F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin

aka: FEAR 2: Project Origin, Project Origin
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Description official descriptions

F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin is the sequel to F.E.A.R.: First Encounter Assault Recon and continues the series' trademark blend of supernatural horror and suspense. Many mechanics from the original first-person shooter have made their way into the game, like slow motion bullet time, and intelligent AI. New gameplay elements have also been introduced, like grab and drag movable cover, combat mechs, and iron sight aiming. The environments are now more open and less linear than those in the first game, and are also more diverse.

Point-Man, the protagonist of the first F.E.A.R. has been replaced by a new playable character, Michael Becket, a Delta Force operator who has been sent on a mission to arrest Armacham president Genevieve Aristide approximately 30 minutes before the ending of the first game. Alma, the strange little girl returns to give you scares and also assist you at some points.

The game only takes the original game into account and ignores all events from the expansion packs Extraction Point and Perseus Mandate.

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Credits (Windows version)

251 People (240 developers, 11 thanks) · View all

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 78% (based on 78 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.7 out of 5 (based on 66 ratings with 5 reviews)

Project Origin

The Good
- As with Condemned 2, this is one of the most unique looking and sounding Monolith titles. Visual design is superb. Music is one of the Grigg's best works. Sound design in general is mostly great. - More varied gameplay, than if FEAR1, gunplay is solid. Occasionaly, horror elements are good. - Levels look much prettier than if FEAR1, less square rooms, more diversity. - Very good build-up to the ending and the ending itself.

The Bad
- Story is just a copied plot from the first game but with different characters and the ending. Dialogues are cringeworthy. - Level design is much more linear, which leads to more stupid AI and frustrating moments sometimes. Overall, the gunplay is less engaging than in FEAR1. - Like Condemned 2, this sequel is less about scary atmosphere and more about insanity (which isn't necessarily bad). - Reborn DLC is 30 minutes long at best. Still solid though.

The Bottom Line
Highly recommendable, despite every flaw.

Windows · by SanfordMorgan · 2023

A very disappointing sequel that, while at times fun, mostly bores.

The Good
I loved the original FEAR and it has gone to have a high spot in my heart, and while not their best game, it was yet another great title from one of my favourite developers, Monolith studios. What made FEAR great was simple, take 3 action styles (Kung fu, Choreographed gun play, tactics), 3 horror styles (American "Jumps", Psychological mind twists, and Japanese ghost stories), write a compelling plot and put it all in a blender. If it had one problem, it was the lack of any true protagonist and an ending that didn't leave the door open... it threw the Door out the window. So I awaited the inevitable sequel, and after 4 years and some worrisome license issues, it finally came.

Sadly, the game doesn't come in with a bang, it just lazes on the couch and says "Meh." But looking at Moby games review format, I need to start with what is good. What is good is the core action. While there are issues that make it inferior, we will discuss that later. The core action is still fun, and whenever I blow an entire foes torso off and watch his spinal column and last bits of flesh topple over gives me a cathartic thrill and blows off steam. When the action heats up, its great and will keep your heart pounding and will satiate any gorror fans lust for blood. "Reflexes" (Bullet time) returns and is still fun to use simply to see some cool slow motion explosions or death scenes. Seeing a man with napalm strapped to his back blow up and take out his lackey's in slow motion is a cool effect both from the standpoint of a horror fan and an action fan. You can still use melee and do roundhouse kicks and kung-fu moves and knock the teeth out of your foe, and is as satisfying as ever.

While the graphics aren't ground breaking or the best you will see this generation, there are some absolutely spectacular special effects and great character models. Every explosion lights up the world and will bring you several "WOW! COOL!" moments, every light casts an eerie and scary shadow creating a good atmosphere, and every death has a grisly and disturbingly detailed blood effect that shines and glistens with body damage modeling that is somewhat creepy and really defines the word "Gory." While most of the characters are fairly standard for modern shooters and wear your typical armour and such, the models are well detailed. However, the characters that stand out are the Remnants. The remnants appear later on in the game, and look awesome. The remnants tap a strange fear I have; twisted, mutated, and f**ked up shapes that seem inhuman, but have at least one or two elements that still look human and the Remnants are exactly that. They are cool and easily the scariest thing in the game, and their modeling is excellent and extremely surreal, which only enhances their eeriness. The death animations are also great.

The sound effects are awesome, and the mech sequence is fun. There are a few nice highlights in levels, one of the few moments where an atmopshere attempts to build is when you finally get out of a ridiculously long and somewhat boring underground tunnel sequence and then see what happened after the nuke from the first game went off is somewhat creepy, as there is an eerie musical score, some ghosts, and eeriest of all; flash fossilized humans. Hey, have you ever been to Pompeii? Oh, well, that's besides the point. This moment is somber and disturbing, and the aforementioned humans are fossilized in creepy positions, their final second on Earth in painful agony frozen in a single spot. It's a spooky moment, but it doesn't last long because the action comes and a few things dispel the atmosphere here, but this is one truly standout moment in the "Creepy" department.

The Bad
While the combat can be fun, the AI has been toned down and the enemies are too easy even on the harder difficulties. I can't help but feel they were dumbed down so the consoles didn't need a customized or delayed port.

The game is, at times, painfully boring. While the first FEAR followed a similar structure of mixing horror sequences and action sequences, it balanced them out much better because the horror elements were actually scary. Because it was scary and atmospheric, the moments where the action wasn't flowing were still compelling and had tons of creepy, scary, and cool moments. FEAR 2 is not scary. At all. The only scary things in this game are the aforementioned remnants and an area showing what has to be done to force people into becoming a psychic commander. Even Alma isn't scary. The fully grown Alma is gross looking, naked (But no genitals, but considering that this is somewhat creepy about her, I suppose its not bad.) wrinkled and still very much like a ghost from "The Grudge," but she is no longer scary. She's a monster closet with a quicktime event strapped onto her. In the first FEAR, she would jump out, but these sequences were unpredictable and used sparingly and Alma's presence was more to get under your skin than to pop up and go "BOO!" but she does this in every level and you can see it coming from a thousand miles away, even before she pops out for the first time I could predict when she'd pop and try to scare you. Another thing is that in the first game, each Alma encounter was different. In this, its always the same: The game slows down to a yawn inducing crawl and then Alma pops out either randomly or in conjunction with an obstacle, and then you have to mash the button wildly until she gets off you. This isn't scary, it removes you from the atmosphere and you don't feel vulnerable tapping buttons which completely dispels any possible atmosphere, and considering this game has no atmosphere save for some fights with the remnants and a couple small set pieces, that means that these moments are annoying, boring, and stupid.

The controls are delayed and sloppy save for throwing things, shooting, and reloading. These are all set in stone, but everything else, even activating bullet time, is poor. The worst are the karate moves, which have a poor delay and rarely do what you want them to.

On the negative side of the graphics, textures are flat, muddy, and uninspired and like the first game, there is one too many warehouses and office buildings. Thankfully there are more outdoor areas, but once you bonk into an invisible wall you'll realize they are just more office/warehouses with a skybox and buildings.

The story is a retread/retelling of the first games plot, but much more confusing, much dumber, and all around disappointing. No questions are answered, only many more asked and there is nothing here that wasn't said in the first games plot. The ending once again throws open a door with little care or regard to answering any questions, and since the plot only really answered one of the many questions the first game asked, this means there are only more loose ends. There are so many loose ends with plot threads that you can weave a blanket to cover 45 of the United States out of them.

The combat can get repetitive thanks to the lack of tension or interest in the games plot or "atmosphere," and it takes a lot of talent (Or lack of) to make gibbing bad dudes and mutants in gory ways with awesome weapons boring.

The multiplayer sucks, which is sad because the first game had great multiplayer. In the first game, there were your standard death match, TDM, and CTF-ish modes but what made it great were the tight controls, great, fast paced action and excellent map design, as well as modes that placed a power up that allows a user to slow down time and kick ass. This meant players were fiercely fighting to get the high score as well as the power up, and it along with a couple other interesting modes really made the multiplayer unique and fun. Anyone who hasn't tried it should, its now a free download known as FEAR Combat. The multiplayer map design here is disappointing and bland, and none of the unique modes from the first game return which is a majour buzzkill and the combat seems... slower now, and since the first games MP component is now free, there's no reason to play MP in FEAR 2 which is sad, because this should've given Monolith incentive to improve upon the first games multiplayer and make it even better.



The Bottom Line
FEAR 2 is a majour disappointment, it fails in all the places that the first game succeeded, save for combat and gore, but the combat feels shallower and the enemies won't put up as much of a fight as their predecessors did. There is no scary or atmosphere, the plot sucks, and the multiplayer is lame. While fun at times, FEAR 2 is extremely disappointing. I love you Monolith, but this will go down as your worst game since Contract J.A.C.K. I have faith that the inevitable FEAR 3 can improve, at least I can only hope.

Windows · by Kaddy B. (777) · 2009

Has its ups and downs

The Good
Now that Alma is an adult there is a lot more material to work with. The story is still mostly centered around her and so is the horror. With Fettel gone the producers took more time to explore Alma as a character and a human. One moment I was especially interested in was on Still Island, without wishing to spoil anything: It will crush any theory that Armacham might have been right.

The new team is a lot more interesting and there is more variety in the levels. The original F.E.A.R. took place for the most part in dark research facilities and Jin aside, your team wasn't very interesting either. Project Origin takes you to different areas and you are accompanied by a more like-able team.

The new enemies are definite keepers. There is the enemy that crawls all over the walls and ceiling, they are quite scary at first, but they are also fun to fight and even more fun to watch fighting other enemies. Those psychics are more interesting though. They just stand there pretending to be normal people, but if you get close they start freaking out and bringing corpses back to life and don't die until you put more bullets into them than a single man can carry.

I liked the few moments where you got to use the APC turret and giant robots. It was a nice change from standard gunfights and they happened just enough to stay fun. Also big-ups for putting that in the demo, that is what made me buy the full game.

The AI is still top notch and they threw out some off the annoying enemies from F.E.A.R., like the turrets and those flying things that fired lasers. It doesn't just have the same good as F.E.A.R., it has something better.

The Bad
The game is dark and I mean seriously dark. Even the flashlight is less effective and to top it off, this doesn't make the game anywhere near scarier. It just makes the game more annoying to navigate through. There was also a moment very similar to the one that made me stop playing Half-Life 2, where I had to navigate through a dark, non-linear area with constantly respawning enemies and puzzles.

It isn't near as innovative as the original. If you'd take away the awesome horror, this would just be a generic shooter with some interesting moments. I didn't expect to see just as much innovation as in the original F.E.A.R., but to me it feels like they didn't even try.

The Bottom Line
F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin is a good game, I like the horror and story better than in the original and there is more variation, but the lack of innovation and the constant lighting problems were a huge annoyance to me. As a shooter it is just generic and not worth it, but thanks to the horror this is still a game worth checking out for 20 or 30 euros.

Xbox 360 · by Asinine (957) · 2011

[ View all 5 player reviews ]

Trivia

1001 Video Games

F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

April fools'

In 2009, as an April Fools' joke, the official site of the game announced that the next game in the series will be a prequel to the original F.E.A.R.. As a reference to the criticism surrounding the quick time events in F.E.A.R. 2, the news stated that the new game would consist entirely of quick time events, as well as allow the player to control Alma on her swing, try not to fall asleep in Wade Elementary School, and enjoy the "Alma Ball".

F.E.A.R. expansions

While the sequel to F.E.A.R. is said to ignore the events of both expansions of the original game, F.E.A.R.: Extraction Point and F.E.A.R.: Perseus Mandate, there are a lot of things which have been taken from the expansions directly or indirectly.

Starting with the weapons: the Laser Beam gun in this game uses basically the same effect as the Type 12 Laser Carbine in Extraction Point, while the new Assault Rifle is very similar in design to the VES Advanced Rifle introduced in Perseus Mandate.

A few similarities for the enemies:

The first type of the ATC soldiers in the game look almost exactly the same as the new type of ATC soldiers from Perseus Mandate.

The new Abomination enemy in the game is somewhat similar to the Shades introduced in Extraction Point - they behave as neutral monsters, who use only a melee attack and kill any human being on their way, just like the Shades.

And finally, the funniest thing about "ignoring the events of the expansions", is the design of many levels in the game:

In the beginning levels, the new Delta Team finds itself in a hospital, later revealed to be part of a secret underground facility. In Extraction Point, the last levels take place in a hospital as well.

In some later stages, the protagonist finds himself in the subway. This place was seen in both of the expansions, mainly in Extraction Point. There is even one place in the subway level in the sequel, where the protagonist needs to step aside from a moving train to avoid getting killed by it. The same thing was in Extraction Point.

And finally, in one of the levels, a falling airplane can be seen, just like in the beginning of Extraction Point. However, in the expansion, the crash site was near a subway entrance and the plane was a U.S. Military one. In Project Origin, the crash site is somewhere in the city and it is an ordinary tour plane.

German version

Various blood and gore effects were removed in the German version. Also missing is the ragdoll system for corpses.

Power Armor

The Elite Powered Armor was originally going to be bright red coloured, but in the final game it has been changed to an olive drab military tone. It seems that Armacham supports the metric system judging by the fact that the Elite Powered Armor's heat gauges are marked as being in degrees Celsius. The Elite Powered Armor looks very similar to the Dreadnought vehicles from Warhammer 40,000.

References

In the first mission, Sanctuary, there is a strange statue in the foyer of Genevieveā€™s apartment. The same statues can be seen in the Museum in Monolith's other horror/FPS Condemned 2: Bloodshot.

Title

When the development studio Monolith Productions, Inc. was acquired by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment Inc. in January 2004, the name of the F.E.A.R. franchise remained with Sierra/Vivendi Games, so a new name had to be found.

In June 2007 fans were asked to submit their proposals in the contest "Name Your Fear", where three favourites were chosen: Dead Echo, Project Origin and Dark Signal. The voting for the names closed in August and in September Project Origin was announced as the winner:

Project Origin is a strong fan and developer favorite. We received over 400 submissions containing Origin in the name. The second submission of the contest was Project Origin, so we have had the name rattling around in our heads right from the beginning Project Origin is a natural fit for the title of the sequel because it is the Armacham program from which all of the trouble in the game world originates. The architect of Project Origin, Harlan Wade, used his daughter in a horrific experiment which turned her into the monster that we see in the first game. ... In the sequel, the repercussions of Project Origin are only beginning to unravel.

However, the name had in the meantime ended up at Activision Blizzard and in September 2008 Monolith announced to have purchased the name. Project Origin was kept, but as a subtitle.

Uranium

Judging by the game's PDA, the Armacham Hammerhead weapon shoots uranium spikes. The fired flechettes have glowing bands on them, however, depleted uranium does not glow (very few radioactive compounds do) and in fact does look very similar to steel.

Weapons

Like in the original F.E.A.R., some weapons in F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin have a real-life counterpart. The Andra FD-99 submachine gun is based on the FN P90, the Pattern PK470 assault rifle on the HK G36, the SHO Series-3 pump-action shotgun on the Mossberg 500 and the Vollmar ULTRA92 semi-automatic shotgun on the Pancor Jackhammer.

Awards

  • Gamespot
    • 2009 - Most Disappointing Game (Editors' Choice)

Information also contributed by Big John WV, MasterMegid and Medicine Man

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Game added by bobthewookiee.

OnLive added by firefang9212.

Additional contributors: Jeanne, Sciere, coenak, Cantillon, Medicine Man, Patrick Bregger, Starbuck the Third, FatherJack.

Game added February 15th, 2009. Last modified September 24th, 2023.