Design and Technologies
The game offers a standard selection of weapons you can find in a common sci-fi shooter. Besides ordinary rifles, guns, shotguns, etc and a portable rocket launcher, it includes hi-tech weapons like the laser rifle or the Type-12, an energy weapon prototype. You will find a total of 11 weapons throughout the game but you can have only up to four weapons with you at any given moment. This looks like a reasonable compromise between the typical walking superman who carries hundreds of kilograms of weapons with ammo and the gun + rifle scheme that is not liked by many gamers. Note also that the lighter the weapon your character holds in his hands, the faster he can run. Besides the 11 carry weapons, you can use four kinds of mines and grenades, one of which is designed specifically for destroying battle machinery. As an additional bonus, on one game level you will be able to control a battle exoskeleton equipped with machine guns and rocket launcher.
The original F.E.A.R. was deservedly criticized for its linear level design and lack of open environments. Alas, F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin has inherited all these drawbacks of its predecessor notwithstanding the developer’s promises. The game’s open environments are small linear stretches of streets whereas the interior design of buildings is often as illogical as to raise our suspicious about whether the designers ever stepped into a real building. On the other hand, the scenes are very detailed with lots of well-designed small objects. And although the game is a multiplatform project, it uses rather high-quality textures.
As opposed to the original F.E.A.R., the enemies don’t look too dangerous. We guess their AI is worse and they now often make mistakes, forgetting to attack at appropriate moments or hide or outflank the hero. We don’t know if it is a developer’s flaw or a deliberate simplification in order to optimize the game for the consoles.
F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin runs on the Lithtech Jupiter Extended engine that was used for the original game and has been revised for the current title. The game doesn’t require DirectX 10 support, but as we already know, the new API has not yet ensured a breakthrough in visual quality. Most of advanced special effects can be implemented with DirectX 9.0c. Interestingly, the game is originally meant for widescreen modes with the TV aspect ratio of 16:9. In fact, the real vertical resolution is only 900 pixels in the 1600x1200 mode, and you can see black margins, 60 pixels wide each, top and bottom of the screen even at a resolution of 1920x1200 pixels.
The game’s visuals and level of detail provoke ambiguous emotions. On one hand, some effects we know from the original game have degenerated. Particularly, you won’t see 3D water surface in Project Origin. On the other hand, the level of detail and the complexity of special effects have obviously increased, and the game has got better by using post-processing effects such as depth of field and film grain.
Now let’s see how this game runs on modern graphics cards from different price categories.