action | Horror | Mystery | Sci-Fi

Details

Release Date:

28 February 2006

Language

English


Country of Origin

USA

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