By Dusty Overby
on 2.20.09

fear-2-project-originIf you’re in need of an Entertainment Stimulus Package, look no further than box that contains this week’s GP approved game release, F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin. Sequel to the critically acclaimed F.E.A.R. (First Encounter Assault Recon), the second installment picks up where its predecessor leaves off, both in regards to game play and storytelling. Fans of first person shooters (and what guy isn’t?) won’t be disappointed by this solid romp through a paranormal wasteland.

It’s clear that the boys and girls over at Monolith Productions (also responsible for the Condemned series) have honed their survival horror craft, as F.E.A.R. 2 delivers a solid mix of well-balanced game play, chilling atmosphere, and frightening surprises. You’ll enjoy the experience immensely more by playing the game in the dark and with yourself a bit over-caffeinated. I won’t drop any spoilers on you, but, suffice it to say, that Alma is one creepy (little?) girl.

project-origin-ignOn the presentation side, the game takes full advantage of today’s HD gaming hardware and will look great on your new plasma thanks to the deep, dark background textures. Expect an engrossing single player campaign that does an admirable job of filling you in on the back story from the original F.E.A.R. by way of intelligence reports sprinkled across your path. There are hours of creepy good times (with guns!) to be had with this title, which puts you squarely in the crossfire of a war between a group of elite corporate mercs and hordes of supernatural psyche-soldiers.

Multiplayer options abound, as you might imagine. As far as online shooters go, unless your name is Halo, Call of Duty, or Gears of War, your unlikely to develop a sustainable gaming community. That said, F.E.A.R. 2 gives it a good go, with a fun and lag-free online experience (at least on Xbox Live, which we used for our review). It’s a good diversion, but the single player campaign is where it’s at for this game. All that is to say, F.E.A.R. 2 is a great choice if you are looking for a little horrific shoot em’ up pick me up for your otherwise dull weekend. Just don’t blame us for any bad dreams that ensue.

Cost: $57 for Xbox 360 | PS3 or $47 on PC