F.E.A.R 2: Project Origin Hands-on PreviewPlatform: Xbox 360
, PC, PlayStation 3
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive
13th February 2009
A rose by any other name may still smell as sweet, Shakespeare reckoned. What we’ve been wondering lately though is; is a scare by any other name still as frightful? What’s in a name?
If you’ve been following the development history of F.E.A.R 2: Project Origin
then you might think that there’s a lot of value to be had in a name. Brands are a powerful thing after all and when it comes to F.E.A.R 2
they also tend to be quite difficult things too.
You see, F.E.A.R 2
wasn’t always called F.E.A.R 2: Project Origin
. Owing to a publishing dispute Monolith’s sequel to 2005’s F.E.A.R
didn’t even have a name when it first entered development as the publisher of the original game had retained the rights to the F.E.A.R
brand and Monolith needed a new handle for the game.
Thus, Project Origin
was born – the result of a ‘Name Your Fear’ contest in which fans of the game suggested new names. Still a direct sequel to the first game, Project Origin
then ran into confusion when Monolith decided it would be best to purchase the rights to the F.E.A.R
brand back from Activision Blizzard.
Thus, the once unnamed game was again retitled; F.E.A.R 2: Project Origin
. Isn’t learning fun? Normally, yes, but not when you have to punctuate every other word with full-stops just because Monolith wanted to have a really stupid sounding acronym in the title of their game. First Encounter Assault and Recon? Pfft.
On the other hand, at least it isn’t as bad as S.T.A.L.K.E.R: Clear Sky
– a reason to demolish the conventions of punctuation if ever there was one.
Titles and nomenclature aside though, Fear 2
(Sorry, F.E.A.R 2
) is proof of Shakespeare’s notion that flowers always smell of flowers. It doesn’t matter what you call the game, F.E.A.R 2
is still as seat-browning scary and shooteriffic as the first game in the series. We’d try and compare it a bit to the later expansions too, but to be honest we’re still trying to blot them from memory.
Furthermore, Monolith claims it’s been using the years between the titles to make the gameplay as varied and polished as possible, directly addressing concerns about repetitive level design and stuttering-storytelling.
Speaking of story-telling, it’s probably worth mentioning that Monolith is doing its best to work around the lacklustre expansions to the first game too – don’t expect much crossover between Project Origin
and Perseus Mandate
That said though, there’s not a huge amount of crossover between Project Origin
and the first game either – to an extent this is Monolith’s attempt to start the series afresh, new protagonist and all...