fear1.jpgLike the subsequent sequels to Nightmare on Elm Street, the latest expansion of F.E.A.R. has lost some of its charm.  In Perseus Mandate, the standalone expansion to F.E.A.R., players take on the role of a different soldier assigned to a different squad.  The story in Perseus Mandate runs parallel to that of the main game, so some of the same enemies is to be expected.

 

What was scary in the first game (disappearing apparitions, creepy girls, flickering lights) comes off as silly.  The way I feel about Perseus Mandate was the same way I felt after watching Nightmare on Elm St. 2 twenty years after it first came out; instead of being scared, I rolled my eyes at changes in the environment that were supposed to strike fear in gamers' hearts.

 

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Many of the old F.E.A.R. enemies (cloned soldiers, slow moving heavy armored soldiers, etc.) are in the game as well as a new type of enemy.  This new enemy is a bit annoying because not only is he fast moving, but sometimes he takes on a cloak of invisibility which makes him a pain to aim at. I guess that's what enemies feel like whenever I use the slow-motion (aka 'reflex time') feature to take them out in the middle of a fire-fight.  It's a frustrated taste of my own medicine.

 

The original F.E.A.R. came out more than two years ago and the expansion has shown that it hasn't aged well.  The graphics, while impressive at the time, especially during slow-motion portions, look dated now.

 

While it's true that Perseus Mandate runs parallel to the main story, the halls and rooms looked so like the original game that I felt like I was playing just that.  A little variety in the environment would have been a nice change of pace.

 

When it comes down to it, Perseus Mandate is just another chance to play through what happens in Armacham.  If you can suspend belief and you're not jaded against overused tricks to keep tension in the game, Perseus Mandate can even be enjoyable.  Otherwise, it's just another shooter with outdated graphics.

Louise Yang

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