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F.E.A.R. Extraction Point
(hx) 08:02 PM EST - Dec,27 2006

I've just completed F.E.A.R. Extraction Point, the expansion pack to F.E.A.R. (review 95%), one of the best games of last year. The expansion takes up right after you kill the last boss of the original game. The story takes place in six episodes. Unfortunately, the story in the game is more like a epilogue to the original F.E.A.R. than an expansion story. It leaves more questions than answers, having you escape through a destitute city landscape as hordes of replicants pour at you from all directions. The traditional flashback sequences from the first game are in the game. Also present are transitions that move from the normal level to a scary level, like when the building behind you all of a sudden is engulfed in flames for no reason.

Combat is just as fun and visceral as before. Bullets rip whole chunks of concrete off the walls, sparks beam out from metal objects, smoke and dust fill up the room after combat is over. The expansion adds two new weapons - an experimental laser gun and rapid-fire machine gun. The laser gun is extremely fun to use even though it can take awhile to kill an enemy. But the rapid-fire machine gun is pure FPS bliss. Nothing is more fun than walking into a room with one and just laying down pure destruction. There are also remote mini-turrets that you throw out like a grenade. These things can be planted on the ground to function as automatic guns. In some of Extraction Point's fight sequences, these come in extremely handy. They stick to the floor and even walls and can deal some major damage to hordes of enemies.

In terms of enemies, you're once again fighting hordes of Replica drones, but there are a few new enemies as well, like a new breed of invisible ghouls scampering about and a super-sized BattleTech robot. As with F.E.A.R., the A.I. in Extraction Point is extremely good. The badies flank, they give covering fire, etc. The new, semi-visible enemies and giant mechs of the first game's latter stages make things difficult, forcing you to be even more careful and conservative, and the chances are you'll be fast friends with the quick-save key.

Unfortunately, there's no new multiplayer content to speak of. The multiplayer component of F.E.A.R. has already been split off from the single-player game, and it's been made available on the Internet for free under the name F.E.A.R. Combat. You don't even need to own F.E.A.R. or Extraction Point to play it. That means there's not a lot of replay value in this expansion. Once you've finished the single player, you can uninstall it.

Overall, it was fun, but it's worth waiting until this one gets cheaper :-) I would recommend it for a $20 purchase, but at $30 it is over-priced for what you get. Expect to play it once through and never fire it up again.

related links: homepage, cheats, SP demo, F.E.A.R. Combat full install v1.07, get CDROM

System requirements:
Minimum: Pentium 4 1.7 GHz or equivalent processor, 512MB RAM or more, 64MB GeForce 4 Ti or Radeon 9000 video card, 16-bit DirectX 9.0 compliant sound card with support for EAX 2.0, 4xCDROM drive, 3.5 GB free hard drive space for installation and savegames, Broadband or LAN connection for multiplayer games

Recommended: Pentium 4 3.0 GHz or equivalent processor, 1 GB RAM, 256 MB Radeon 9800 Pro, GeForce 6600 or equivalent DirectX 9 compliant video card with hardware T&L and pixel shader 2.0 support, Sound Blaster X-Fi series sound card


snd: 4/5 - still incredibly effective, sporadic issues with sound levels being unbalanced in spots
gfx: 4/5 - looks and performs the same as it did a year ago, levels, weapons and enemies are largely recycled from the original
playability: 3/5 - same great F.E.A.R. gunplay with a few tweaks, a few new weapons, weak story, very short (~ 5 hours), no additional multiplayer features
genre: first person shooter
platform: PC (2CDs), requires F.E.A.R. DVD
release: October 2006
developer: Timegate Studios
publisher: Sierra Entertainment
Good
Overall: 70%


last 10 comments:

xxxx(12:56 AM EST - Dec,30 2006 )
Yep, rehash of the same crap. I can't play this game online, to me, it's a mess. Not optimized at all and basically it's crazy all out mayhem with zero direction. I side ur getting karate kicked and the other side shotgun blasts. You can't hear squat cuz weapon noise is just unreal. Game just bores me and thankfully i didn't pay for the Expansion cuz it bored me in 1 hour of play. Felt like I was playing the original all over again. People say it's scary but that to me was the biggest let down. Totally NOT scary or creepy. I hope monolith does do something right and release another NOLF... a game that even though got covered in magazines still a very passed over great quality, imaginative and well rounded game.

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