F.E.A.R. 2 Design Trailer

By Jim Rossignol on November 18th, 2008 at 10:38 am.


Monolith have released a new F.E.A.R. 2 trailer with primary art lead Dave Matthews talking about the change in level design to more open scenarios. He chats about the team’s research process and the way that Alma manifests herself in the design of the new title. There’s also a bunch of pacey-lookin’ in gaming shooting. An odd one, as shooters go, because I know so many folks who swear it’s a masterpiece, and – although I enjoyed it – this was just another shooter for me, and not a game that crawled into my personal history books. Still, I’m sure I’ll make time to play this sequel.

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43 Comments »

  1. Bobsy says:

    Dave Matthews should start a band.

  2. KindredPhantom says:

    Fear was liked a lot because of it’s AI, it trying to be horror as well as an FPS.
    I enjoyed fear and it’s unofficial expansions despite the corridor shooting and other criticism given to it.

  3. Man Raised By Puffins says:

    They’ve also put out a story trailer which sheds a little light on who the player character is, although I’ve not really been following the game so this is probably already common knowledge.

  4. Bobsy says:

    To be honest I never thought too much of FEAR. It was over-difficult to the point where you had to use bullet-time ALL the time when fighting. The scary bits were pretty basic make-you-jump stuff.

    It also had only two gears which it switched between: shooty bits and scary bits. The two never really came into contact with each other and essentially led seperate lives until the end bit where oh-so-spooky ghosts start drifting towards you until you shoot them.

    That said, as a shooter it was more than competant, and I’m happy to give any sequel a glance.

  5. Sartoris says:

    @Bobsy:

    Yeah, I had a similar experience with FEAR. Shott-scary bit-shoot-scary bit-shoot- etc. It was predictable, and the scary bits were just scenes that made you jump in your seat. But I guess it’s much more demanding to create a scary atmosphere devoid of in-your-face horror, instead of just throwing blood at the player.

  6. cullnean says:

    i just liked the free multiplayer!

  7. Bobsy says:

    As scary bits go I found my “favourite” was using a ladder which took advantage of the short animation where you swung your pov around to show Alma now standing at the top of the ladder where you just were.

    Also, being smacked in the face by a plank by Paxton Fettle.

  8. Heliocentric says:

    Loved how they told you what they were doing. You grew to rely on the knowledge. Then the atc guys didn’t but by then you were trained in the combat. Hated the ammo (swap guns to get bonus ammo) and health (tiny regen and medkits) setup which punished you overly for mistakes but if you over performed the next areas could be a breeze.

    Max payne might have done bullet time first but this was the first fps to nail it. The sound was great, but the game was roughly twice the length it should have been for its content.

    If you reloaded a random save file 80% chance you wouldn’t know where you were in the game from any other office/warehouse. I hope they give the game the attention it needs to go from feeling like levels to an environment.

  9. Chis says:

    @Bobsy
    “to use bullet-time ALL the time when fighting”

    I honestly don’t mean to brag, but I found it quite possible to play FEAR and both its expansion packs on the hardest mode, without using the bullet-time at all (perhaps once or twice… but that was it). Looking forward to playing the sequel, other than Stalker, FEAR is the only other shooter I’ve played which has truly satisfying combat.

  10. Bobsy says:

    Clearly you’re some kind of robot, Chis.

  11. Digit says:

    I really enjoyed FEAR, but something that always annoys me is that they talk about keeping you on the edge of your seat and so on, and then they show you some set-pieces they’ve done which means when I get to that point in the game, I am expecting it. Doom 3 was good in this way, since they actually changed them, and IIRC so did the FEAR demo to retail, so it may not be something specifically with Monolith, but as a broad, sweeping gesture, I reject their reality and substitute my own.

  12. Skurmedel says:

    I think F.E.A.R was great, and I don’t mind some scripted stuff in this day and age when everything is supposed to be semi-dynamic.

  13. Dante says:

    It’s not hard to see why FEAR divided so many people, they spent a lot of time and effort crafting a near perfect base gunfight mechanic… and absolutely no time doing anything else.

    The story is impossibly bad, the environments the most basic and dull I’ve ever seen as a game and the enemies are about as varied as [insert something unvaried here]

  14. Paul Moloney says:

    I scoffed at the game’s identikit corridors initially, but it did grow on me; if you just focus on the combat itself, that is terrific. I ended up buying the Platimum Collection but haven’t played past the original game yet.

    P.

  15. Mman says:

    “The story is impossibly bad”

    FEAR’s story isn’t that impressive, but it’s nowhere near “impossibly bad”; by FPS standards (yes, low) it’s pretty much average.

    This game wasn’t on my radar at first, but something about the name change to FEAR 2 instantly made it much more anticipated for me. The original FEAR with some variety in its environments would be potential FPS of the year material for me in itself (assuming episode 3 doesn’t come along ;) ), let alone with all aspects improved and more variety in other areas as well.

  16. Mogs says:

    Not sure why an art lead is talking about level design, but ho hum.

    Can’t be arsed to watch the video, but I certainly hope the level design (and art design) is better in this game – the bland and boring levels were the biggest weakness of FEAR.

  17. devlocke says:

    I started playing FEAR with the hopes that it would in some way be a successor to the NOLF franchise, since it was a new FPS from Monolith. Actually, I’d never had a bad FPS experience from Monolith, with Blood 2 being the worst that they’d put out and that still at least had a decent sense of humor.

    I was so disappointed. I still can’t understand how anyone could have possibly enjoyed FEAR. I suck at video games, and I beat it over the course of three or four days while working a full-time job and taking time out to study.

    It seemed like it had 2 levels. Office building and slum. Neither of which was any fun. The much-vaunted AI was no great shakes, and the only point at which it got difficult was when those crazy invisible things popped up, but there were only two or three in the whole game, if I recall correctly.

    Was it amazingly fun on multiplayer, or had everyone who sings its praises just never played an FPS before? I’ve been listening to people talk about how great it was for years, and I’m always just completely flummoxed as to how anyone could have anything nice to say about it other than ‘Quite pretty, until I got used to the scenery.’

  18. BaconIsGood4You says:

    Anyone else find Alma not at all scary? I try and immerse myself, to place myself in the game world and react as I would realistically react, but I really had trouble getting frightened.

    The problem was that she was never a threat, she’d show up, maybe kill some bad guys, than disappear. Honestly I remember my reaction to one of her “Here I am!” tricks was “Ohh, look how scary you are! Good job Alma!”. The biggest issue was that she’d be right next to you, emphasizing how safe you were around her.

  19. Ian says:

    I only played the FEAR demo so I didn’t have time to realise that Alma never does much to you. But she did make me a bit uneasy in the demo.

    The one that really made me jump was when you go to go down a ladder and as you turn to get onto it she’s suddenly right there.

  20. Paul Moloney says:

    Spoiler alert:

    Personally, younger Alma did give me the shivers, but older Alma scared the bejaysus out of me.

    I did think the game was more frightening – in the spinetingling eerie sense – than Doom 3, which was just an exercise in funny things in costumes jumping out of hidden closets.

    P.

  21. Mman says:

    “or had everyone who sings its praises just never played an FPS before?”

    No, they just enjoyed a game you didn’t. Inconceivable, I know.

  22. devlocke says:

    Not inconceivable, just inexplicable. Hence, my request for clarification. Kind of shitty in tone, looking back at it, though. My bad.

    Really, what was the fun part?

  23. subedii says:

    Child Alma was improperly used and overused, so she ended ended up not being scary as a result. Adult, bloody, angry, insane Alma though, she scared the tar out of me.

    One good note is that the devs have acknowledged that Alma was a bit of a damp squib in the first game, and are promising to make her actually threatening this time around. Hopefully they can pull it off.

    Oh, and count me alongside Chris as seeing this game as not THAT impossibly difficult. There’s few games out there that feel as if they really allow me to revel in the FPS combat, and FEAR was one of them.

  24. Mman says:

    “Really, what was the fun part?”

    Well, if the AI, gun porn and occasional atmospheric moment fails to resonate at all then it’s probably just not a game that appeals to you.

  25. subedii says:

    It’s about as difficult to describe what well balanced gunplay feels like to the player as it is to describe the sensations evoked by a well orchestrated concert. It just feels right.

    How it “feels” is subjective, so it’s not as if everyone has to like it.

  26. Pavel says:

    Hooray for more office spaces.Not.

    Monolith, would you kindy stop making generic shooters with generic design with generic bullet time and return to your roots (Blood, AvP2, Nolf), pretty please? kthxbye

  27. dhex says:

    I was so disappointed. I still can’t understand how anyone could have possibly enjoyed FEAR.

    oddly enough, i’m in the opposite boat. loved fear, but could not get into no one lives forever or its sequel.

  28. Bhazor says:

    So their solution to the criticisms of the originals monochrome is to make everything bright orange.

    Between this and the ludicrous Bloodshot I’m getting serious doubts about the artists working here. Are the original Shogo and NOLF teams still working there? Or did Warner Bros axe the smart n’ clever divison?

  29. El_MUERkO says:

    playing counter-strike and ofp for so long meant i didn’t ‘get’ fear for a long time, slo-mo allowed me to headshot most enemies before they ever became a threat, it was only once i saw a friend charge a room with total disregard for tactics and flying kick the biggest bad guy in the room off a balcony that i started to loosen up and get my gun-fu on :)

    i’m looking forward to this, it’s not a ‘must buy!’ but it’s a definite maybe

  30. Radiant says:

    Apart from the samey level design one of the biggest problems I found with fear [the first one] was that it was overly confusing.
    Equal parts plot and gameplay.
    With the story I felt that the designers were too close to the game and that a lot of what was clear to them was not clear to the player [me... obviously].
    Halo 2-3 suffered with the same thing; they created so much backstory that wasn’t self evident /in the game/ the main story suffered as a result.
    Exposition is one thing but very rarely do you get time to digest the 5 minutes of mumbo jumbo the tinny guys on the radio are telling you.
    It’s worse when they switch the exposition to the floaty voice guy [paxten] because after the second or third time he spouts overly written nonsense at you in the middle of a firefight you cease paying attention to him.

    Oh I’d also like more information on exactly WHAT I am fighting otherwise they just revert to being one more thing I need to pump full of bullets. Be it jumpy thing or ghostly rushing thing.

    Hopefully they fix these for this sequel as I’m looking forward to playing it.

  31. Radiant says:

    Ah! Also the quest for pc bragging rights of ‘which game will bring your pc to its knees more’ had such a negative effect on how Fear was perceived.

    When I first played it on my then mid spec machine; slow mo was pretty much useless as it turned everything into a slide show. I came away thinking the combat was god awful.
    It was only a year later when I upgraded that I re-played Fear and found it to be quite a good shooter.

  32. subedii says:

    Yeah the plot exposition could definitely have used a lot of work in the original. It was almost exclusively told through those freaking phone messages. They really need to take on the lesson “show, don’t tell” for this iteration.

    That said, Norton Mapes is one of my all time favourite FPS characters to date. There have been few game characters that got me so irritated with them right from the start, you just want to chuck the guy out the nearest window. He’s probably the best “guy everyone loves to hate” I’ve seen in a game. I hope they bring that jerk back for the sequel.

  33. TooNu says:

    This looked scary as F**K, part of my hates the other part that wants to play this, it just looks too scary

  34. Deuteronomy says:

    FEAR was not awesome but good. After the debacle of Far Cry 2 we definitely could use more good.

  35. Bhlaab says:

    I didn’t care for FEAR. The little girl wasn’t scary, and the fact that the designers clearly thought she so totally was just made it even more obvious how not-scary and done-before she was.

    The combat… I dunno, they made the AI very good, but the actual shooting was arcadey and the guns were awful, save for the two or three that they never ever gave you ammo for.

    Just, make no one lives forever 3. come on, just make it.

  36. unclelou says:

    “Can’t be arsed to watch the video, but I certainly hope the level design (and art design) is better in this game – the bland and boring levels were the biggest weakness of FEAR.”

    Everytime someone says Fear had bad level design, an office building burns down.

    Fear’s level design was fantastic. It was just that the environments were dull.

    Still one of the best FPS games I’ve ever played. The most convincing AI in any FPS to date yet, fantastic level design, and perfect guns. Not a game to make your jaw drop because of gorgeous setpieces, but to date the FPS with the best core elements (AI, guns) in the genre.

  37. megaman says:

    Affirmative. I also had a lot of fun without overusing the bullet time. Looking forward for testing the second one, too.

  38. Funky Badger says:

    What’s to like?

    Bullet time shattering glass panels, bullet time fire, shotgunning someone’s head off, nailgunning ragdolls to the wall. These things are best in life.

    Also, the final level and especially the laptops was one of the only few genuinely horrifying bits of gaming I’ve played.

  39. amoe says:

    the original F.E.A.R. is one of the most uninspired and repetitive FPS i’ve ever played.
    the enemies look like stock characters, the environments are all boring and blocky, the horror elements didn t work at all.
    it s not a horror game it s a horrible game. i have no idea why it became so popular.
    i guess i should skip F.E.A.R. 2 :)

  40. Jetsetlemming says:

    Am I the only one bothered that every single piece of footage for FEAR 2 appears to be from a console, judging by the movement? FEAR 1 was a PC game from the ground up, then ported later. Not so with FEAR 2 it seems…

  41. Radiant says:

    @The people who hate Fear; what FPS games did you like?

  42. Radiant says:

    and did you really not like any of it?
    Did you buy it?

  43. amoe says:

    @radiant
    farcry 1, half life (all of them), clive barkers undying, thief III(not really a shooter but at least first person ;) ), bioshock, condemned
    i borrowed a copy from my brother in law and i was really happy that i didn t buy it.