Saturday, June 25, 2011

Loosing its way

F.3.A.R spoiler ahead.

I don't know why I am surprised, but much like every other shooter in recent history Day 1 and Monolith had no idea how to end the damn thing. For seven intervals it had done a pretty good job of keeping things interesting. Giant mechs were used as boss fights, there were new enemies introduced that could phase in and out of walls or spawn more soldiers at will. For seven intervals it was an excellent shooter that was quickly washing away the foul taste that Duke had left behind. There was even continuity with the previous game: the hero of the F.E.A.R. 2 showed up to tell Point Man what was going on only to be blown to pieces by Fettel for his trouble, which after being raped by Alma was probably a relief. It had everything going for it right up until the game forgot what is was doing and jumped backward about ten steps.

After a very intense fight to liberate (and then kill) Beckett you are transported to the research facility where Point Man and Fettel were born, raised, tortured, and trained. There are no enemies now, save for one mostly invisible beastie that had been chasing you and off for the whole game. Instead of fighting it out tooth and nail to the climax you end up wandering through the building watching scenes and searching for memories that need to be destroyed. The game finally comes to a conclusion with a boss fight that simply does not feel like the end of a game. I beat him and was surprised when there was nothing else to do, which is never a good sign. This level should have been at the beginning or middle of things. Instead it a non-shooting ending to a shooter, which makes about as much sense as releasing Duke Nukem Forever eleven years late.

God I am getting old. Nothing is as good as it used to be. Be that as it may, Extraction Point had an excellent ending, though apparently neither that nor Perseus Mandate are cannon just because Monolith had nothing to do with them.


  1. This reminds me of an SMBC comic.

    Nothing will ever be as magical as it was when we were so young that everything was magical.

  2. and yet we still play, always looking for lost experiences of youth. Nothing will ever match beating Metroid for the the first time, or finding the wand under a damn tombstone in the first Zelda, or Max Payne dropping into bullet time.

    Maybe it's time to swallow my pride and buy a kinect; there's got to be something new there.