F.E.A.R. Perseus Mandate Review

I really wanted to like this game, I really did. It’s fun, it has fantastic action sequences and cinematic battles, slo-mo is still a great and unique gameplay device and the story is as creepy as ever. Having said that, it’s all been done before… twice!

Players of the original F.E.A.R. will easily slot into Perseus Mandate, with the core gameplay elements and style being pretty much identical. This time around you start off as a nameless sergeant being heli-dropped into a location along with other members of a second F.E.A.R. team. Your job is to infiltrate a second ATC facility, ATC being the corporation from the original F.E.A.R. who created the whole mess in the first place. Story-wise, the game starts near the end of the original game and then carries on into Extraction Point.

After a few levels, a new group of enemies known as Nightcrawlers are introduced. Now, I’m all for new enemies, but when they are almost identical to previous enemies (in this case the Replica soldiers) then it’s a bit of a let down. The Nightcrawlers are a group of mercs after secret research carried out by the ATC. Of course, with new enemies comes new weapons, and once again they are almost identical to weapons found in the previous games. There is a new assault rifle that instead of shooting normal bullets, shoots blue bullets and has an added orange scope. Then there is a kind of lightning gun, yet another generic limited ammo super weapon along the lines of the particle rifle. Lastly there is the grenade launcher, which is actually a nice addition to the game, allowing you to shoot around corners to more easily clear a path into the next area.

The gameplay is the same as the two previous titles, with the player able to use slo-mo to slow down time, allowing for some very nice explosion and killshot effects. For example, slo-mo gives you a lot more time to rush a room, throw grenades and then pull of a few headshots before the enemy even realises you are there. But once again the problem arises: it’s all been done before in the previous two F.E.A.R. games, and there isn’t really anything innovative in the gameplay of this new expansion.

Like the previous games, there are a lot of visions and nightmare sequences where the player is pulled out of the real world and into blood soaked corridors filled with paranormal apparitions and many of the main characters. As always they are done quite well, although there are quite a few and after three games it did get somewhat annoying to have to sit through yet another no-longer scary nightmare sequence. There are also far too many spots where the developers have tried to scare the player with guys appearing behind you, people dissolving into ash and lights suddenly going out.

Graphics-wise the game looks identical to the previous F.E.A.R. games, with the same grenade and particle effects being employed. Like the original, the level design, while still acceptable, is definitely not in any way groundbreaking or even unique. Most of the first two thirds of the game take place in generic sewers and offices that all look the same. Thankfully the final third of the game moves you to old subways, some interesting underground caverns and a large ATC facility that has a some what Doom3-ish feel to its corridors, but again the game suffers as the corridors all end up looking the same.

As well as the single-player campaign and the usual multiplayer, there are three bonus missions that become available after the completion of the single-player campaign. These missions are plot-free levels filled with enemies and each with their own style. The Arena mission for example, is a large courtyard with multiple spawn points forcing the player to be constantly moving around the enclosed map. Each wave of enemies gets harder and harder, until you finally get to the biggest heavy-mech walker in the game. Similarly, as each wave of enemies is defeated weapons, ammo and health are dropped on the map. The missions are timed so it can become somewhat addictive as you try to shave precious seconds off of your previous time.

If you played and enjoyed the original F.E.A.R. and its first expansion Extraction Point, then you’ll enjoy Perseus Mandate as it’s more of the same run and gun, slo-mo action. That’s also its biggest problem: the gameplay is exactly the same to the previous games, the enemies are almost exactly the same and other than some nice levels near the end of the ordeal, the level design is exactly the same as the previous games. Clocking in around 6-8 hours the game is pretty easy to beat in a couple of days and there isn’t much replay value. The bonus missions, especially Arena, are good for multiple run-throughs, but there are only three so even they get repetitive quite quickly. In the end, this expansion is a pretty weak offering, and while it will keep you entertained for a short while, grab it only if you really need to play some more F.E.A.R. before Project Origin comes out next year.


  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Myspace
  • Google Buzz
  • Reddit
  • Stumnleupon
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • Technorati
Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

Leave A Response

You must be logged in to post a comment.