One of the best game series ever. beats crysis, farcry2, and lots more besides, for content and playability, yummy graphics. I just love all that smoke and flying shell cases. puddles of blood to walk through. What more do you need?
I prefer the good story, creepy atmosphere and a great AI. Sure, shooting is fun, but it gets boring if that's all you do. It's the combination of these elements that make F.E.A.R. such a great game. And to be honest, I don't like smoke at all. It blocks my view so I can't see anything. Sure, it's a nice graphic detail, but it does more damage than it does good.
Here's a fan for you. While I'd agree it's definitely not the best series out there, it's still one of the best. This is by far the scariest and creepiest series I've ever played. The Condemned series being a close 2nd. I agree with you Tricorder, it is a good mix of the two genres of games combined into one that make F.E.A.R such a great series. One minute you'll be in an epic firefight with a squad of enemies, the next you have the game paused from being in shock of what you just saw or what just happened.
I'd have to rate the games in the series, from the scariest on top, as this:
F.E.A.R: Perseus Mandate F.E.A.R: 2 Project Origin F.E.A.R: Extraction Point F.E.A.R
F.E.A.R 2 Project Origin is being very close to being the scariest for me. The part of the elementary school level where you're in that hallway with all of the ghosts disappearing and reappearing, and the flickering lights and noises you can hear but you can't see the sources of them. That part is by far the scariest moment in all F.E.A.R games. I've played through that part many times and I still find myself literally crouching in a corner trying to gather my senses.
I do like the weapons in the F.E.A.R games before Project Origin more. There was more variety in them, and a lot more interesting. And whatever happened to the ability to lean for F.E.A.R 2? That was such an incredible letdown, it was such a tactically advantageous feature, it's a shame they removed it. I guess the ability to knock over cover sort of makes up for it though. And the fact of not having to collect Reflex Boosters over again is a nice change.
And F.E.A.R 2 Project Origin's ending is in my top 5 biggest cliffhangers. Rather disturbing though.
I played the first FEAR on the 360 and haven't been all that interested since then. It wasn't that bad but I've played better. For scare factor, Condemned: Criminal Origins freaked me out. I sent that game back to Gamefly when I got to the part where the damn mannequins started coming after you. I hate things that sneak up behind you, especially knowing I might have walked right past it and it did nothing. FEAR is just full of jump moments. But I'm none too big on horror games. I find that many games that aren't trying to be scary do an effective job at it (Oblivion still freaks me out how something can attack you from out of no where and look freakish - I always creep into the dungeons slowly and still get spooked by something behind me or something I have to switch weapons to attack that I didn't expect). Oblivion is scarier than FEAR to me anyway.