The sequel to 2005's popular horror FPS, F.E.A.R 2, will be arriving this February, already available for pre-order on numerous websites. However, for those who want a glimpse of it before then, a demo was released on Thursday that gave a taste of what gamers have to look forward to.
The demo starts with a short introduction, showing the mushroom cloud that resulted from the giant explosion in the centre of the city, and a little reminder of Alma (the little, red-dressed girl, who is arguably the most scary character in the series yet). The game starts from where the original left off – outside of a destroyed helicopter. The interface is different from F.E.A.R – the HUD is organised like its being viewed from within a helmet, so the details are curved slightly. However, controls are pretty much exactly the same as the original, which, in the full game, will be a relief to those who played F.E.A.R.
The graphics are substantially better than the originals, with improved lighting and some improved textures. Blood has also been improved, although it does appear a little too 3D at times. The main and most relevant change though has been the physics. Only minutes into the demo was there a scene where the player walks through a primary school corridor, and suddenly buckets, brooms, boxes and numerous other seemingly harmless objects are flying around the room, as well as every single locker door flapping around.
This brings us on to the next section – the horror. There was some debate as to whether F.E.A.R 2 would really be as scary as they made it out to be, however, despite the footage of the Mech (a machine gun wielding, rocket launching robot that you can use in certain levels) which is completely anti-horror, the demo has proved that it certainly will be scary. Repeatedly. On several occasions I jumped back into my seat as I discovered a shadowy figure of Alma behind me or as random objects would make a clattering noise, right at an unexpected moment.
Even the 'game over' screen has had a make-over, with a cracked visor replacing the old one.
Overall the demo was very positive, increasing the expectations for the final release. While some stuttering and freezing issues brought up some doubts, it is only a demo, and one would hope that they will be fixed by the time the full product is out on the shelves.
Download: F.E.A.R 2 Demo (1.8GB)