I recently downloaded the F.E.A.R Multiplayer Beta from Fileplanet. F.E.A.R. stands for First Encounter Assault Recon and was one of the big games at this year's E3 expo, and after seeing some of the screenshots I had quite high expectations for this game. These are screenshots from the E3 stuff: After registering for the Beta and installing it I was looking forward to what lay ahead, but I was utterly dissapointed. The graphics are nothing like the above in the actual MP beta. I don't understand why this is, if they've used a shoddy Beta version of the engine or something because its just awful. I had the graphical settings on maximum but it still didn't look like it. The Multiplayer experience itself is fairly enjoyable if not cliché'd. The two modes available in the beta are Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch, and I am unsure if there are more modes in the full game or not. The beta comes with three maps; Construction, Office and Docks. The map shown in my screenshots here is the Office map. Construction is by far the worst map out of the lot. It's some kind of skyscraper under construction so there's just MDF boards and tape everywhere. Think the levels that John McLaine was hiding in on Die Hard one at the start, it looks like that. Office is a reasonable map and docks has nothing to do with docks at all. Its just some kind of small warehouse connected by some corridors. Counterstrike Source's de_port puts this to shame. Again the cliché returns with a vengeance with the weapon types. An interesting, if not unimaginative selection includes; dual pistols, a futuristic looking MP5 with reflex scope, shotgun, assault rifle, nailgun (which is my personal favourite), semi auto sniper rifle/assault rifle and the "Battle Cannon" which as far as I know is the rocket launcher I think. The effects of these weapons aren't too great either. The zoom function doesn't bring up a backsight or iron sights, instead it just zooms down the barrell of the rifle like BF1942. Anyway enough talk...more photos: There are however a few interesting twists to this very standard multiplayer experience. One is the "Slo-mo" mode, where a player picks up the Slo-mo module and glows up purple so they can be identified. The enemy can also see an avatar showing their position on their HUD, so the enemy carring the slo-mo device can be found quite easily. It takes some time for the Slo-mo module to charge up before the ability can be used, and then the default key Ctrl is used to activate it. Basically it is bullet time for multiplayer, which actually works fairly well. Like Max Payne the player who activates the "Slo-mo" or Bullet time if you will, moves slightly faster than everyone else so has a slight advantage over the other players. The textures improve slightly during Slo-mo, as if you have used the filter "Sharpen" in Photoshop a few times on the game. Rifle effects are much cooler in slo-mo mode, as are grenades and voices. You also get a distinct red hue surrounding the screen while you are in Slo-mo mode. Another quite cool feature which I think more games should adopt is having the player name displayed on the players model. In F.E.A.R your name is displayed on the kevlar armour on the back of your player, above the backpack. Another quite nifty inclusion in this game is that when you go to type something, or indeed you go to the main menu, your player rests his rifle on his shoulder with one arm, and puts his hand to his ear with the other, as if he is listening to his in-ear radio headset. Its quite a cool feature, showing if someone is actively a threat, or afk or something. It makes no difference in servers usually because they will kill you despite you pretty much having your hands in the air and are no threat. Despite having "Always Run" turned on, you still feel like your character is walking in this game, or Powerwalking if you will. One more quite nifty feature is that the enemy is always the terrorists, like in America's Army. Your model is always the F.E.A.R team, and the enemy always appear to be the terrorists, which I always think is good feature in games. The sounds in this game are appaling, the sound effects are just dire. I bought an Audigy 2 and Logitec Z-5300 for a reason. The only game that has really used my sound setup is Call of Duty, and to a lesser extent Half Life 2, and its sound really does blow me away. Its just intense, crisp, fully directional and an assault on the senses. The sound engine is diabolical in this game, even with sound effects turned up to "Maximum" there seems to be no way to enable Hardware or EAX 3 support, which I am utterly dissapointed about. While in battle, the game sounds as if you are playing it in a vat of slightly warmed custard. Lastly, if they call this "destructible scenery", someone needs to be fired. If someone is going to include this in a game, at least make it work properly, or don't include it at all. If you fire at a wall, naturally pieces of the wall are removed. However, its always the same shaped piece of wall every time, despite what weapon hits it, or what explosive shatters it. Every time the same damage to the wall is done. Either the smaller holes as shown to the left of the picture below, or the larger hole on the right. There is very little variation that I can see. It may not be exactly the same but its damn similar. The glass effects are quite crap too. When you shoot it, it just all shatters and the entire pane dissapears leaving nothing. Grenades are very cumbersome to use, not going a great distance when thrown, and if you are crouched and trying to throw it through the gap where the glass used to be, it always bounces off the railing above it and hits you instead. From these screenshots you could be forgiven for thinking that I am running it at 1024x768 at Medium texture quality and no AntiAliasing. However you are wrong. I am running it at the maximum the game supports and it makes very little visual difference. With 4x AA you expect the game to look as smooth as a baby's bottom, but unfortunatley this isn't the case. I had to scale down the screenshots because they were taken at 1600x1200 but you can still see that the textures are rough around the edges, even with 4x AA on. I originally didn't put on soft shadows because it "decrease performance severely" but it really has little visual difference when it is actually turned on or not. Shadows are reasonably good in this game though. In Conclusion... The graphics seem to somehow not look anything like the E3 screenshots. I don't know if this is just my computer but you expect it to look a bit different when you increase the quality of textures, shadows and increase the resolution. The gameplay itself is quite slow moving and cumbersome, with a tired mode of play that almost every game in history has. The only interesting point is the Slo-mo, but I would imagine this to become uninteresting quite quickly, loosing its original wow factor that it once had. The sound is terrible and the games effects are not that inspiring to say the least. A tired mode of play and set of weapons make this an average Multiplayer experience that I know I won't be buying, and if I did, it wouldn't be played for very long either. Graphics 4/10 Gameplay 5/10 (slo-mo wins it some points back) Sound 2/10 (again slo-mo sounds are fairly cool) Overall I would give this a miss if you were actually thinking of buying this, or were interested in the game. Give the Beta a try and see what you think. Personally I was very unimpressed. One thing to note however that I don't think is in any other FPS excpet for Duke Nukem 3D is that you can actually see your models feet if you look down. Yes thats right! You aren't a floating torso anymore! Kudos to them for putting this in but it still doesn't rescue the game from being average to say the least.
People say I post too much
12th February 2004
Good review. I hadn't heard about this game apart from hype of people saying "I WANT THIS" yet, but now I know it's not that great. I always wonder with all games why they can't get fire or explosions right... as yet I have never seen a game with realistic fire.
Victim of Forgotten HopeForum bystander
26th April 2004
Ex-MøđęRāŧǿr ø₣ Geňęrāł Gāmíňĝ
31st January 2004
Rikupsoni Looks good
Did you even read the thread?? Anway, I must say that the screenshots of the beta you posted look extremely shoddy. Which is a shame, I was quite looking forward to this game....hopefully they will have improved the game graphically when they release it, because those in-game screenshots look really poor.
It does look damned awesome :)
It is damn awesome.
:cheers: Lookin Good! :smokin:
Wow, I expected the graphics to be way better than that. But, I guess you should wait untill the final version is released.
Looks to be nothing impressive in my opinion, but what can I say, I'm bored of FPSs. Looking forward to trying out DoD: S though, because WW2 turns me on.
can i say one thing you said that it looks nothin like the pics at e3 hahahaha do you really think it was gonna look like that lmao. I dont think so.
Play the SinglePlayer demo to see the graphics if you dont wanna pre order f.e.a.r but graphics isn't everything!!!!