Far from being a masterpiece, F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin is quite a well-made project and carries on the atmosphere of the two previous titles. Their downside is also here, though. The game has sloppy level design with almost a total lack of open vistas, Enemies’ AI, one of the strongest aspects of the original game, is not as smart as it used to be, unfortunately. In other words, F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin is a good regular first-person shooter with horror elements and a mystical plot. We have no doubt it will be appreciated by people who liked the previous F.E.A.R. titles or who like this genre at large, particularly due to its compelling visuals. The only thing you may find irritating is that the game doesn’t allow you to save at any place you want, which is not typical for a first-person shooter.
The game has modest system requirements. Even inexpensive graphics cards like Radeon HD 4670 and GeForce 9600 GT ensure comfortable speed at maximum settings and 4x MSAA unless you switch into some very high resolution. Our tests show that being comparable to ATI’s solutions in average performance, Nvidia’s products show less fluctuation of performance and thus offer a better reserve of speed for the most complex scenes. It is also clear that modern multi-GPU solutions are redundant for F.E.A.R. 2 because a single GeForce GTX 285 is quite enough for playing the game comfortably at the highest resolution (2560x1600) and with full-screen antialiasing.
Nvidia’s solutions are also superior in the performance-mainstream sector. Although the ATI Radeon HD 4870 1GB is comparable to them in average speed, its bottom speed is close to the permissible minimum of 25fps at 1920x1200. Besides, the reference version of this card is quite noisy, making you look for versions with alternative cooling solutions.
ATI does better in the affordable category where the Radeon HD 4830 is almost as fast as the Nvidia GeForce 9800 GT. You can prefer either of them depending on what games other than F.E.A.R. 2 you are going to play. The modest ATI Radeon HD 4670 will be a good choice for undemanding or economical gamers. It copes with the game all right at 1280x1024.
Like in the previous game reviews, we don’t see any real benefit from installing the terribly expensive Intel Core i7-965 Extreme Edition processor into the system. In every case you can achieve comparable performance with the cheaper and accessible Core i7-920. The CPU’s influence can be indeed noticeable and high in other games, but not in F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin.
Again, Project Origin is not a masterpiece of video games. It is just an attempt to take another look at the events described in the original game. It features improved visuals but is not free from drawbacks. If you like the horror FPS genre, you may like Project Origin even despite the lack of free saving, but people who prefer sci-fi stories perhaps won’t take it seriously.