Fear Alma Again

By John Walker on March 22nd, 2008 at 1:56 am.

A Project Origin trailer for you:

Eek, Gametrailers, hold our hands!

Pre-rendered cutscene = spooky good! In-game footage = that looks familiar. But cutscene = eek! But in-game = what’s the deal with that HUD? But cutscene = swings and roundabout and Don’t Look Now! But in-game = corridors and corridors and corridors.

The HUD is troubling me. There’s only so many degrees of separation I can afford before the horror won’t touch me. With that bendy, distorting, fuzzy and messy grid, I may as well have a giant translucent sign in front of my monitor saying, “YOU’RE IN YOUR ROOM AT YOUR COMPUTER IN YOUR HOUSE, AND NOT IN THIS FICTIONAL WORLD AT ALL.” But we shall see.

In other news, I’m now completely happy with the name. It’s semiotic value has now taken on, “FEAR 2″ for me entirely, and you know what, it’s not so sucky at all.

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34 Comments »

  1. Larington says:

    The original fear didn’t quite work for me in a way, because I could tell by the changes in the music that a ‘spooky’ scene is coming and as a result I just don’t feel scared by it at all. Pity really. Other than that game wasn’t bad.

  2. Jae Armstrong says:

    Poor Alma. She just wants to be loved. :(

  3. johnnyboy says:

    Hmm… didn’t we see this video in an earlier post? Sometime two weeks ago? Still… I am looking forward to it. Looks like a good improvement on the original, and I’m always up for a good scare.

    BTW… first time commenting here, have been reading for a while. love the site guys!

  4. ryan in exile says:

    thought you’d never ask

  5. lungfish says:

    contrary to your opinion i like the visor-esque hud, reminds me of the metroid prime games, by far the best console fps, and a method passably imitated by Republic Commando.

  6. roBurky says:

    I think you already posted this trailer.
    http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/?p=1327

  7. Jim Rossignol says:

    Man, week of the double postings :(

  8. John Walker says:

    Oops. Um. Oh, this is because it’s the English language version!

    All on purpose. Business as usual.

  9. KindredPhantom says:

    I just hope they balance the weapons when it comes to the multiplayer.

  10. Alex says:

    It would be nice if they made this one, you know, actually scary.

  11. Larington says:

    Problem is that often times big movies aren’t scary either (Even though their supposed to be), the big mistake is assuming that a shock tactic like “Suddenly a shutter opens, but its alright” doesn’t set the mood for the film, it just pisses off all the viewers who feel like they are being manipulated rather than entertained. If I remember rightly FEAR often used the same tactic, one which has quite frankly been abused to the point of making it a cliche.

  12. Masked Dave says:

    It scared me.

    Anyway, the HUD just makes it look like you’re wearing a big sci-fi helmet that would provide you with such a HUD.

    Also, for some reason I have a strange feeling that the corridor trudging is just the start of the game. Begins business as usual. But then something, some twist, *happens* and the game will change.

    Probably just wishful thinking though.

  13. fluffy bunny says:

    FEAR was scary at times (remember turning around to climb a ladder, and…). But really, I didn’t play it for the scares, but the excellent combat. The core gameplay was really well designed, and though the environments were often a bit boring, visually, they were very well done from a gameplay point of view.

  14. Captain Bland says:

    It’s slightly saddening that “(remember turning around to climb a ladder, and…). ” that scene is the only one to be fondly remembered (http://www.eurogamer.net/tv_video.php?playlist_id=7832) . Personally i found the game pretty scary, especially the ending level, which reduced my to a jumpy snapping mess both times i played it. The Invisible Assassin things were also incredibly effective the first few times they were deployed against you.

    Wierdly i think some unintentional elements of design helped to make it creepy for me. The slightly odd collision detection which lead to a slight lag between touching an object and the noise being made often made me jump unexpectedly. And for all the complaining about samey industrial warehouses and plush offices the environments all looking similar made for an unpredictable second playthrough, where i could not be sure whether a remembered event was going to happen or not.

  15. Tom says:

    Sadly the origonal did nothing for me and i was really looking forward to it (apart from the ladder scene – made me jump). For a game that was meant to be all about being/getting scared, why was it all about guns and slow mo?
    You wanna be scared play the Penumbra games.
    You wanna do nothing particularily new in an FPS, play FEAR. Origin does look like a marked improvement though. I wait for reviews.

  16. Jochen Scheisse says:

    God, I hate scary little girl horror. This trailer started with the kind of little girl singing with hollow reverb that makes me want to beat the creative brain behind this game. I can’t wait until I will never have to hear from this again, probably 2 weeks after release.

  17. Nick says:

    That hud annoys me already, what the hell is wrong with just having the health and ammo counters? Why must there be a stupid big line all around it? I hope you can turn it off.

  18. Okami says:

    This looks actually pretty intriguing.

    Look, Monolith, here’s the deal: I’ll buy this and in return you’ll make NOLF3, ok?

  19. Cian says:

    Thats a cruel thing to say Okami. I would happily buy any amount of FEARs if it only led to another NOLF game. Contract JACK does not count. Hmm, looking at all those names, what is with Monolith and acronyms?

  20. Dagda says:

    I want to see a sequence-preferably several- where you have to escape a semi open-ended level (at least a glance) with alma actively stalking you. Your cues to her location and direction are minor poltergeist activity- objects falling off shelves and lights flickering. Keep your eyes open and you’ll notice the bloody footsteps moving towards you and the occasional flickers of her form. Miss the early clues and the phenomena ramps up, telling you that she’s close and that your only option is to bolt while praying that you’re fleeing in the right direction.

  21. nakke says:

    Haha, the opening scene kinda had my hopes high, but luckily they quickly revealed it’s just another corridor crawler. Good ol’ F dot E dot A dot R.

  22. Arrrgh says:

    What is this obsession FPS designers of today seem to have with big HUDs that cover up half your screen? If there’s anything that breaks immersion easily, it’s ugly HUDs that make no compromise to actually make you feel like you’re in the shoes of the character you’re playing (which is the point of first person games, but a lot of developers seem to have missed that as well).

  23. Nick says:

    Call of Cthulhu had the best hud ever.

  24. Lh'owon says:

    What is this obsession FPS designers of today seem to have with big HUDs that cover up half your screen? If there’s anything that breaks immersion easily, it’s ugly HUDs that make no compromise to actually make you feel like you’re in the shoes of the character you’re playing (which is the point of first person games, but a lot of developers seem to have missed that as well).

    Indeed. Not so long ago I felt really elated at the apparent shift toward ultra-minimalist HUDs in FPS games. It seems that isn’t going to be the trend :\

  25. Captain Bland says:

    “Call of Cthulhu had the best hud ever.”

    And some fantastic action scenes. but it was really bloody long and the save system frustrated me in a “I am A PC user! How dare you limit my control over everything?” way.

    It seemed to go relatively un-noticed due to Ubisoft’s canny 0 marketing approach, which is a shame.

  26. Jochen Scheisse says:

    Yeah, there were a lot of follow up games planned, with the documents already written and even a number od screenshots, but due to the rather limited success of CoC, they never actually saw the light of day. A shame. I think I read that on the wiki page for the CoC Innsmouth game.

  27. 4-bzz says:

    That would be really cool if, in this sequel, they further improved enemy A.I.. I thought it was really good in F.E.A.R..

  28. dhex says:

    is CoC worth cracking open again? i bought it a while back, got stuck on the first bit and then distracted by some other game. (perhaps the first fear, actually)

  29. Captain Bland says:

    It is a really good game and well worth playing. But it is also one of the only games in my collection I’ve never finished. Some of the sections (the factory springs to mind) are far too long and the pace of the game is quite slow for the most part. Still if you feel like playing it is creepy and atmospheric and has some brilliant action sequences.

  30. minus says:

    Hmm, I think the ‘Fear’ depends on a lot of factors. I play all games in a softly lit room, on a big screen that take up most of my FOV with stero speakers on pretty high.

    Plus, ‘you can only be scared if you have an imagination’. ;)

  31. Stromko says:

    dhex: If you’re really hard up for a game set in a Lovecraft story then it might be worth playing again. That chase near the beginning isn’t the only part where you’re going to be dying over and over again with no clue how to proceed except massive repetition however. Perhaps they made the game intentionally tricky and difficult to capture the essence of ‘futility’ that’s right at home in the theme, but it’s easy to dismiss it as just horribly, terribly designed. I don’t remember the combat being bad at all, just the puzzles and map design. It is also largely composed of the same environments and enemies and drags on way too long. I don’t remember really been scared playing it.

    FEAR didn’t scare me much either, but I actually found the combat to be quite fun and would replay it multiple times. I even played about halfway through without using slo-mo, which really changes things. Since the mid-game ‘scary’ parts would never hurt me I’d just ignore them and rush through. The last tenth of the game was rather more effective as a horror / cinematic game, though not as intriguing of an action game, really didn’t encourage another playthrough for me.

    I think it’s helpful to compare FEAR and Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corner of the Earth because one had supernatural elements that really didn’t effect gameplay, and the other put them front and center and killed you with them without warning or clue how to protect yourself ad nauseum and then some. Whichever one you prefer is kind of a matter of taste, I consider CoC more flawed, but a lot of people didn’t like F.E.A.R. as much as I did.

  32. Stromko says:

    Or perhaps more succinctly, FEAR relies on the same core combat skills from start to finish, whereas CoC: DCotE repeatedly stopped the player dead, literally, and required them to discover a completely different technique over several or dozens of deaths in order to beat a contrived challenge. It was more of an FPS puzzler, and not in the empowering ‘Portal’ way, more like the Medal of Honor series but moreso.