Monolith Productions' F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin is the sequel to the suspenseful first-person shooter F.E.A.R. The game was released on the Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and PC on February 10, 2009 in North America.
Despite the fact that Monolith was making a direct sequel to F.E.A.R., they could not initially use the name 'F.E.A.R.' in the title of the game. When Monolith was purchased by Warner Bros. Interactive, Monolith retained all rights to the F.E.A.R. franchise except, specifically, the F.E.A.R. name, which was retained by Vivendi Interactive, the publisher of F.E.A.R.
Needing an original title for their game, Monolith held a contest called "Name Your Fear" where fans submitted suggestions for the title of the game, and "Project Origin" was the result. Despite the new name, Project Origin was intended be a proper sequel to F.E.A.R. in every regard. The events of F.E.A.R.: Extraction Point and F.E.A.R: Perseus Mandate are ignored, as Monolith had no role in the making of those expansions and so does not acknowledge them as canon in their official F.E.A.R. fiction. In a fitting conclusion, Warner Bros. Interactive, in September 2008, bought the rights to the 'F.E.A.R.' name from Vivendi Interactive, and renamed Project Origin to "F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin", at last reuniting the game with its namesake.
The self-destruction of the Origin Facility at the end of the original F.E.A.R., despite taking the majority of the city of Auburn and most of its population with it, was not powerful enough to destroy the monstrous psychic entity known as Alma Wade. The player is a Delta Force operative named Michael Becket whose squad is sent in shortly before the ending of the original game to capture Genevieve Aristide, the president of the Armacham Corporation, which was responsible for torturing Alma and turning her into the creature she is today. After being knocked out in the shock wave created by the destruction of Auburn, Becket is captured by Aristide's personal security, and forced to become an unwilling candidate for Project Harbinger, which grants him superhuman reflexes, much like the Point Man's. After awakening, Becket must search for a way to rejoin his squad and escape from the hospital facility he finds himself trapped in, while working to avoid murderous commandos on Armacham's payroll, sent to destroy the facility and cover up all evidence of the company's wrong-doing, as well as dealing with gibbering, murderous failed experiments, an army of Replica Soldiers who were mysteriously activated, and the unsettling growing interest Alma seems to have in Becket personally.
Other Armacham Projects
Project Harbinger is a top-secret program within Armacham Technology Corporation(ATC). The main goal of this project is to give ordinary individuals psychic powers that would allow them to control Replica soldiers. These powers are given through a surgical procedure, which plants psychic diodes in the subjects brain and spinal cord, and further amplified by tuning the individual to the proper psychic frequency within the Telesthetic Attunement Chamber (TAC). This procedure is extremely unreliable, with most subjects undergoing the psychic treatment becoming mentally unstable and completely uncontrollable, resulting in the abominations the player must fight in the hospital and other areas of the game. The player discovers through cutscenes and intel items throughout the game that almost all of the members of Becket's squad, including Becket himself, were forced into the program and given these psychic powers. It is this surgical procedure, along with Becket being tuned to Alma's psychic frequency within the TAC, that cause Alma to pursue Becket relentlessly.
Project Paragon is a top-secret program within Armacham Technology Corporation (ATC). The main goal of this project is to identify children with psychic potential and mold them while they are still impressionable. This project began after Project Origin was shut down and afforded ATC the opportunity to experiment with telesthetic abilities without the complications that were involved with Alma. These children were split into three groups - Treefrogs, Bluebirds, and Ladybugs - at Wade Elementary School, with each different group receiving a different chemical compound derived from the powers of Paxton Fettel. Children who were deemed to have psychic potential were marked as prime candidates for Project Harbinger.
One major change that that had been planned for the game (besides the Point Man not the main protagonist) was a change in the health system. The original game's health bar system was supposed to be replaced by the popular regenerating health meters that got was popularized in Halo 2 and has been in many other games such as Gears of War and Call of Duty 4. That is until the developers decided that it took away from the horror aspect, so F.E.A.R. 2 used the same health system as the original 'F.E.A.R.', but allowed the player to carry only three health packs at a time as opposed to the ten you could carry in F.E.A.R..
Another change is the interactions that the player will have with Alma herself. In F.E.A.R. the younger Alma did not actually try to kill the Point Man but was for the most part toying with him, watching him curiously. Now that her older side of her personality has escaped, the older version will feature an angrier Alma, and will try to get rid of every living thing in her path, including Michael Becket.
The last big change to F.E.A.R. 2 is the new cover system. This cover system allows the player to create their own cover by knocking over tables, bookshelves, etc. In the original F.E.A.R. the A.I. solders created their own cover all the time when they thought they were losing in a firefight. Now the player can now do the same to even up the odds a bit. Mech battles have also been added to the game. They are equipped with rocket launchers and chain guns, but the mech movements have been strained. The player would have to quickly escape the mech when it becomes too damaged in combat. Basically, the mechs are very powerful weapons, but its slow, restricted mobility can be a frustrating weakness when using them. Mechs were added to the game in order to split up the intense pacing of the gameplay and relieve the player of stress caused by horror elements in the game.
The F.E.A.R. 2 gameplay maintains the same signature elements from the first 'F.E.A.R.', including slo-mo combat, martial arts attacks such as the slide kick, and creative enemy A.I. Project Origin features a more diverse roster of enemies, both human and supernatural, as well as more non-hostile NPCs to further the story.
- Strategic environmental combat opportunities available to both you and your enemies
- Slow time using your character’s enhanced reflexes
- In your face close-quarter action in a variety of indoor and outdoor environments
- Battle all-new enemies that employ advanced combat tactics
- Test your nerves and face your FEARS as you battle new characters and unravel a terrifying mystery
- Utilize the world interaction enhancements to create instant cover or remove obstacles
- Play with and against friends in multiplayer competition
- Enhanced graphics engine takes action horror to new heights through enhanced visuals and effects
- Enemies behave realistically and use the environment against you through vastly enhanced enemy Artificial Intelligence
- Maintains the authenticity of the Alma storyline and players will know this is the only place to continue the saga
- Alma Wade: The main antagonist of the series. Seeks vengeance against Armacham Corporation for the tortures inflicted upon her during Project Origin.
- Sgt. Michael Becket: Protagonist and playable character. A member of Griffin's Delta Force squad, given superhuman reflexes like those of the Point Man.
- Cedric Griffin: Team leader of the Delta Force squad sent to capture Genevieve Aristide.
- Sgt. 1st Class Harold Keegan: Member of the aforementioned Delta Force squad.
- Sgt. James Fox: Member of the aforementioned Delta Force squad.
- 1st Lt. Keira Stokes: Member of the aforementioned Delta Force squad. Stokes is the tech specialist and most commonly heard voice in Becket's ear.
- Sgt. Manuel Morales: Member of the aforementioned Delta Force squad. A vehicle expert, Morales generally stays with the squad's customized APC.
- Redd Jankowski: Member of the aforementioned Delta Force squad. An unlikable man who seems to resent Becket. Of unknown relationship to Spencer Jankowski from the original 'F.E.A.R.'.
Toy Soldiers Map Pack
This free DLC pack was released two months after F.E.A.R. 2 and adds three new multiplayer maps based on the premise of players being miniature-sized in familiar, real-world locations. The maps are 'Cockroach', set in a kitchen; 'Fulltilt', set inside a pinball table; and 'Sandbox', set in a sandbox.
F.E.A.R. 2 Reborn
This DLC package contains a series of four single-player 'Intervals' (levels), in which a genetic replica soldier, designated Foxtrot 813, becomes "sentient" and massacres his own squad. Throughout its campaign, the player must seek out the source of his existence through the calling of Paxton Fettel, the supposedly-deceased secondary antagonist of the original 'F.E.A.R.'. It features its own set of Steam Achievements and can be completed in just a few hours. The end of the series sets up what could presumably be the continuation of the 'F.E.A.R.' franchise with the revival of Fettel.
PC System Requirements
- CPU: P4 2.8GHz (3.2GHz Vista)/Athlon 64 3000 (3200 Vista)
- GPU: Fully DX9-compliant graphics card with 256MB (SM 2.0b). NVidia 6800 or ATI X700.
- Memory: 1GB (1.5GB Vista)
- HDD: 12GB
- OS: Windows XP SP2/Vista SP1
- DirectX: 9.0c
- Sound: DX9.0c compliant
- Optical drive: DVD (boxed only)
- Internet: Broadband
- CPU: Core 2 Duo 2.2GHz processor family/Athlon 64 X2 4400 (required for MP host)
- GPU: Fully DX9-compliant graphics card with 512MB (SM 3.0). NVidia 8600 GTS or ATI HD 2900 XT.
- Memory: 1.5GB
- HDD: 12GB
- OS: Windows XP SP3/Vista SP1
- DirectX: 9.0c
- Sound: DX9.0c compliant
- Optical drive: DVD (boxed only)
- Internet: Broadband (768kbit/sec upstream required to host 16 players)
Xbox 360 Game Installation
F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin requires 4.2 GB of space to install on an Xbox 360 HDD.