Cold Fear

PlayStation 2 Specs [ all ]

Description official descriptions

A team from the Coast Guard boards a nameless Russian Whaler lost in a storm. Little do they know that a team of CIA operatives tried to do the same shortly before, all of them ending up dead. Within minutes, the entire Coast Guard team shares their fate, except one person, veteran USCG Tom Hansen. Now it's up to him to discover which kind of creatures wiped out his mates. Are there any survivors? What happened aboard this vessel? How does its recent visit to the Russian scientific drilling platform "Star of Sakhalin" fit in?

Cold Fear is a typical console-style action adventure, similar to games like the Silent Hill series. Most of the time players will be viewing the action from a third person point of view, following the character around as he utilizes an array of weapons to dispose of a variety of enemies. Occasionally, a puzzle has to be solved or a cutscene (rendered with the game's own engine) must be witnessed. Additional insight can be gained by reading the various notes, letters and diaries that can be picked up every now and then.


  • 极度深寒 - Chinese spelling (simplified)

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Credits (PlayStation 2 version)

269 People (251 developers, 18 thanks) · View all

Original Game Concept
Game Director
Original Story
Project Leader
Game Design Team
  • Darkworks
Lead Programmer
Additional Programmers
Lead Concept Artists
Concept Artists
Additional Concept Artists
[ full credits ]



Average score: 70% (based on 50 ratings)


Average score: 3.3 out of 5 (based on 54 ratings with 5 reviews)

Regular Fear

The Good
It looks very good. The ambient is very well depicted, the music is not bad and the voice-over is correct too. The scenarios chosen are awesome: a gigantic russian whaler ship, and an even more gigantic drilling platform. Everything in the middle of the arctic ocean. If you slip and fall, you're dead.

The Bad
It's short, too short, and the story is merely an excuse for a game: there are simply no surprising twists, and everything ends as you first think it will end. The ending leaves some loose ends and looks like it was done in a hurry.

The Bottom Line
It's a Resident Evil clone, but without Capcom's brand eye-candy and character design.

Xbox · by Tiroloco (15) · 2008

More like "Cold Apathy"

The Good
I remember seeing the case for Cold Fear in the store. I grabbed it, turned it around and immediately began salivating as I spotted the great looking screenshots on the slick. I hadn't heard anything about it, nor had I read any reviews however the presence of the word "Darkworks" on the case was enough to compel me to part with $50 for the game.

Cold Fear has a serviceable story. A SEAL team is dispatched to investigate a floating tanker, there is death involved and Tom Hansen; a Coast Guard, jumps on board with a small team to mount a rescue. When the rest of his team dies Tom is left to combat the horror alone.

Cold Fear does some really interesting things. Not only must you battle your enemies but your environment becomes an enemy itself. The ocean churns and crashes violently into the side of the tanker rocking it precariously and sometimes knocking Tom off his feet. When you see the ship begin to tilt it is smart to grab onto a railing and watch your enemies slide down the deck and off the side of the ship. Occasionally jets of water force their way onto the deck and can damage you as well.

Tom himself is very responsive, he controls very well and fires his weapon with the camera over his shoulder. Alternatively you can tell the camera to stick to a fixed perspective like a traditional survival horror game. He's also a fairly resourceful fellow, being able to scavenge weapons and ammunition from corpses, although if an enemy is blown up or burned odds are your loot will also have been destroyed.

The Tanker and later on the Oil Rig are very detailed, with flickering lights and an accomplished sense of atmosphere. A fair degree of effort has been put into making offices look like they were boarded up and barricaded in a very makeshift fashion with chairs and tables. Corpses lay on floors, hunched over tables or dangle from wires while eyes glow in the dark and leave trails that linger menacingly in the murky twilight. There is some seriously good texture work going on here. The detail they add to environments is to be applauded, with the most praise going to a selection of doors throughout the game which feature high resolution, vivid texturing. Enemies and NPC's generally animate well, with some expressive gesturing and fairly competent design.

The Bad
Now, onto the bad. Which there is a lot of. You'll notice the majority of the "good" section of this review is comprised of praise for the graphics or the general inventiveness of the environments. That's because in general Cold Fear ends up coming across as a mixed bag of good ideas wrapped in a veneer of graphical sumptuousness.

The overarching themes of the story are insipid and derivative. A creature called the Exo Cell is released by a drilling operation and it infects some people after efforts at studying it fail. The explanations of how the Exo Cell work seem like nothing more than window dressing. Every mutation is variable, following no set formula or logical premise. The general situation, with Tom struggling to survive in a hostile environment is Survival Horror 101. His friends all die quickly, leaving him the sole survivor to fight alone. It's just weak. How could Darkworks, the studio behind the masterpiece that is Alone in the Dark: The New Nightmare write a story this bad?

Tom himself is a mystery. His past is alluded to, but never elaborated on. He apparently had a girlfriend that he may or may not have had a hand in killing but she is only mentioned once, not before and never again. If you're going to bring up small incidental plot points then put some effort into elaborated on them. If not, don't bring them up at all.

The game play leaves a lot to be desired. While Tom controls well and is quite responsive at times he feels over responsive and the pixel perfect contact your bullets need to make to make precious head shots becomes frustrating if you're not using the Shotgun. The idea behind sourcing things locally is all well and good but there is no tangible benefit from doing it. You can't stock healing items and there is no depth to the healing. There is a health kit and that is it. In games like Dino Crisis and even Resident Evil there was some strategy involved in healing your character. In Cold Fear if you need healing, the game will provide.

The enemies in the game are typical, underwhelming and exasperating. There are the standard Exo Mutant enemies, a thing that can turn off the lights, a thing that can turn invisible and human mercenaries with guns. There is little variation and little incentive to keep gunning down the hallways with the flickering lights to find out what new aberration you will be facing.

The horror elements in this game are weak. While the environments and the enemies look pretty good with glowing eyes and a cool motion blur emphasizing their inhuman qualities the game just fails to be scary. There are a few reasons for this. To begin with Darkworks seemed to have missed some really basic synching issues. Audio fails to synch up properly with certain situations and the ugly, jerking camera transitions to the badly paced "horror" sequences just come off as weak. Tom's general lack of emotion and dumb lines only emphasize the farcical nature of the horror elements of Cold Fear.

My first time through this game I finished in around 5-6 hours, which for a Survival Horror game is a cardinal sin. If your first play through takes less time than a repeated play through of a game you are familiar with then there is something wrong. There is no incentive to replay this game, no New Game+ option and only the reward of some very boring concept art to reward your suffering from sitting through the inane story and terribly forced Russian accents.

The Bottom Line
Cold Fear is a weak Survival Horror game. If approached solely as an action game, there is some merit to it. If you want some mindless gore with a lightweight story then you are in for a good 5-6 hours of play. Looking good though doesn't make up for the insipid story, deplorably emotionless voice acting, awkward combat, badly designed item system, longevity issues and a big middle finger at the end of the game in the form of a Marilyn Manson song.

PlayStation 2 · by AkibaTechno (238) · 2010

Claustrophobic adventure at a genre's crossroads

The Good
Cold Fear is a really interesting midway point between the classic 1992-2004 era of survival horror and modern action horror pioneered at the same time by Resident Evil 4. The map layout and design is just complex enough to immerse you in exploring creepy locations without hindering the pacing of action-oriented gameplay. The hybrid camera system combining fixed shots with over-the-shoulder view might be difficult to get used to at first, but overall the game is pretty easy to control, allowing for some really solid third-person shooter gameplay.

While Cold Fear isn't exactly the most original horror game out there, it has a feature that sets it apart in a really good way - the setting. The game takes place on open sea, first on a ship and then on an oil rig. The tight spaces and lifeless feel of metallic surfaces add a sense of claustrophobia and confusion to which the game owes much of its atmosphere.

The Bad
The weakest point of Cold Fear might be the fact that it was very clearly designed as a competitor to Resident Evil 4 (which was released a few weeks earlier). Despite the unique marine-industrial setting, it borrows quite a lot from earlier games in the Capcom series in terms of aesthetics and story elements, and even the mixed camera system seems to be inspired by an earlier phase in RE4's development.

Another element that diminished Cold Fear's impact is its lack of memorable boss fights (and scarcity of boss fights altogether). Miniboss encounters, while decent, are usually over very quickly, and the final boss is very underwhelming.

The Bottom Line
Ultimately, Cold Fear is a very solid action horror game stuck somewhere in between classic survival horror and newer games like Resident Evil 4 and 5. It may be underwhelming, but its claustrophobic environments are likely to keep you hooked. 7/10

Windows · by Pegarange (200) · 2023

[ View all 5 player reviews ]


Copy protection

Ubisoft received a lot of complaints about the game refusing to run on the PC. It was traced back to the copy protection. Ubisoft then recalled all PC copies of the game on store shelves. Ubisoft released a patch which removes the copy protection and CD-check for those who held to their copy.

German index

On September 30, 2005, Cold Fear (PS2) was put on the infamous German index by the BPjM. Shortly after, on October 29, 2005, both Windows and Xbox releases followed. More information about this can be found in the game group

Music and Sound

Some of the sound effects and ambient background music are recycled from Darkworks' previous game, Alone in the Dark: The New Nightmare.

Information also contributed by Karthik KANE and Xoleras

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Cadorna.

Additional contributors: Unicorn Lynx, John Chaser, tarmo888, Patrick Bregger, 64er.

Game added May 5th, 2005. Last modified August 17th, 2023.