Project Origin Puts F.E.A.R. In Our Eyes

By John Walker on September 8th, 2008 at 7:56 pm.

Horrible gingivitis

First there was the ludicrous nonsense over Sierra vs. Monolith for the rights to make the sequel to F.E.A.R., and the subsequent debacle that took place with Monolith organising a competition for fans to rename their sequel, resulting in Project Origin. Meanwhile Sierra stomped off with the ball, refusing to play nicely with others, and pretended they were making their own sequel which they would call F.E.A.R. 2. What a to-do it all was. Well, Project Origin is to be renamed. Can anyone guess what it will be?

F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin. Oh yes.

A scene in Sierra's offices, yesterday.

IGN reports that this is all thanks to the universal fallout that’s occurred after the collision of the Activision and Blizzard/Sierra planets. FEAR’s developers, Monolith, were bought by Warner Bros. in 2004, but the game was put out in 2005 by Sierra/Vivendi. Sierra owned the name therefore, and so Monolith set about making their own spiritual successor with a different title.

Then came the Activisierriblizzardsion Jeff Goldblum/fly-style merger, and in the resulting chaos a bunch of Vivendi/Sierra games are lost. So in response to this, Warner and Monolith have purchased the F.E.A.R. name, and thus their actually-being-developed sequel will bear the original name, and the half-arsed new name as a subtitle. It’s out, peculiarly specifically, on 10th Feb next year.

The moral of this story? Putting fullstops in your game’s name curses you to a lifetime of circular nonsense. Don’t do it.

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33 Comments »

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  1. Diogo Ribeiro says:

    You might be on to something, John. I’ll try and compile a list of games with fullstops to see if it is true, but I think I remember several which were bullocks.

    I think the trick is to putting fullstops in the subtitle. Look at NOLF2 – awesome :)

  2. Heliocentric says:

    called it! They have disappointed my girlfriend who was looking forward to divergent fear style games.

  3. Calder says:

    F.E.A.R 2 is dead! F.E.A.R 2 is dead! Long live F.E.A.R 2? Wait… what?

    I admit, I shuffled both games under the rug in my mind because of the terribly uninteresting naming debacle. Which one is going to live on here? And which one died?

  4. Pavel says:

    I still wish they would abandon this Fear/Condemned bullshit and start making either AvP 3 or NOLF 3 or something original that ISN’T Fear.

  5. Larington says:

    I must admit, I’m entirely uninterested in Fear 2… Or whatever its supposed to be called. I’d much rather have an AvP3 or NOLF3 (especially) as well.

  6. MetalCircus says:

    I heartily second the NOLF3 comment. NOLF 2 was monoliths finest moment for sure. Bloody good FPS.

  7. Alex says:

    I wish they’d renamed it F.E.A.R.E.R.

  8. Heliocentric says:

    I just got condemed on budget, really liking the fighting mechanics. Maybe fear 2 will have a beat hobo with 2 by 4 button.

  9. Jetsetlemming says:

    Consolized FPS based on the footage they’ve released for it. I’ll wait and see before getting excited.
    FEAR 1 disappointed me.

  10. NeonWraith says:

    So…wait, now console gamers will have the immense joy of having a bunch of repetitive gunfights in bland, unassuming gunfights followed by the occasional moment of Japanese rip off horror? Or will they be shaking it up a little this time by setting it somewhere actually, y’know, interesting?

    Gods, why wont they just make NOLF3? It’d be so much better. In fact, this tempts me to go replay NOLF2 if I can find my copy…

  11. Bhlaab says:

    My suggestion for a new title that I submitted to Monolith back in the day was “No One Lives Forever: More H.A.R.M. Than Good” which I think has a better ring to it than project origin

  12. Mister Yuck says:

    Could someone NeonWraith please tell me what the hell ‘consolized’ is supposed to mean?

  13. The_B says:

    So what do we call the ‘other’ game if it ever comes back in some form or to reference to it in the future? F.E.A.R. 2(1)? The Game Formerly known as FEAR 2? FAILEDFEAR?

    Or just FFS! (Failed FEAR Sequel)

  14. sbs says:

    Alex: Me too… F.E.A.R. H.A.R.D.E.R. Is a close second in my book, though.

  15. Alex says:

    Even though the gameplay was almost completely unrelated, I think dismal Contract J.A.C.K. sealed the NOLF series’ fate. :(

  16. MetalCircus says:

    Fear wasn’t THAT bad. By the way, lets dispense of the cries of rip-off, i mean, this is the video game industry, if we didn’t rip it off from somewhere we’re rehashing cliches.

  17. Saflo says:

    Despite my general lack of interest in FEAR and Project Origin, I thought it was pretty neat that it was going to be that rare sequel without a number or its predecessor’s title anywhere to be found. I know gaming is a commercial art and name recognition is important, but I have had quite enough of these numbered sequels and godforsaken subtitles.

  18. Pace says:

    I wish they’d renamed it F.E.A.R.E.R.

    Very nice, though may I tweak it a bit to F.E.A.R. 2: F.E.A.R.I.E.R.?

  19. malkav11 says:

    NeonWraith, they’ve already had that joy – FEAR was ported to 360 a long time ago, and there was a subsequent bundle of the two expansions under the title “The FEAR Files”. (or something very similar).

    Frankly, I think y’all are crazy for not liking FEAR and Condemned. I grant you they lack the humor of NOLF or Blood, among other classic Monolith titles, but as unfortunately bland as FEAR’s environments are, the gunplay is still unequalled in my experience. And the J-horror stuff worked pretty well for me for quite some time.

    Condemned, meanwhile, while having somewhat repetitive gameplay, is a masterpiece of atmosphere and tension, and has truly excellent levels and pacing. They both fall a little short of true greatness, but they’re still A-grade material.

  20. Erlam says:

    Out of curiousity, how many non-bland or, well, exciting office buildings have you been in? Or crazy, spectacularly neon sewers/alleys?

    I liked F.E.A.R., am interested in the sequel. And the other sequel, I guess.

    Oh, and my vote for name is: Monolith Origins – First Encounter Assault Recon. M.O.F.E.A.R.

  21. Jockie says:

    First Encounter Assault Recon is a rubbish name to be acronymed anyway.

    They should have called it Token Wapanese Action Tentacle or something (yes i was struggling for an amusing way to call the game twat and my brain abandoned me on the final T)

  22. Bill says:

    L.O.A.T.H.I.N.G.

  23. Phil H says:

    I think Bill wins.

    F.E.A.R.’s gunplay was nice, and it had some decent freakout moments, getting to pilot the mecha has me in for the sequel.

  24. suchchoices says:

    Bill does indeed win. Monolith should knock off all the rainbow6vegasN levels, replace clone-men with lizard-men and chuck in some bats.

    edit: and perhaps switch medkits with ether

  25. malkav11 says:

    Well, yeah, offices and sewers are typically pretty boring…that’s why they’re bad choices for settings unless boring is the desired effect.

  26. ohnoabear says:

    Usually, I’d agree that offices and sewers are boring and overdone in FPS, but (I’d like to think) their presence in F.E.A.R. has more to do with the horror elements, which thrive on placing the unexpected or unnatural in places that seem mundane and everyday.

    ..and then giving up and having things jump out at you and things flash on the screen. F.E.A.R.’s horror scenes weren’t very well done, but you can tell some thought did go into most of them. Besides, I can think of worse ways to pad out the time between wonderfully tactile gunfights. Like cutscenes, which thankfully were kept to a bare minimum. I’m all for games that let me ignore their cruddy story if I want to.

  27. NeonWraith says:

    I’m not saying I didn’t like F.E.A.R., as I played through it all and it was ok. I’m just saying that beyond the occasional freak out moments (Some of which, were, admittedly, very good) it was just incredibley repetitive, which, to me, doesn’t necessarily make for a good game.

  28. Bobsy says:

    Ugh. F.E.A.R was a bit of a downer for me. It had two settings: scary and shooty. If it was shooty, you knew there would be some scary coming up. If you were wading through scary, it’s okay! There’s a bit of shooty around the corner to break it up.

    Plus the shooty was a bit naff. Every fight depended on the use of bullet time thanks to psychic super-accurate bastard-soldiers. Plus the melee moves were a bit over-fiddly.

  29. Optimaximal says:

    Plus the shooty was a bit naff. Every fight depended on the use of bullet time thanks to psychic super-accurate bastard-soldiers. Plus the melee moves were a bit over-fiddly.

    Speak for yourself – I was often so engrossed in the shooty bits that I forgot about the slow-mo until the second or third time I died during a set-piece.

    I’m one of the crowd that felt F.E.A.R. would have been so much superior without the convoluted reflex-time which a) made little or no sense in the context of the game itself and b) was badly implemented – why, if the character was such an enigma, would he be given a suit with a HUD that actually tracked his ‘reflex meter’?

  30. dhex says:

    i kinda liked the name project origin. i say kinda because F.E.A.R. is a stupid name and makes “project origin” sound a lot better than it is.

    just calling it “alma” would have been kinda neat. if only we could see the day when games have abstract titles like them fancy european type movies.

  31. Jeff says:

    If you watch the previews for FEAR 2, it looks like some of the game takes place outside in wide-open spaces. So they’ve at least rectified one of the biggest complaints of the original FEAR.

    Plus you get to command a Mech, ala Shogo. (albeit for brief periods of time).

    FEAR was a potentially great game that was marred by critical problems, that have been outlined before. Everything I’ve read about the sequel tells me they’re aware of these problems, and there’s a good chance they’ll be non-existent in the sequel.

  32. malkav11 says:

    Condemned really seemed to be going for the “familiar places made scary” vibe with its school, library, metro station, and house levels. All brilliant. FEAR’s endless generic office building might have been aimed at that, but it could have used a bit more variety. (I still loved it, mind you.)

  33. Bill says:

    Thanks, guys. I guess I should try to post here more often. Kudos to those responsible for this blog, it’s great.

    I had mixed feelings about F.E.A.R. I liked the shooty bits, I liked the creepy bits… but it just became more of the same after a while. Walk on some rooftops, shoot some stuff. Walk through some offices, shoot some stuff. Walk through some labs, shoot some stuff. Some more puzzles/problems or some vehicles would have been a nice change.

    OTOH, complaining that my game character has to walk too much might just mean I’m the laziest man on Earth.