F.E.A.R. Files Xbox 360
Published by: Sierra
Developed by: Day 1 Studios/TimeGate Studios
Release Date: Out Now
Sierra have taken the two F.E.A.R. expansions and puts them together in a standalone package called F.E.A.R. Files. You're getting the Extraction Point expansion and the recently released Perseus Mandate expansion. In addition to the two expansions you also have an Instant Action mode that allows you to play a one-off mission on one of eight maps. You can also play ranked and custom matches over Xbox Live with a good selection of game types.
Extraction Point simply continues from where the original game left off. Essentially the game gives you plenty of opportunity to get involved in shootouts with the excellent AI. The problem with Extraction Point is that you need to have played F.E.A.R. to appreciate what's going on. Essentially the expansion, as the title suggests, is simply about getting to the extraction point. There's no elaborate storyline here as the expansion is simply a means of extending the storyline and experience that you would have had by playing the original game. Of course, if you have played and enjoyed F.E.A.R. then that's certainly no bad thing.
In Perseus Mandate you play as a member of a secondary First Encounter Assault Recon (F.E.A.R.) team that have been brought in to try and acquire more information about Paxton Fettle and the project at Armacham. The events in Perseus Mandate occur at the same time as the events in the latter part of the original game and those in the first expansion, which in some respects is quite interesting as you get to find out various bits and pieces that add to the original game's storyline. In terms of how the game plays however, Perseus Mandate is pretty much identical to the original game. You may be playing as a different character but the overall experience is just the same as you have exactly the same abilities as the character you controlled in the original game and first expansion.
The two expansions vary quite a bit in terms of quality. Whilst Extraction Point was essentially as good as the original F.E.A.R. and holds your attention right from the beginning. Perseus Mandate was not. Perseus Mandate gets off to a slow start. Both expansions are around six hours long. Traipsing through the sewers is actually quite tedious and short of the suspense that F.E.A.R. was known for. If it wasn't for the fact that the AI in Perseus Mandate is impressive (just like it was in F.E.A.R.), in that it uses cover really well and on the harder difficulty levels is very challenging, you would probably lose interest. The game definitely becomes far more engaging in the latter half. Graphically both look a little weak (especially Perseus Mandate) when compared to recent Xbox 360 FPS titles such as Call of Duty 4 and BioShock.
One of the big disappointments with the Xbox 360 version of F.E.A.R. was that it had no subtitles. Given that the Perseus Mandate expansion for the PC was subtitled, we had hoped that F.E.A.R. Files was also going to be subtitled. Sadly this isn't the case and neither of the two expansions in the game is subtitled. You can hold down the Back button to find out what your general objectives are but this in no way compensates for the amount of dialogue you're missing out on, which is a considerable amount. Tutorial information is shown in text. However, the tutorial information in the Perseus Mandate often appears later than it should do.
On the whole F.E.A.R. Files is a good package; it's a lopsided one however. The better half is definitely the Extraction Point expansion that is at least as good as the original F.E.A.R. game. Perseus Mandate is a definite drop in quality for the series and the first half of the game is disappointing and a little on the tedious side. It's also pretty disappointing that neither Extraction Point nor Perseus Mandate are subtitled. Extraction Point's quality and the latter half of Perseus Mandate mean that, all things considered, F.E.A.R. is an interesting and worthwhile package even if it is a little unbalanced in terms of the quality of the two included expansions.