The F.E.A.R. series of 3D shooters with survival horror elements is not old. The original game was published in October 2005. Its intricate plot had lots of features common for the whole genre: there is a military corporation is doing research on creating an army of ideal cloned soldiers controlled through telepathy, a mysterious girl called Alma who is the first person with supernatural abilities and the progenitor of telepathic commanders, one such commander called Paxton Fettel who goes mad and takes over the control of the clones, and a special forces team sent to liquidate him. The nameless protagonist of the game is a member of that team.
You began by knowing fairly little, the plot unfolding as you progressed in the game. It was not the scary supernatural things and even not the sudden twists in the plot that made the point of the game, though. F.E.A.R. offered surprisingly clever opponents. There was no cannon-fodder: the enemies acted together in small groups and covered from your fire anywhere they could. They could even outflank you and attack suddenly from where you didn’t expect. Thus, the game would quickly teach a lesson to an old-school FPS player who had got used to wiping out legions of brainless monsters with a huge gun with endless ammo. In F.E.A.R. you had to be careful and never leave your back open. The game featured slow-motion mode similar to the one in Max Payne that showed the unique speed of the protagonist’s reflexes.
F.E.A.R. was not without drawbacks, though. Particularly, the game was criticized for incomprehensible and unvarying design of its levels. On the other hand, it had good gameplay and high-quality visuals (the developers from Monolith Productions were among the first to implement true 3D water, which looked most impressive in 2005). The game received wide recognition for all its appealing features.
The series was continued by another studio, TimeGate, and the first expansion pack F.E.A.R. Extraction Point was released in October 2006. The nameless Point Man was still the protagonist who had to run from the city destroyed in a nuclear explosion after the chopper with the surviving members of the F.E.A.R. team had crashed. Again he has to face the mad Fettel who can set replica soldiers on him even after death. But this time the hero is aided by Alma who helps him out in many situations. The sequel did not repeat the success of the original game because of a muddled plot and even more uniform-looking levels than in the original.
Despite that, the license-holder Vivendi released one more sequel to the series, developed by TimeGate again, in November 2007. F.E.A.R. Perseus Mandate was less mystical and mostly described events that were happening in parallel to the events of F.E.A.R. and F.E.A.R. Extraction Point. That was a true add-on since it did not add much interest to the series but revealed a few facts concerning the plot of the earlier games.
Monolith Productions kept the license to the game universe, though. Even before they collaborated with Warner Brothers Interactive Entertainment to buy the right to the old name from Vivendi Games that merged with Activision, they had begun to develop a new project in the F.E.A.R. world. Its name was selected on a competitive basis. The name of Project Origin won in the voting held on September 6, 2007. When Monolith got back the right to the title F.E.A.R., the new game acquired its final name of F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin. Its demo version was issued on January 22, 2009, and it was officially released on February 10.