Free Your Fear! Alma Wade is back. Aeria Games launched a free-to-play version of the popular FEAR franchise: F.E.A.R. Online is available on both their own games portal and on Steam. Worth playing it? Here is our review:
One of the most immersive experiences that we had the opportunity to live in a video game in the last decade came in the form of FEAR, a horrific shooter that pitted us against unnatural forces that we were unable to control. F.E.A.R. Online is to some extent a continuation of that title, although it does come with some interesting design choices and the fact that it’s available only in the online world, which might put some people off.
Unlike the previous FEAR titles that were created by Monolith (at least the first ones), F.E.A.R. Online is a game where you have the opportunity to enter a world where a major monster outbreak has taken place and now the only ones that can stop all of this are you and your friends. Alongside that, you will also deal with the Alma Wade character, which many know as the antagonist in the FEAR series. Just like you would expect, the story in F.E.A.R. Online is not that impressive, but then again this is a multiplayer only game and online gamers are known to not place that much attention on story, instead the gameplay is where the most important stuff resides.
Speaking of it, gameplay in F.E.A.R. Online is focused on shooting and melee fighting alike. You will play against the zombie like enemies as well as the black ops soldiers. There isn’t a good tutorial here, but if you played at least a shooter until now, all you have to do is shoot the enemies and engage in fierce battles. What I think as being a little bad in this regard is the ambient, because if you want to create a horror themed shooter, you make it scary and with less light than you can encounter here. There are multiple maps in F.E.A.R. Online where you play outside and you have way too much light.
That’s maybe the major complaint here, the fact that F.E.A.R. Online doesn’t manage to capture the fearful essence that the previous games made. Since the game uses the FEAR name, we expected something similar but you can’t find that here, instead this is a bland shooter with some neat mechanics, though enough to keep you playing for quite a lot of time. There is a progression system as well as numerous ways to kill your enemies, so you get a lot of content. Some maps might suffer from repetitive design, but that is not a problem if you want to just have some fun online while shooting random strangers.
Also, the gun gameplay has room for optimization, especially if you compare it with previous FEAR titles. The animations are also a little stiff at times, and that hurts the gameplay unfortunately. What we were impressed about is the melee combat, which is rewarding and which does make you feel like in a Rambo movie at times. There are also enough game modes and maps to keep you entertained for a very long time, and the game brings a great value for those that want to have some neat game experiences online for free.
F.E.A.R. Online isn’t like the previous titles when it comes to graphics as well. Despite not being an innovative game from a visual perspective, the title does look decent and it plays well on most devices you are going to install it on. The animations are a little problematic and the character models might not be the best, but rest assured that you will enjoy it nonetheless.
Gone are the scary tunes from the other FEAR games, instead we get a generic soundtrack. The voice acting does have to suffer a little bit from some uninspired choices, but overall we found it decent enough!
F.E.A.R. Online does manage to bring an interesting experience for online gamers, but FEAR fans will be disappointed that they don’t find some elements from the games they once loved. Despite that, if you are looking for a decent online shooter with lots of levels, progression system, a good player base and even some potential as skill-based FPS in the PvP modes, this is an interesting title to look at. From our experience, it’s well worth to play, although the recommended option is in short bursts!
Our rating: 7/10
Check F.E.A.R. Online out at the official site.