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

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F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin
FEAR 2 Project Origin Game Cover.jpg
Developer(s)Monolith Productions
Publisher(s)Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Composer(s)Nathan Grigg
SeriesF.E.A.R.
EngineLithTech Jupiter EX
Platform(s)
Release
Genre(s)First-person shooter, survival horror
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer

F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin is a first-person shooter survival horror video game, developed by Monolith Productions and published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. It is the sequel to F.E.A.R. and is the second game in the F.E.A.R. series. It was released on February 10, 2009, and was made available on Steam two days later.[2] An expansion, F.E.A.R. 2: Reborn, was released on September 3 the same year. On November 15, 2021, Microsoft announced that in celebration of 20 years of Xbox, they would be adding over 70 more games to their backwards compatibility program.[3] Included in these games was the entirety of the F.E.A.R. franchise, which are now available to be purchased and played on Microsoft's Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S Consoles.

Gameplay[edit]

The HUD as seen in this screenshot has been changed from the first FEAR game. Here, Michael Becket examines the map of the Auburn District.

The F.E.A.R. 2 gameplay maintains the core elements from the original, including slo-mo combat, martial arts attacks, and enhanced A.I. The A.I. from the original F.E.A.R. was known for its exploitation of the environments, taking cover behind pillars and knocking down tables, and many of these behaviors have been retained for the sequel. New features in the game include iron sight aiming, creating cover by pushing objects, and the ability to use mechs during vehicle segments. The ability to lean and walk have been removed. Project Origin features a more diverse cast of enemies, as well as more encounters with supernatural enemies.

F.E.A.R. 2 does not allow the player to manually save and features a single save slot that relies on a checkpoint system. However, the game allows the player to replay any level from the main menu after first completing that level.

Background[edit]

The sequel to F.E.A.R. continues the suspense story of the undead psychic Alma Wade, whose rage against those who wronged her causes an escalating paranormal crisis that threatens to devour and replace reality with her own.[4] Instead of playing as the Point Man, the game's protagonist is Michael Becket, a Delta Force operator[5] whose squad is sent in to take Armacham Technology Corporation (ATC) President Genevieve Aristide into protective custody approximately thirty minutes before the ending of F.E.A.R.

Plot[edit]

During the climactic events of F.E.A.R., a Delta Force team codenamed Dark Signal is deployed to take ATC President Aristide into protective custody from her penthouse apartment in Fairport. The squad consists of First Sergeant Cedric Griffin; Sergeant First Class Harold Keegan, Sergeants Redd Jankowski, Manuel Morales, and Michael Becket (the player character), Corporal James Fox, and their communications liaison First Lieutenant Kira Stokes. Upon arrival, the penthouse is attacked by ATC Security's black ops, dispatched by the corporation's board of directors. After saving Aristide, Becket uncovers hints of a project known as "Harbinger", which involves himself and several of his teammates. Aristide claims that Becket and his team are the only way to stop Alma, but before she can elaborate, the Point Man detonates the Origin Facility's reactor. Becket is knocked unconscious in the explosion.

When he recovers, Becket finds himself and the rest of his squad in a hospital deep underground, being operated on by a team of doctors under the direction of Aristide. The hospital comes under attack by ATC clean-up crews led by Colonel Vanek, and Becket must fight his way out. While escaping, Becket receives communications over his radio from a man who calls himself "Snake Fist". After escaping the hospital and confronting the commander of the ATC forces, Becket fights his way to the surface, where he encounters the reactivated clones of Replica troops. As he moves to the surface, Becket is repeatedly assaulted in hand-to-hand combat by Alma, who (according to Snake Fist) is trying to "absorb" Becket, drawn by the psychic signal he now emits after being psychically altered in an "attunement chamber" that Aristide tricked him into entering.

After reaching the surface, Becket regroups with what is left of his team, many of whom have been systematically killed by Alma. With only Becket, Stokes, Morales, and Keegan still alive, the remaining members move to nearby Wade Elementary, a school now controlled by ATC Security, where Snake Fist and Aristide are hiding. Becket discovers that the basement of the school is another ATC research facility, for a project known as "Paragon". Here, Becket discovers that Project Harbinger was an attempt to create more psychic commanders similar to Paxton Fettel, a major antagonist from the original game, and that Becket and Keegan were the most promising subjects. It is during a confrontation with Alma in the school that she shows a sudden reaction to Beckett, creating a third "form" of a naked and sexually provocative Alma.

In the basement facility, Becket kills Colonel Vanek and finds Snake Fist. Snake Fist reveals himself as Terry Halford, a researcher for ATC, and explains that the only way to defeat Alma is to travel to an Armacham facility inside a nuclear reactor on nearby Still Island, which houses a device that can amplify psychic power. With this device, Becket can possibly defeat Alma with his own psychic abilities. As Becket and Halford prepare to head back to the surface, Halford is killed by a Replica assassin.

En route to Still Island, Becket's squad is ambushed by Replica troops, and Sergeant Keegan wanders off in a daze. Becket follows and tries to recover Keegan, but is instead delayed by Replica forces. After fighting off both the enemy soldiers and more of Alma's assaults, he eventually reunites with the remainder of the squad underneath Still Island and heads for the ATC facility. Becket enters the psychic amplifier, and as Stokes prepares to power up the machine, she is killed by Genevieve Aristide. Aristide explains that instead of destroying Alma, she plans to seal Becket and Alma inside the device together, so Aristide can use Alma as leverage against ATC.

Alma attacks again, and Aristide seals Becket and Alma together. Alma approaches Becket, and he is sent into another hallucination, where he fights off apparitions of a maddened Sergeant Keegan. While trying to reactivate the amplifier, Becket sees images of Alma, who appears to be raping him in the real world. Finally, after reactivating the last switch, Becket escapes the hallucination to find himself sealed inside the device. The device opens, and Becket sees Alma standing in the midst of a blasted landscape. Alma is now pregnant with Becket's child, and the game ends as she walks up to Becket and places his hand onto her stomach, and the voice of a child saying 'Mommy' can be distinctly heard.

Development[edit]

The sequel remains in the original's existing universe, retaining the original storyline and characters, although it does not recognize Extraction Point or Perseus Mandate.[6] Monolith Productions enlisted a new publisher for the game, since they were purchased by Warner Brothers Interactive Entertainment in 2004 while development of F.E.A.R. was under way, after which Vivendi Universal was dropped as publisher.[7] F.E.A.R. 2 was released on February 10, 2009, in North America and Europe.[8]

The game was shown for the first time at the 2007 E3 Expo with an Xbox 360 demo. The demo footage showcased the game's revamped engine, and reveals glimpses of the plot, starting with a cutscene of Michael undergoing surgery overseen by Genevieve, with unexplained complications, later revealed to be linked with Alma.[9]

In an interview with John Mulkey, lead designer for F.E.A.R. 2 at that point, he described the game as being "a more open environment" further noting that "a destroyed city opens up an incredible amount of opportunities". Also, Mulkey mentioned that the enemies would be much more varied than in the previous game.[5]

Another notable event happened in December 2008 when thirty five Project Origin screenshots were released. One of them featured a man wearing a "Shogo 2" T-shirt. This caused an uproar of fan and industry speculation about a potential sequel to the old Shogo game being in production (even though other Shogo Easter eggs had appeared in other games including the original F.E.A.R.).[10][11]

Name Your Fear[edit]

Monolith Productions announced a contest called "Name Your Fear" in June 2007, to find a new name for the sequel.[12] Contestants had until June 22 to submit a name, after which three finalists would be chosen with fans being able to choose their favorite. The three finalists would have their likeness featured in the game.[12] A special website was created for this contest.

On August 3, voting was opened to the public for the three naming finalists, which were Dead Echo, Project Origin and Dark Signal. Voting closed on August 10. Later in September 6, the winner was announced as Project Origin. On the game's official website the reasons for Project Origin being chosen were explained:

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.

Monolith Productions and Warner Bros. Interactive purchased the F.E.A.R. name from Activision Blizzard on September 8, 2008. The moniker Project Origin remains, though used as a subtitle.[13]

Release[edit]

Monolith and Warner Bros. released an exclusive digital comic on GameTrailers in October 2008.[14] The comic takes place after the helicopter crash at the ending of F.E.A.R. Jin is shown alive but Point-man and Holiday are absent, and some bloody footprints lead away from the crash. Jin sees that Bremmer is still alive only to watch his flesh melt off. Jin looks out the window to see the younger form of Alma smiling and her eyes glowing red.

The limited edition version of F.E.A.R. 2 also included the original F.E.A.R., exclusive artwork and downloadable skins, all encased in a tin retail box.[15] The game was also available by Steam. People who pre-ordered the game at Gamestop were able to receive an exclusive book which detailed the entire history of the F.E.A.R. storyline.

Expansion[edit]

The PC cover art, depicting the protagonist Foxtrot 813 sneaking from Armacham soldiers.

A downloadable content expansion to F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin was released by Monolith on September 3, 2009, titled F.E.A.R. 2: Reborn. The expansion consists of four new levels and follows a Replica by the name of Foxtrot 813 to find Paxton Fettel and free his spirit from the psychic amplifier.[16] It was released for Xbox 360, PC, and PlayStation 3, and was available for purchase in their respective marketplaces (Xbox Live Marketplace, Steam, and PlayStation Network Store).[17][18]

Plot[edit]

Sometime after the destruction of the Origin Facility, a Replica soldier designated as Foxtrot 813 is deployed via orbital drop in his Elite Powered Armored unit to defend a forward command post from an assault by the Armacham Security Forces. Dropped at a unfinished building adjacent to where the command post is located, Foxtrot 813 fights his way through enemy forces to the designated rally point but is forced to leave his Elite Powered Armored unit behind so he can regroup with the rest of Foxtrot. After reuniting with Foxtrot Company, Foxtrot 813 and the other Replicas fight their way to Command Post Sigma.

Once there, the Replica soldiers begin to experience radio interference while attempting to contact command. Foxtrot Leader then orders Foxtrot 813 to man the unit's radio equipment to find and repair the source of the interference which turns out to be the crater left by the Origin Facility's explosion. While attempting to playback the signal, Foxtrot 813 is suddenly pulled into hallucination and is attacked by unknown assailants.

While attempting to contact command, Foxtrot 813 is instead answered by Paxton Fettel, the deceased commander of the Replica forces who grants the Replica enhanced reflexes and informs him that he is not like the others. Soon regaining control of his senses, Foxtrot 813 discovers that the unknown assailants were actually members of Foxtrot Company and is soon attacked by other Replicas who discovers the bodies. Foxtrot 813 is then branded as a traitor and is hunted by his former allies.

Under Fettel's influence, Foxtrot 813 evades the Replica forces hunting him while being directed towards the Origin Facility crater. Foxtrot 813 soon comes under attack by Alma Wade who apparently doesn't want Fettel's intentions with the Replica to be fulfilled. Managing to fight his way through his a museum and later a service tunnel while on route towards the crater, Foxtrot 813 finally arrives at the ruins of the facility.

There he is confronted by Alma, who in a last ditch effort attempts to kill Foxtrot 813 to prevent him from reaching Fettel's cell where he awaits him. Upon defeating Alma and reaching Fettel's cell, it is revealed upon taking off his helmet that Foxtrot 813 is in fact a perfect clone of Fettel and that the later needed his body in order to be resurrected. Taking over Foxtrot 813's body and mind for himself, Fettel plan is complete and he declares himself reborn.

Development[edit]

Associate producer Lucas Myers of Monolith is quoted as saying: "One of the main goals the team set out to achieve with F.E.A.R. 2: Reborn was to come up with new and interesting environments that would expand on what we put into the original game. We went to great pains to offer our fans as much diversity as possible within the new campaign. As the player experiences the story of Replica Foxtrot 813, they will get to transition into different spaces within any given mission to move the story forward. Ultimately, we wanted to show off environments that kept our audience interested by providing more open and vertical spaces than we had achieved in the past".[19]

Reception[edit]

The expansion received average reviews. It holds an average of 57/100 on aggregate web site Metacritic.[20] Critics and viewers compare it same as Project Origin, but lack of scares.

Reception[edit]

F.E.A.R. 2 received mostly positive reviews. Aggregating review websites GameRankings and Metacritic gave the PlayStation 3 version 79.19% and 79/100,[29][21] the PC version 77.86% and 79/100[30][22] and the Xbox 360 version 77.74% and 77/100.[31][23] Eurogamer awarded the game 5/10. While agreeing that it was a rock solid shooter, it claimed the lasting impression is "one of a woeful lack of inspiration". Among its criticisms were uninspired level design and poor execution in the developers' attempt to vary gameplay with the addition of mech armour.[26] GamePro magazine rated the game with a 4/5, praising the slo-mo effect and gameplay, but criticized the opponent A.I., level designs, and the game ending on a flat note.[27] Resolution Magazine awarded the game a 76%. They praised the game's polish, and described it as enjoyable, despite its lack of creativity.[28]

In 2010, UGO included the game in the article The 11 Weirdest Game Endings.[32]

Sales[edit]

On its release, F.E.A.R. 2 debuted at number two on both the United States retail PC charts, and on the UK all formats charts.[33][34][35] It was also the most queued title on GameFly.[36]

Sequel[edit]

A sequel, F.E.A.R. 3, was released in June 2011 for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. The game follows Alma and her baby's birth. The "Point Man" makes a return from the first game, as well as Paxton Fettel. F.E.A.R. 3 features a script co-written by Steve Niles and in-game cinematics directed by filmmaker John Carpenter.[37][38][39][40][41]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Chalk, Andy (February 5, 2009). "F.E.A.R. 2 Developer: Alma Will Be "More Intimate"". The Escapist. Retrieved January 30, 2019.
  2. ^ "F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin on Steam". Steam.
  3. ^ "Celebrate 20 years of Xbox with over 70 new Backward Compatible Games". Xbox Wire. Retrieved 2021-12-15.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  4. ^ Shea, Cam (April 22, 2008). "Project Origin Interview". IGN AU. Archived from the original on April 27, 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-26.
  5. ^ a b Porter, Will (December 14, 2007). "Project Origin Preview". Computer and Video Games. Retrieved 2008-11-26.
  6. ^ "Project Origin Forums". Archived from the original on July 15, 2011. Retrieved March 23, 2008.
  7. ^ Surette, Tim (February 21, 2006). "Monolith scaring up new F.E.A.R.s". GameSpot. Archived from the original on March 2, 2007. Retrieved October 2, 2006.
  8. ^ "Games Tracker". Retrieved February 16, 2009.
  9. ^ Park, Andrew (2007-07-11). "E3 '07: F.E.A.R. 2 (working title) Impressions - First Look". GameSpot. Archived from the original on 2012-02-17. Retrieved 2008-11-26.
  10. ^ "Will Shogo 2 be Monolith Productions' next project?". NGN. Archived from the original on 2009-02-14. Retrieved 2009-02-27.
  11. ^ Callaham, John (December 22, 2008). "Flood of new F.E.A.R. 2 screenshots come forth; Shogo 2 hint?". Big Download. Retrieved 2009-02-27.
  12. ^ a b "A Sequel to F.E.A.R." IGN. June 4, 2007. Retrieved 2008-11-26.
  13. ^ Ocampo, Jason (2008-09-08). "Project Origin is Now F.E.A.R. 2". IGN. Archived from the original on September 10, 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-08.
  14. ^ "F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin Exclusive DC Digital Comic". Game Trailers. 2008-10-31. Retrieved 2009-03-05.
  15. ^ "F.E.A.R 2: Project Origin Limited Edition". Platekompaniet.
  16. ^ "F.E.A.R. 2 Reborn Interview". IGN. Archived from the original on 2011-08-13.
  17. ^ "F.E.A.R. 2: Reborn". Archived from the original on September 8, 2009.
  18. ^ "New F.E.A.R.2: Reborn DLC / F.E.A.R.2: Project Origin on Sale". Store.steampowered.com.
  19. ^ IGN
  20. ^ "F.E.A.R. 2: Reborn". Metacritic.
  21. ^ a b "F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin (PlayStation 3) reviews". Metacritic. 2011-06-28. Retrieved 2011-06-28.
  22. ^ a b "F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin (PC) reviews at". Metacritic. 2011-06-28. Retrieved 2011-06-28.
  23. ^ a b "F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin (Xbox 360) reviews at". Metacritic. 2011-06-28. Retrieved 2011-06-28.
  24. ^ "F.E.A.R. 2 Project Origin IGN reviews". IGN. Retrieved February 20, 2009.
  25. ^ "F.E.A.R. 2 Project Origin Gamespot Reviews". GameSpot. Retrieved February 20, 2009.
  26. ^ a b "F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin Review • Page 2 • Eurogamer.net". Eurogamer.net. 10 February 2009.
  27. ^ a b "GamePro". Bob Huseby. March 2009: 78. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  28. ^ a b "Resolution-magazine.co.uk". Archived from the original on 2012-02-23. Retrieved 2009-03-06.
  29. ^ "F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin (PlayStation 3) reviews". GameRankings. 2011-06-28. Retrieved 2011-06-28.
  30. ^ "F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin (PC) reviews at". GameRankings. 2011-06-28. Retrieved 2011-06-28.
  31. ^ "F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin (Xbox 360) reviews at". GameRankings. 2011-06-28. Retrieved 2011-06-28.
  32. ^ K. Thor Jensen. "The 11 Weirdest Game Endings". UGO.com.
  33. ^ Nick Breckon. "Weekly PC Sales: F.E.A.R. 2 Debuts". Shacknews.
  34. ^ Jem Alexander. "FEAR 2 debuts at #2 in UK charts". Joystiq.com.
  35. ^ Rob Crossley. "FEAR 2 Jumps to Second in the UK Charts". Edge-online.com. Archived from the original on 2011-08-28. Retrieved 2011-10-03.
  36. ^ "Gamefly Charts: F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin On Top". Gamerdeals.net. Archived from the original on 2009-04-14. Retrieved 2010-01-06.
  37. ^ "F3AR revealed.Yes, it's named F3AR, so original". NeoGAF.
  38. ^ "Niubie".
  39. ^ Tom Pakinkis. "F.E.A.R 3 revealed". Computerandvideogames.com.
  40. ^ Tom Ivan. "FEAR 3 Announced". Edge-online.com. Archived from the original on 2011-08-29. Retrieved 2011-10-03.
  41. ^ "FEAR 3 - Announcement Trailer - IGN Video". IGN.