The Origin of Speechless

By Alec Meer on September 16th, 2007 at 7:29 pm.

I’m terribly sorry, but I’m going to be a bit of a bitch now.

If I was Monolith and, as a result of a shouting match with my publisher, I now had to make my F.E.A.R. sequel under an entirely different name, I’d have been very, very glad of the opportunity to ditch the childish F.U.L.L.S.T.O.P.S. and come up with something that didn’t sound like the latest Nickleodeon action cartoon for prepubescent boys with successful spin-off toyline, featuring real kung-fu action.

Monolith have been running the ‘Name Your Fear’ competition for a few months now, asking fans of the “any setting you want, so long as it’s grey corridors” FPS to come up with a title for the next game in the F.E.A.R. universe. It could have worked out really rather well, so I was interested to hear that the results are in. It is….

‘Project Origin.’

Yep, it’s one of those electric videogames, alright. They’ve got it right in as much as no-one’s going to guess at it being anything else with a woefully generic ‘sounds a bit like it might have guns in’ title like that.

Fairly certain of what I’d find, I went and typed ‘Project’ into the search box of ever-useful screenshot/release date repository Gamespress. Guess how many games since the year 2000 include that dead-horse of a word?

69. Not including Project Origin. Divide seven years (364 weeks) by that figure, and the numbers have it that a game with ‘Project’ in its title is released on average every five weeks. Good work, chaps.

I’m reminded of a video interview with Ewan McGregor just after the title of the second Star Wars prequel had been announced. Ewan was cheerfully red carpeting for some other movie, and had no idea what the name was – he even sounded quite excited about finding out. The interviewer stutters out that it’s ‘Attack of the Clones.’ The rest of the video is just 30 seconds of McGregor pissing himself laughing.

Anyway, Project Origin does mean that publisher Vivendi’s own inevitable F.E.A.R. 2 (for it kept the name) will sound a thousand times less ridiculous by contrast. The upcoming expansion pack ‘Perseus Mandate’ doesn’t get off quite so lightly, of course.

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20 Comments »

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  1. Kieron Gillen says:

    That said, clearly, the Cassandra Project was awesome.

  2. Richard says:

    I’d have loved to hear the PR trying to sell ‘Killdozer’.

  3. John Walker says:

    It’s done its job though. Everyone now knows that FEAR 2 is nothing to do with them, which was surely their aim?

  4. Martin Coxall says:

    I feel like using stochastic matrices to produce an infinite number of statistically neutral FPS titles.

    Total Kill Strike Project War: Tactics

    Is probably the closed

  5. John Walker says:

    For RTS: Heroes Of The Total Kingdoms: The Swordstone Legacy Of The Empire

  6. The_B says:

    After “The Evil Days of Luckless John” I fear they’ve already started doing that for adventure games.

  7. LlamaFarmer says:

    Best game name ever: “Gilbert Goodmate and the Mushroom of Phungoria”

  8. Richard says:

    Awful game though.

  9. Richard says:

    Also, the best game name ever is still “Bert Higgins: The Man From HELL.”

  10. Iain says:

    Richard: Amazing, someone *did* sell the Killdozer concept. It’s actually a really shit 1970’s TV film. And I know it’s rubbish, because they kept showing it on Granada on Saturday afternoons just after The A-Team when I was a kid… It’s right up there with Repligator. Except Killdozer might have had a slightly larger budget.

  11. Iain says:

    There should be a ‘ly’ on the end of that amazing, but never mind…

    Anyway, as for “Naming your Fear” I would have submitted “Project Please Lord Not Fucking Bullet Time *Again*”.

  12. SwiftRanger says:

    Euh, slowmo is what the game is all about, no sane person would even be able to complete FEAR or Extraction Point on the higher difficulty levels without bullet time.

    Project Origin does sound ridiculous and Perseus Mandate sounds equally shitty idd. Still, we’ve got two companies (Monolith and Timegate) trying to add something to the FEAR-franchise, they’re both more than capable of doing so. I won’t give a damn about the titles of those games as long they are as good as FEAR and EP (the “slam-the-door-open” stuff should have been in the original game as well :) ).

    And of course, all these sequels/prequels should get rid of the mysteriously spawning flying zombies completely, whether they appear in the dream sequences or not.

  13. Cigol says:

    Is there a link to that Ewan interview? :D

  14. Iain says:

    SwiftRanger: My point was that Bullet Time is not, and never was, as cool a game mechanic as developers think it is. (Only my opinion, obviously)