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F.E.A.R.: First Encounter Assault Recon

aka: FEAR: First Encounter Assault Recon

Description official descriptions

F.E.A.R.: First Encounter Assault Recon is a horror first person shooter (FPS) that resembles a cross between Doom 3, Half-Life, and the Ring horror movies. Demons are replaced by cloned soldiers and the element of horror revolves around an image of a spectral girl always appearing when least expected for a few fleeting moments.

The player sets out as a member of a specialized strike force dealing with unknown threats. Initially, the player starts with mundane weapons, which are well presented, and progress gradually towards more sci-fi ones as the danger increases. The player can also call upon a bullet-time ability which slows down time around the player and is realised with impressive visual and aural effects by the game engine.

The game takes place in a certain multi-billion aerospace installation which has been hijacked by an elite team of cloned soldiers gone rogue and an unknown supernatural force (which is likely controlling or affecting them in some way). Both threats must be identified and countered.


  • 恐惧 - Simplified Chinese spelling

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Credits (Windows version)

310 People (251 developers, 59 thanks) · View all

Senior Artist, World
Senior Artist/Animator
Artist, World
Art Director, 3D Coordinator
Art Lead
Senior Artist, Characters/Weapons
Lead Motion Capture Technician
Director of Audio/Sound Designer
Sound Designer
Level Designer
Creative Director/Lead Game Designer (and Script Writer)
Lead Level Designer
Software Engineer (and Additional Level Design)
Senior Software Engineer, AI
[ full credits ]



1001 Video Games

The PC version of F.E.A.R. appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.


Armacham first appeared in the SHOGO universe, and it might be that the F.E.A.R. universe is somehow connected to that series. In SHOGO, Armacham manufactures the Ordog Advanced Series 7 Mobile Combat Armor.

Console version

In the console versions blood textures on killed characters and the environment were removed. For the Xbox 360 version this was later revoked by patch.


The game was originally going to have a car chase scene and even had extensive drafting during the development. However, it was removed during further development, as in the words of Craig Hubbard, "It didn't work out the way we hoped it would." The car originally used for the chase sequence did make it into the final game, though in limited capacity: it is the same vehicle that the character Rowdey Betters drives the protagonist into the first level with.

Douglas Holiday

The Delta Force operative Douglas Holiday was originally going to be a member of the F.E.A.R. Team. This can be seen in pre-release trailers and promotional pictures of the game.

German version

In the German version all gore effects and the skeleton after killing an enemy with the energy weapon were removed. Enemies still bleed when being shot, but the blood does not spray on the environment.


F.E.A.R. is heavily inspired by Japanese horror films like Ringu (The Ring) and Ju-on (The Grudge). For instance, the mysterious girl with long black hair is obviously channeling Samara from The Ring.


To promote the game prior to the release, Vivendi Universal sponsored a machinima viral campaign called P.A.N.I.C.S. - produced by BeSeen Communications and Rooster Teeth Productions (famous for Red vs. Blue).

The title is short for People Acting Normal in Crazy-ass Situations and it was a series produced utilizing the machinima technique generated by the F.E.A.R. game engine. The story offers a humorous look at the escapades of Bravo Team as they face off against an unseen, supernatural opponent. In addition to the four installments released to the public, a fifth "prequel" episode was included as a bonus feature on F.E.A.R. - Director's Edition.

The series was awarded with the "IFCTM Award for Excellence in Machinima Screenwriting" sponsored by the Independent Film Channel and nominated for two other awards at the 2005 Academy of Machinima Arts & Sciences Film Festival, including Best Series and Best Commercial Machinima.


  • During Interval 6, at a security checkpoint where you first encounter a particular enemy, look for a letter on the desk. The letter in question, is addressed to Monolith Productions, the developer of the game.
  • A long-running joke in the No One Lives Forever series was the fact that in neither game it was revealed what H.A.R.M. actually stood for, even though it was referred to plenty of times ("Remember what H.A.R.M. stands for!"). In F.E.A.R. one can see the H.A.R.M. logo on a sign on a warehouse wall early in the game, with the words "Heater And Refridgerator Manufacturing" printed on it.
  • The name of the character Jin Sun-Kwon may be a reference to the name of the Lost TV series characters Jin-Soo Kwon and Sun. It is also notable that both characters from the TV series and the one from the game are Koreans.
  • Throughout the labs in the Armacham HQ and the Origin facility, one can see many "8311 XHT" model fume hoods. This could be a reference to the 1971 science fiction film THX 1138.
  • A. Shephard, a Delta Force coordinator who is only heard through radio transmissions, was likely named so as a nod to Adrian Shephard, the protagonist of Half-Life: Opposing Force.

References to the game

In the sitcom The IT Crowd, the character Moss is playing F.E.A.R. on the computer.


F.E.A.R. is possibly the most graphically-intensive commercial game (as of November 2005) yet. It has replaced Doom 3 as a popular benchmarking tool for companies testing new graphics cards.

Of course, all this is to the chagrin of the ordinary gamer. Some people have suggested that "FEAR" stands for F***ed Engine and Requirements.

Vending machines

Some of the vending machines that appear in the game are the exact same ones that are used in Monolith's other games: No One Lives Forever, Condemned: Criminal Origins and Condemned 2: Bloodshot.


Many firearms in the game have a real-life counterpart. The RPL SMG is based on the MP5, the VK12 Combat Shotgun is based on the SPAS-12, the AT-14 Pistol is based on a version of the HK USP, the G2A2 Assault Rifle is based on the HK SL8 and the ASP Rifle is an analogue of the Tavor TAR-21.


  • 4Players
    • 2005 – Best Action Game of the Year
    • 2005 – Most Impressive Boss of the Year (for Alma)
    • 2005 – Best AI of the Year
  • PC Powerplay (Germany)
    • Issue 04/2006 - #4 Action Game in 2005 (Readers' Vote)

Information also contributed by CaptainCanuck, dasfatso, Medicine Man, Neon Hammerite and Sciere

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F.E.A.R. Collection
Released 2012 on Windows
Serious Sam: The First Encounter
Released 2001 on Windows
Fourth Encounter
Released 1983 on VIC-20
F.E.A.R. 2: Reborn
Released 2009 on Windows, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Silverblade.

PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 added by Sciere.

Additional contributors: Unicorn Lynx, Sciere, Maw, Medicine Man, Patrick Bregger, FatherJack.

Game added November 2nd, 2005. Last modified April 20th, 2023.