First Encounter Assault Recon

Format: PC
Vivendi Universal/Sierra

3 348542 195882
Age Restrictions: 18+
18 October 2005

An unidentified paramilitary force infiltrates a multi-billion dollar aerospace compound. The government responds by sending in Special Forces, but loses contact as an eerie signal interrupts radio communications. When the interference subsides moments later, the team has been literally torn apart. As part of a classified strike team created to deal with threats no one else can handle, your mission is simple: Eliminate the intruders at any cost. Determine the origin of the signal. And contain this crisis before it spirals out of control...

F.E.A.R. is an intense first person shooter (FPS) which creates a tense atmosphere on the back of an engaging storyline. If you've just about had your fill of dull, copycat FPS games that fail to deliver anything new to the crowded marketplace, then F.E.A.R. will make you remember why you fell in love with the genre in the first place.

Do you remember the first time you bought a really addictive game and played it every hour possible - even staying up until four in the morning, catching a few hours sleep and then carrying on into the small hours of the following day? You haven't done that for ages have you? Well clear your diary... F.E.A.R. will have you ignoring your friends and bunking off work for quite some time.

Firstly, the narrative is totally engrossing. You really do feel like you are a real part of the unfolding story. And secondly, the developers never go in for cheap shots. There's no rivers of blood for the sake of it. In short, this is a very well polished game.

The A.I. is second to none. It's about as close to playing against another human we've seen. No half-witted enemies here. And this helps to keep your heart pumping one beat away from a massive coronary for the duration.

Not only do you get a good solid collection of weapons, but there's a good use of slow motion (ALA like Max Payne) thrown in for good measure. And when was the last time your jaw dropped as events unfolded in a game? Well be prepared to spend most of your time with your mouth open in disbelief.

The only real problem is that you are going to need a serious PC to handle this game - that is if you want to play it as intended.

It's pretty, intelligent, and oh so scary. Just make sure you have a spare pair of underwear close to hand!

Nick Smithson

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